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NiceLabel Designer form serves as a panel for entering, manipulating, and viewing the data. The advantages of using a form are simplified data-entry and label printing process for the end-user.

In NiceLabel Designer, a form is created within a printing solution. This means that a form is usually a built-in combination with a predesigned label.

Tip

Forms allow you to build an entire tailor-made data handling system that is adaptable to current business needs.

Read about how to create, design, or edit a form here.

Create or Edit a Form

To create a form, open a new or existing solution and click the New Form button in the Solution tab of the Designer ribbon or in Solution Explorer.

To start working on a form, consider reading the following sections:

Form Properties

Form Properties dialog is used for defining various form properties.

Tip

To open the Form Properties dialog, double-click the design surface.

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The settings are available on the below-listed dialog panels.

Form Property

Description

Basic Settings

Defines form title, size, initial form state and startup form position.

Additional Settings

Selects form scripting language.

Style

Defines form background color and picture. It allows picture embedding and saving as external file.

Tab Order

Defines the order of focus Shifting among form objects.

F1 Help

Contains form help text which is shown to the user after pressing F1 when the form is running.

Events

Defines the events which occur after the form is loaded, closed, and after a specified time interval completes.

Variable Events

Selects the variables that are monitored for changes in their values.

Serial Port Data

Adds a variable that stores the data received via serial port.

Info

Defines the content which serves as a hint or as a guidance for the form user.

Basic Settings

Basic Settings panel defines the title, size, and startup behavior of a form after you run it.

Title sets the form window title.

  • Show form title bar: window title bar is visible or hidden upon form startup.

  • Allow closing form: form close using the window Close button is allowed or not.

    Tip

    With this option disabled, the form can be closed from taskbar.

  • Allow resizing form: form size customizable or fixed.

    Tip

    Disable this option to lock the form size.

  • Minimizing forms

    You can enable forms (solutions) you design to minimize to your taskbar or to your taskbar notification area (system tray). Minimizing your forms allows them to run them in the background and reduces inputs and prevents human errors from your operators. Use minimize options on forms with limited inputs that don't require human interaction.

    Allow minimizing form is enabled by default in Form Properties and allows minimizing your form to the taskbar. Allow minimizing form is also possible when you disable Allow resizing form.

    Note

    When you open forms made in versions earlier than V2019.3, Allow minimizing form option automatically disables when you disable Allow resizing form.

    UUID-685ad291-515c-0489-f186-b33ecc945bb4.png

    Enabling Allow minimizing form in Form Properties.

    Minimize to tray enables minimizing your form to the taskbar notification area. This is useful when you want to run your form in the background. For example, if your form is automated and doesn't need your operators to interact with your form user interface. Your only form input is barcode scanner data, and all your form actions execute automatically when operators scan barcodes.

    UUID-d089d875-eeb5-61d0-7c47-9ecd34678778.png

    Enabling Minimize to tray in Form Properties.

    Enabling Minimize to tray with your Command Prompt

    With running solutions from your Command Prompt, you can force your form to start minimized in your taskbar (system tray). When minimized, right-click on the taskbar icon to open or exit your running forms.

    1. Open Command Prompt (CMD).

    2. Navigate to your "NiceLabelWebClient.exe" or "NiceLabelPrint.exe".

    3. Add the path to the form you want to minimize.

      UUID-3633e96b-41be-3582-3f9e-e1147db85cf7.png
    4. Type "-startAsMinimized:true" after your filepath.

    5. Press Enter.

    Your Form loads and immediately minimizes.

    Minimizing forms to your taskbar or taskbar notification area (system tray) reduces human errors and prevents your operators from intervening on your forms.

Size group defines the form's Width and Height.

Initial form state group defines form state upon startup.

  • Maximized: form opens in full screen mode.

  • Default form size: when run, the form appears with manually defined sizes.

Startup form position group defines the on-screen position of a form upon its startup.

  • As defined: the form appears at a location defined by the distance in pixels from Left (left edge of the form) and Top (top edge of the form).

  • Screen center: screen center is the startup form position.

Settings in Scroll bars group optimize forms for smaller screens or computers with low screen resolution. As an alternative to making forms and objects small, and hard to read and use, enable Show scrollbars and stop resizing form objects at:. This option defines form Width and Height in pixels. These are minimum dimensions at which:

  • The form gets scroll bars. You can continue reducing the form size beyond these dimensions and make the form area scrollable.

  • The objects stop adapting their sizes to the reducing form size. This makes sure the objects remain usable because they retain their current size beyond minimum dimensions of the form.

    Note

    To make the objects resize along with changing form size, enable horizontal and vertical resizing with form under Object Properties > Position > Size > Horizontally/Vertically resize with form.

Additional Settings

Additional Settings panel selects form scripting language. There are two scripting languages available for Designer form objects: VBScript and Python.

  • VBScript: scripting for advanced data operations, comparisons, and direct calculations on a form.

