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First steps: Field types

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For our first example we have used the most common field type to be handled in a calculator, the numeric type. But you can include several other types at your input form as well. These are all field types available:

  • Text:

    Shows a default input text field. You can set a custom mask to force the input to have certain format, or you can use any of the predefined masks available:
  • Textarea:

    Shows a multi-line input text field.

  • Number:

    Shows a default input text restricted only to numbers, performing validations about decimal places allowed, and maximum/minimum values allowed.
  • Date:

    Shows a date input followed by a calendar chooser. It will validate date format against the format set at Preferences. (See preferences configuration)
  • Text autocompleter:
    This is an advanced subtype of option list (see option list configuration below). When your option list contains a high number of entries, you can help your users to filter them using this type. You must configure it exactly as a default option list, but it will display at your form this way:

    The whole list is initialy hidden. As soon as user begins to input text, options are filtered and shown to be selected.
  • Option List:

    Combo box with a single option to choose. You can manually set the options available adding values to the multivalues section, use a sql query to recover dynamic values from your database, or load a csv text to create the options.


    Tips/Tricks
    When using SQL query to recover values, you can use #_ to replace your database tables preffix, so your query will still be valid when exporting calculators from one site to another or changing the preffix.

    For each option you must enter two values, it's name (the option label user will see at the dropdown), and the value of the option (the value you want to recover to use at calculations).
    When option 1 is selected, the variable at code section $mainl will have a value equal to “T1”
    You can also recover the label selected at the combobox, another variable named $xxx_name (where xxx is the variable name of the list) is available with the label selected, for this example at the code we can get $mainl_name to get the label “Option 1”
  • Linked list:

    This is an advanced input type. It is an special kind of dropdown list, that filters its options depending on a previous option list selection. To configure the linked list you must follow a naming convention, as follows:

    You must name its variable like xxx_linked, where xxx is the name of the main list we want this linked list to be dependant on. We had already a default option list named 'mainl', so this one will be named as mainl_linked.
    Its options will be filtered according with the value selected from the first list. Each option must have a value named as zzz_yyy where zzz is the value of the first list which enables this option, and yyy is the unique value you want to set for the option.
    With this configuration, 'SubOpt 1,1' and 'SubOpt1,2' options will only be available when 'Option 1' is selected from the first list. 'Option 3' will only be available when 'Option 3' of the first list is selected.
    Following same structure than default option lists, you can recover the label selected at this linked list using $xxx_linked_name ($mainl_linked_name for this example)
    Tips/Tricks
    When using linked lists, the value recovered is the one set at 'value' of each option, so you will get the whole string “zzz_yyy” (“T1_1”) when using $mainl_linked variable. In order to split the value from the main list option and get only the unique text for this option, you can use:
    $myvalue=explode(“_”,$mainl_linked)[1];
    This expression will place the value “1” at your new variable “myvalue”;
  • Linked list (SQL):
    This special linked list is able to query the database to recover valid options when according to other values of the form. For this type you will have to select the 'trigger field', which is other field of your form that launches the update of the linked list when changed. And also write down the query to the database to recover valid options, where you can use other values of the form using the ## sintax, for ex:

    select id,name from #__users where name = ##fieldname##

    This query will fill your option list with all users named after 'fieldname', that can be any other input field of your form.
  • Multiple option:

    This field type will create as many checkboxes as options included. You must configure the options as you do with a option list, with a label and a value for each option available.

    To recover options selected, you will receive a list of options checked, in form of array type. So you should access the array using a loop or counter, if we named our multiple field as 'multiple', then we will have at $multiple[0] the first value selected, at $multiple[1] the second option selected, and so on.
    We can find out how many options are selected using php function count count($multiple) to have the number of checkboxes checked.
  • Yes/No:

    It will show a single check to select. When recovering value of this field type you will get “Y” if the check was selected, no value otherwise.
  • Radiobutton:

    It's configured same way as a dropdown list, with a set of options (manually, using csv or a query to database). The form will display a radiobutton group where only one option can be selected. You will get at the code section the value of the option selected.
  • Inline result:
    This is a result that you want to show inside the input form. Just place it at the form layout as any other input, and assing it any value at the code section. You will see each time the input is changed, the inline results will recalculate themselves and show the result automatically at the input form without pressing calculate button.
  • Captcha:

    Used to ensure human beings are using your form, you can add this field to show a text validator it will be executed automatically when sending the form. The input form already has an invisible spam-protector, so you should not have need to use this type field, include it only if you want to add a 'visual' protection for your form.
  • Upload file:

    With this input type you will allow file upload from your input form. Users will use 'Select files' button to select one or more files from localhost, and 'upload files' to send them to the server.
    Options to configure number of files allowed and other restrictions (like max size, destination folder, types allowed..etc) are set at 'Preferences tab', please check that section for further detail

For all of them you will be able to set a default value, and also type any specific css class you want to apply. The css class can also be used to attach data validations:

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