Occasionally it may be useful to display to an enumerator or keyer the possible values for a given field in a data entry application. For example, if a survey is being conducting on a tablet computer, it may be easier for an enumerator to use a finger or stylus to select a value rather than to key the value using the screen's touch keyboard. CSPro's extended controls allow for such flexibility by allowing the program to specify the capture type associated with a field.
Selecting Extended Controls
You can indicate that you want to automatically use extended controls by selecting the Use Extended Controls option in Drag Options. If this option is selected, CSPro will automatically choose a capture type for the field based on the field's first value set.
You can manually change the capture type for a field by editing the field's properties. CSPro allows you to select a capture type that is suitable for the item's first value set. A warning will appear if the value set is not suitable. In this case, if the value set is compatible at the time of data entry (because the value set was changed dynamically using the setvalueset function), it will be used; if not compatible, the field will appear as a Text Box. For more programmatic control, see the setcapturetype function.
The CSPro Designer shows the fields that use extended controls by coloring the border of the field in blue. The blue border does not exist when the data entry application is run in CSEntry. The field border will be a lighter blue color when the Number Pad capture type is selected.
The Text Box attribute is the default option for a field and indicates that no extended control will be displayed. On Windows, tickmarks divide each character.
Text Box (No Tickmarks)
The Text Box (No Tickmarks) option is only available for alphanumeric fields. On Windows, CSEntry will not display any tickmarks and characters will be displayed with any connecting features. This is useful for some scripts, like Arabic, which have elements that connect, or for other languages that require multiple characters to create a composite character. In the CSPro Designer you can click on the field and resize it horizontally to set an appropriate size.
Text Box (Multiline)
The Text Box (Multiline) control provides a convenient way to collect multiple lines of information in one alphanumeric field. This may be useful for information like an address or a memo field. In the CSPro Designer you can click on the field and resize it horizontally and vertically to set an appropriate size. In CSEntry on Windows, the data entry operator can move up and down in the field using the arrow keys, but as with other fields, pressing Enter will move to the next field. To add a line break, the operator must hold down the Control key before pressing Enter.
Due to the lack of tickmarks, a data entry operator will not immediately know many characters they have entered into the field and how many characters are remaining. CSEntry shows, on the status bar at the bottom of the screen, the number of characters entered, and the total size of the field.
For multiline controls, the characters \n will be placed in the field text for every line break. CSEntry will automatically interpret \n characters as line breaks, but if you use your data with another software package, you may need to adjust for this behavior. In the above screenshot, the text would appear in the data file as:
100 Main Street, Suite 1234\nAnytown, NY 00000-0000
Both of these Text Box options can also be specified for alpha fields in rosters. To resize the field within a roster you may need to first adjust the roster's row heights or column widths.
The Radio Button capture type can be selected if an item is either numeric or alphanumeric and if the value set has only discrete values, meaning that there are no "to values" defined.
Check Boxes are used to capture multiple response variables. Items using check boxes must be alphanumeric. Each value in the value set corresponds to one of the responses and will be displayed as a separate check box. When the boxes are checked, the corresponding values will be put into the alphanumeric field, from left to right. The length of the field must be a multiple of the maximum length of a response. For example, if each response code is one character and you have five responses, then a field of length five would allow for the selection of all responses. A field of length two would allow for only two responses (e.g., "pick the top two...").
Drop Down / Combo Box
These capture types display all values in the value set of numeric and alphanumeric items. The Drop Down capture type is identical to the Radio Button capture type, except that it displays differently on Windows. In contrast, the Combo Box capture type allows for the displaying of ranges of values (that is, value sets with "to values").
While the Drop Down and Combo Box capture types are visually identical on desktop CSEntry, in the mobile environment there is a difference between the two options. Drop Down fields, which contain only discrete values, will be displayed as radio buttons. Combo Box fields, which can include ranges, will appear as text boxes with a corresponding button that displays the entire value set, allowing users to see the valid ranges as well as to select from discrete values (such as a Missing code).
The Date capture type is valid for numeric and alphanumeric items of length 4, 6, or 8. The item does not need to have a value set. The choice of date format affects how the date is stored in the field.
Some users find it cumbersome to use the on-screen keyboard while entering data on a tablet using Windows. This control displays a number pad for entering numeric values with a finger or mouse.
Hiding the Title of an Extended Control Window
By default CSEntry displays the label of the value set in the window of the extended control, but this title can be turned off using programmatic logic:
set attributes(dictionary-symbol) assisted off(variable(title));
|Capture Type||Numeric Field||Alphanumeric Field|
|Text Box / Number Pad||In value set||In value set (only for fields of length 1)|
|Radio Button / Drop Down||In value set||In value set|
|Combo Box||In value set||In value set (only for fields of length 1)|
|Check Box||—||Comprised of values in the value set|
|Date||In value set and a valid date||In value set and a valid date|