  • Python: suitable for 64-bit systems. A significantly faster scripting alternative to VBScript.

Style

Style panel defines form background color and/or picture. It also allows picture embedding and saving as an external file.

  • Background color is defined by the Standard or Advanced color selection. Switch between these two options by clicking the Advanced or Basic button.

  • Browse for the label Background picture or insert the direct path. Once the picture has been defined, it is possible to:

    • Embed the picture to document: makes the picture an integral part of the document.

    • Save embedded picture to file: embedded picture is saved to a file.

    • Remove embedded picture: embedded picture is removed from the form document.

    • Picture position: background picture to be centered, to fit the label dimensions, or to be stretched.

Tab Order

Tab order panel defines how the focus is moving from one form object to another after pressing the Tab key.

  • ENTER key behaves as TAB key: Enter key gets the same role as the Tab key does. After pressing Enter, focus moves to the next object as defined on the Tab order list.

  • Select the form Object and move it up or down the Tab order list to define the focus switching order.

F1 Help

F1 Help panel defines custom form help content to help the end-user while designing and/or using a form. The text becomes visible after pressing F1 key when the form is run.

Tip

Enter custom text in the editing field and click OK.

Events

Events panel allows setting actions for basic form events.

  • On Form Load: the action is run upon form load.

  • On Form Close: the action is run when the form is closed.

  • On Form Timer: the action is run after a given time interval.

    • Interval: duration of the time interval (in milliseconds).

  • On Form Inactivity: the action is run after the form has been inactive for a given time interval. Form inactivity is defined as the absence of key press, mouse click, or form move user actions. Any of these user actions reset the inactivity timer.

    • Interval: duration of the time interval (in minutes).

Tip

Click Actions ... button to set the actions that are run by the listed events.

Variable Events

Variable Events panel selects the variables that are monitored for changes in their values. If values of these variables, the On change event triggers an action.

Tip

Click Actions ... to set and manage the actions that are triggered by changed values in the listed variables.

Serial Port Data

Serial Port Data panel selects serial (RS-232) ports to read the data from connected serial devices. The read data is stored in an existing or a newly created variable.

  • Add: adds a serial port to the list connected serial devices.

  • Delete: removes the port from the list connected serial devices.

Serial Port Data Settings

Serial Port Data window defines connection parameters for the selected serial port. Parameters in this dialog box have to match with the connected device's settings. Refer to the documentation of your serial communication device to set the communication parameters properly.

Note

If the settings in NiceLabel 10 and on the device do not match, communication cannot be established.

Port group defines serial port to read the data from.

  • Port name: name of the port to which an external device is connected. This can either be a hardware or a virtual COM port.

Port Settings group defines additional port connection settings.

  • Bits per second: speed rate used by the external device to communicate with the PC. The usual alias used with the setting is "baud rate".

  • Data bits: specifies the number of data bits in each character. 8 data bits are almost universally used in newer devices.

  • Parity: specifies error detection method during the ongoing transmission. The most common parity setting, is "none", with error detection handled by a communication protocol (flow control).

  • Stop bits: halts the bits sent at the end of every character allowing the receiving signal hardware to detect the end of a character and to resynchronize with the character stream. Electronic devices usually use a single stop bit.

  • Flow control: serial port may use interface signals to pause and resume the data transmission.

Example 57. Example:

A slow device might need to handshake with the serial port to indicate that data should be paused while the device processes received data.


Options group includes the following settings:

  • Send initialization data: specifies the string that is sent to the selected serial port before the data is read. This option enables the action to initialize the device to be able to provide the data. The option can also be used for sending a specific question to the device, and to receive a specific answer. Click the arrow button to enter special characters.

  • Use data polling: specifies that the trigger will actively ask the device for data. Within the specified time intervals, the trigger will send the commands provided in the Contents field. This field can include binary characters.

Filter group allows you to set the serial port data filtering criteria.

  • Use Filter: enables serial data filtering. This option filters any irrelevant characters from the received data.

  • Start position: sets the starting character for extracted data.

  • End position: sets the ending character for extracted data.

Example 58. Example:

Received raw data includes the following characters: q###12345$$$1. After setting Start position to 5 and End position to 9, the extracted data is 12345.


Execution Event group specifies when the trigger should fire and start executing actions.

  • On number of characters received: specifies that the event occurs each time the required number of characters is received. In this case, the third party application can keep a connection open and continuously send the data. Each chunk of data must be of the same size.

  • On sequence of characters received. Specifies that the event occurs each time the required sequence of characters is received. Use this option if you know that the 'end of data' is always identified by a unique set of characters. You can insert special (binary) characters using the button next to the edit field.

    • Include in data: sequence of characters that is used to determine that the event activator is not stripped from the data, but remains included in the data. The event receives a complete received data stream.

  • When nothing is received after the specified time interval: event occurs after the specified time interval (in ms) passes since the last received character.

