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AIMS Format - Addin

Purchase AIMS Format     Download Latest Update - v1.20 (registered users only)

The AIMS_Format addin is an Alpha Five version 5, 6, 7, and 8 addin designed to be used by application developers for formatting multiple layout objects at one time. This is most useful for Form layouts but can also be used for Reports, Letters, and Labels.

Although A5's built-in formatting routines are quite good, there are a number of situations where developers would like to format groups of objects at one time but cannot due to the limitations of the built-in routines. The built-in methods allow you to format Alignment, Font, Borders, and Shadows for groups of objects but this cannot be combined with settings for such things as read-only, modeless entry, character format, or even color equations.

The AIMS_Format addin significantly improves the developer's efficiency by increasing the ability to add multiple format styles to multiple field objects at one time.

An invoice form might include 8 fields for customer information but these fields are for reference only and should not be modified. Some of these fields are character fields and some show pricing/discount information. These fields should be Read-only, Mixed case, 2 Decimals, and with a different background to help identify them - such as 50% fill with a Win3d foreground and a White background.

- Using the built-in routines, the background/foreground colors can be modified as a group but all other options must be set for each field object separately.

- Using AIMS_Format, all the settings could be changed at one time.

Another time saving advantage of AIMS_Format is that you can 'lasso' large groups of objects containing multiple object types and change only specific object types. For example, 20 objects might be selected but only the 3 objects that are numeric fields would be changed by a new setting for the number of decimals. Or, you could select all objects on a form and change the font face from Times New Roman to Arial for all text, fields, tabbed forms, and browse titles without affecting the various settings for size, color, bold, italic, etc. This eliminates the additional time required to carefully select each field to be modified.

Click to see Screenshots.

View (Open) or Download the AIMS_Format Help File to learn more.

New Features added since initial release:  (in reverse order)
  • Price reduced! The price is now only $19.
  • Added "update existing '_btn' names" checkbox. When this checkbox is not checked (default), any existing button name ending with '_btn' will not be modified even if it is selected.
  • Object names can now be added to multiple buttons, fields, or browses at one time.1 This make it much easier to identify objects in the Object Explorer or in the Select Object button in the code editor window.
  • In addition to the ability to select what type of object a font will be applied to, you can now select what type of object the Misc/Align/Borders/Shadows settings will be applied to. When combined with the Apply button added previously, this significantly increases the capabilities of this addin.
  • A copy of the Read-Only selector has been added to the first tab for convenience.
  • Object naming introduced previously has been modified so that a single button click will rename the selected button, field, or browse to a standardized format1 based on the object type. This makes renaming of objects like Button1, Button2, Button3 much faster. Manual naming is still permitted. (A future update will allow automatic renaming of multiple objects at once.)
  • If only one object is selected, the object name will be shown and can be changed. The new feature is that any blank spaces in the name will be replaced with underscores which avoids warning messages when opening the form later. This feature is most useful for cutting and pasting button text into the button name.
  • The Font/Color Expression Genie is now available for setting the font and color expressions for fields.
  • A new Apply button has been added. This feature allows you to apply the current settings then make modifications. [This is even more useful now that you can select which objects types the formatting will be applied to.]
  • A new Clear button has been added.

1Automated naming is as follows: Buttons use the text on the button and add "_btn". Field objects use the field name. Browses use the main table name and add "_brws". Text objects with large amounts of text (over 45 characters) use the first few words plus "_txt"; otherwise, it uses the actual text and adds "_hdr" when the font size is larger than 13 and "_lbl" for smaller font sizes.

AIMS DataCom, Inc. - Custom Database Applications
This site created and maintained by Cal Locklin,, using 1st Page 2000.   Last update:  07-Jun-07
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