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 – Say Goodbye to Alt Key!

The drag and drop action is a standard action in computer interfaces. In the case of list boxes, pressing the “Alt” key is necessary to move several items simultaneously. Or rather “was” because, starting with 4D v19 R7, this is no longer a requirement at all!

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4D Write Pro: User-friendly Display of Formulas

Formulas are an integral part of 4D Write Pro documents. They allow the integration of a lot of information coming from the database. Creating documents and templates that include formulas, combined to physical constraints (number of pages, paper size), can lead to non-wysiwyg designs. A new mode of displaying formulas is now available to facilitate this design.

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4D Write Pro: Carry Over Rows are Available!

Using tables in 4D Write Pro documents is more frequent, especially since it is possible to associate a datasource to them, which automatically feeds their rows!

As the number of rows gets more prominent, it is common for these tables to be automatically split into several parts to allow for a page or column break. In this situation, it is sometimes convenient to insert (automatically!) a “subtotal” line at the bottom of each part of the respective tables. Yes, that’s right, this is possible in 4D v19 R7 ?

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Files, Folders… and now File Handles!

The File and Folder commands, which appeared in 4D v17 R5, enable you to manage folders and files on disk in a modern and efficient way.

When it comes to writing and reading, the setText and getText functions are at your disposal to read or write the entire content. But what to do if you want to read or add one or more lines to an existing document? This can be done more efficiently than ever using the new “file handles” objects in 4D v19 R7.

Keep reading for details!

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4D Write Pro: Disable Visibility of Empty Images

4D Write Pro documents can contain images from different sources and in various formats. These images may, in some cases, not be displayed for totally reasonable reasons — such as invalid URLs, formulas returning empty images, formats not supported by the platform, etc.

However, they are always represented by a small empty rectangle showing their theoretical location. If you want to change this behavior, 4D v19 R6 is shipped with a new view option enabling you to make empty images completely invisible.

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4D Write Pro: Dynamically Fill Tables with Entity Selections & Collections

As developers, we often create complex and advanced 4D Write Pro documents. We may generate tables that need to be filled from a data source, and we may not be sure of the exact rows and columns. Manually filling the tables with data every time is a laborious task. We heard you, and here is where data context comes as an invaluable option, opening the world of ORDA and object-oriented development to 4D Write Pro documents.

It is now possible to define a “datasource” for the tables of 4D Write Pro. Whether it is an entity selection or a collection, this “datasource” will automatically feed the rows of these tables.

Let’s delve into the details!

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LIST BOXES: More Control. More Beauty!

List boxes are powerful and very customizable form objects. And their power is extended with 4D v19 R6 thanks to two new properties: horizontal and vertical padding (the inner margins or the space between an element’s content and its border). They will give new presentation possibilities to your list boxes, and an even more professional appearance to your interface, 

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Form and subform communication made easy!

Starting with 4D v19 R5, the ability to associate a variable with a subform has enriched the possibilities of interfaces and communication between forms and subforms. The means of communication are now simplified by two new commands: Say hello to OBJECT Get subform container value and OBJECT SET SUBFORM CONTAINER VALUE.

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4D Write Pro: Say hello to table headers

Tables are an essential part of 4D Write Pro. They evolve regularly by offering new presentation options. For example, a table can be displayed on several columns or pages. The table headers are repeated at the top of each column or page to make it easier for the user to read.

Starting with 4D v19 R5, the table can be enhanced with headers.