Author: Roland Lannuzel

Roland Lannuzel

• Product Owner & 4D Expert •

After studying electronics, Roland went into industrial IT as a developer and consultant, building solutions for customers with a variety of databases and technologies. In the late 80’s he fell in love with 4D and has used it in writing business applications that include accounting, billing and email systems.

Eventually joining the company in 1997, Roland’s valuable contributions include designing specifications, testing tools, demos as well as training and speaking to the 4D community at many conferences. He continues to actively shape the future of 4D by defining new features and database development tools.

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List boxes: Setup movable rows (or not!) by code

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List boxes are powerful form objects. They’re easily created and manipulated, and most importantly, they can handle any kind of data. Additionally, they can be fully set up by programming … everything from inserting or deleting rows and columns, to defining or modifying tons of properties using the 4D language. With 4D v18 R4, another important property has been added to the list. Can you guess which one? Hint: read the title again.

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4D Write Pro – More control when using formulas

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As a 4D Write Pro user, you’ve most likely used expressions (or more recently, formulas) to automatically fill in certain parts of your documents. These formulas can return “raw” text or images. In the case of text, they may contain line breaks. The question is how should these line breaks be handled when they are processed inside 4D Write Pro documents? This blog post provides the answers … keep reading!

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4D Write Pro – Direct export to PDF!

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What if I told you that with 4D v18 R4 you can export 4D Write Pro documents directly to PDF format (on both macOS and Windows), without needing to install any printer drivers or additional software? Now you can … and that’s not all! You’re also able to set several options for both the form and the content. Keep reading to learn more!

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Use 4D Write Pro documents as input forms

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Do you want to avoid users accidentally modifying a particular 4D Write Pro document (fully or partially)? Are you interested in keeping some parts of a document untouched (e.g., giving users the ability to fill in fields in a non-disclosure agreement while ensuring that none of the information in the document is altered or changed in any way)? If you’re nodding your head, then keep reading! 4D v18 R3 lets you keep parts of your documents protected, or in other words: “non-editable“.

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4D Write Pro: New standard actions for tables, rows, and cells

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4D v18 R3 brings new standard actions to 4D Write Pro. They target tables and their elements (i.e., rows and cells). These actions let you to define a table’s border, a cell’s background color, the vertical alignment of the text in a row, as well as the alignment of the table itself in the document … just to name a few. All standard actions are accessible either through simple buttons, dropdown lists, or menus or through a few short lines of code. Want more? The menus are automatically adapted to the user’s language! Plus, tables, buttons, lists, and menus are automatically activated or deactivated depending on the user’s current selection. This saves developers a lot of time!

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4D Write Pro and formulas

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With 4D v18 R2, 4D Write Pro is able to manage formula objects inside documents. To do so, four new commands have been created: WP Get formulas, WP Insert formula, WP Compute formulas, and WP Freeze formulas. They all can be used with intuitive targets like document, body, headers, etc. And as you may have guessed from the command names, formulas are no longer text expressions but powerful formula objects!

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4D Write Pro documents: a useful new parameter

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4D Write Pro has been designed to create all kinds of documents, from the most simple to the most sophisticated. To achieve this diversity, documents can hold distinct parts, like paragraphs, sections, headers, footers, etc. Once filled in, 4D Write Pro behaves in such a way that all of these parts can be read. However, sometimes some parts must be resized according to their content. This is typically the case for headers and footers whose height can change automatically. This functionality is generally very useful, but sometimes it’d be more practical to set the heights of headers and footers to constant values (even if their content may be truncated and no longer be fully visible).

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On resize… On resize… On resize…

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Wondering how to create a nice and dynamic user interface? Typically when a form is resized, the form objects whose horizontal sizing or vertical sizing properties are set to move or grow, are automatically resized. In some cases  (e.g., finer user interface management), developers choose to manage form object size and position by programming. To do so, they check the “on resized” event which is triggered within the form method. But what happens when the form contains one or more subforms? On many levels? This blog post gives you the answers!

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Using 4D libraries within project databases

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4D provides libraries to help you develop applications. One of these libraries is standard and contains preconfigured form objects and widgets, while other libraries are custom. The standard library is “read-only” and its behavior doesn’t change when developing project databases (with the exception of minor, cosmetic interface differences). You also have the ability to create your own custom libraries to save your own form objects or group of objects. In this case, a few changes have been made to make them even more powerful. The following is everything you need to know about these changes: