Saving Ink with behaviors

Home Forum Behaviors Saving Ink with behaviors

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    ehuezo
    Keymaster

    Form properties are all those little handy settings that you use to set objects the perfect view, color, and size. We have many adjustable properties in the designer that will allow you to set the look and feel as needed for your end user. As you are now building E-forms instead of paper forms, many of the principles of designing a good form paper form are out the door. Most of my builds are heavily optimized to be used on a computer screen, this makes the overall experience easier, faster and better looking. With keeping a computer screen in mind during the build, I find that my forms are not very printer friendly. In order to save ink, allow forms to look better, and crisper on paper, as well as eliminate things that are not needed in print I reconfigure the properties with behaviors.

    Some objects were just not designed for paper, such as buttons. Button objects are highly valuable as long as the form is on the computer. Once a form moves from your computer to paper, a button object is nothing more than a waste of ink. To conserve with these particular objects it is best to use the “Set State” behavior. This will allow you to hide all the cool buttons that do awesome things when your form is moved from computer to paper.

    For other objects, like text inputs, text objects, select boxes, and anything with a border the set property command has what you need. You have many choices with the set property command as they vary from object to object. With set property you can control the color, size, location, and text of an object. This means you can eliminate a boarder on an input, change the color of your text, or even make your beautiful blue background into a printer friendly white.
    This method can take some time to configure as you will need to account for each object you would like to change. The reason the initial configuration can take time is that any changes to your form will need to be reversed before a submit occurs, as any changes not reversed will remain. There is another method for cutting down the time of the procedure, and we will touch on this process down the line.

    To begin practicing optimizing your form for print you can follow along with the directions below:

    • Drag a button object onto the canvas
    • On the button object you will begin with a set state command
    • On the set state command you will add any objects you wish to hide
    • Once you have all the objects added to the command, they will be set to a default state of “Normal”. You will want to be sure that all of your selection is changed to “hidden”
    • Following the set state command you will want to drag on a set property command
    • One of these commands will be needed for each remaining object you wish to change the color, size, area of.
    • For starters let’s change the background color of a page.
    • Click your set property command.
    • Selecting the page as the object within your command.
    • As the property you will select background color.
    • In the set fields you will hard code FFFFFF. This option will set the background color to white.

    Hint: 000000 is the code for black, and can be used to set any test object from any color to black.
    • In the print command be sure to select only the pages you wish to print
    • On the print command you have the option to print select pages, with or without an appendix.
    • The appendix is a sheet that will provide the ability to see all the data in the form in the event an input exceeds the available real-estate.
    • Now the tricky part is to reverse all your changes
    • You will need to take note of all your default colors, and states in all the properties you change to make printer friendly. This could be color codes, size, if its show, or hidden as you will need to set the object back to their desired format.

    Once you have completed setting up your behavior you will be able to preview the functionality
    This will show the form changing as required, pop up a pdf in the desired format, then revert the changes.
    If you wish to save time, you may close the form when a print is rendered by using the close browser window command after print. By closing the window you ensure no printer friendly changes are saved, and the next time the form is loaded everything will appear as intended. By using the close command this will eliminate all the time spent reversing your changes.

    As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to post any questions or comments below. Happy Form Building!

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