Info

Info panel includes a Description that serves as a hint or as a guidance for the user that is going to work with the form.

Define form Description by entering text into the field.

Adding Objects to a Form

After setting the form properties, it's time to start adding content to the form. Form objects are basic design items that are used for adding and editing various content types.

Add object to a form by clicking them in the object toolbar and dragging it to the design surface. Each form may contain multiple object in any combination.

Tip

Use visual aids when positioning an object.

Form Objects

Product level info

This section is applicable to PowerForms.

Each form object has its own role as described in the table below.

Form Object

Icon

Description

Frame

UUID-f3b995e2-3acf-2133-9a3b-34c513eda301.png

Creates a rectangle shaped area on a form.

Text

UUID-86ebf189-3481-c31d-238c-49e4609e97e4.png

Object for inserting textual content.

Picture

UUID-fea0052a-0f33-93a6-8ee4-c1936e1b838b.png

Object for inserting graphic content.

Button

UUID-850ea0db-e8e3-c63b-5d1f-b773a39ef4f0.png

Creates a clickable and customizable form object.

Edit Field

UUID-44aa13d6-ec8d-8efc-8ecb-8ce542a9998f.png

Object for inserting and editing a single line text.

Memo Field

UUID-feadca15-9360-9df1-5754-a8b195b0e171.png

Enables inserting values with multiple lines.

Combo Box

UUID-8a845c94-1fb1-1aa3-12e3-9801f3ebca0c.png

Lets the user select an option from a dropdown list or insert a custom value.

List Box

UUID-3ddad8de-1103-e0a5-97ca-bd45fd1e63c0.png

Lets the user select an option from a list without custom values.

Radio Group

UUID-4f0bc6ec-087f-1a5e-f902-a842a12c7dd4.png

Allows a user to select a single item from a set of mutually exclusive items.

Checkbox

UUID-c3cf1d5f-ccb9-6ea2-5862-d633a5c7a06b.png

Allows the user to make a binary choice – select or deselect the listed options.

Database Table

UUID-10674851-c033-d392-dab2-e1f0347fffb5.png

Displays a selected database table on a form.

Database Navigator

UUID-8b922318-b487-743e-d765-1ea54ab951cc.png

Tool for manipulating the database records on a form.

Database Search

UUID-8fb48be9-758c-bddb-1f14-111ff8743253.png

Search tool for databases on a form.

Label Preview

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Preview field that displays the label layout on a form in real time.

Data Initialization

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Panel for assigning initial values to the label variables

Printer Settings

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Enables adjusting printing speed and darkness while the form is being run.

Print Quantity

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Defines the number of printed labels and pages while the form is running.

There are multiple ways of adding a form object to the design surface. Read about the available methods here.

Frame

Frame object creates rectangle-shaped areas on a form. Its role is to visually separate areas on a form.

Style

Style tab defines the visual appearance of an object:

  • Background color: object background color.

  • Transparent: transparent frame.

  • Show border: frame border show/hide.

  • Border color: object border color selection.

  • Border width: border width definition.

  • Border style selects the object border style:

    • None: invisible border.

    • Lowered: the object appears lower than form surface.

    • Raised: the object appears higher than form surface.

    • Lowered border: the border of an object appears lower than form surface.

    • Raised border: makes the border of an object appear higher than form surface.

Position

General

Text

Text is a form object for entering and displaying textual content.

Content

Settings

Style

  • Justified: distributes text along both vertical object borders.

Position

Events

General

Picture

Picture is a form object for inserting graphic content. The following file formats are supported:

  • Portable Network Graphic (*.png)

  • PDF (*.pdf)

  • Adobe Photoshop (*.psd)

  • Scalable Vector graphics (*.svg)

  • Paintbrush (*.pcx)

  • JPEG bitmaps (*.jpg, *.jpeg, *.jpe)

  • TIFF bitmaps (*.tif, *.tiff)

  • Enhanced Windows Metafile (*.emf)

  • Windows Metafile (*.wmf)

  • Windows bitmap (*.bmp)

Source

To (re)define the object Content, click Browse and locate the file to be displayed on the label.

Embed picture in a document defines the picture as an integral part of the label file.

Save embedded picture to file saves the embedded picture as an external file. Browse for a location and store it there.

Position

Graphic Resizing tab defines variable source picture resizing.

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events are:

  • On Mouse Enter: action is run on mouse enter.

  • On Mouse Leave: action is run on mouse leave.

  • On Click: action is run on mouse click.

General

Button

Button adds a clickable and customizable object to a form. Its role is to activate various actions.

Source

Settings

Keyboard shortcut defines any keyboard to act as a shortcut. If the defined keyboard key is pressed, it acts as if the user would use a mouse click for running an action.

Default form button invokes the assigned action when a user presses Enter.

Tip

Only one button is allowed to be defined as the default form button.

Word wrap divides the text into multiple lines. It makes sure the text is not wider than the button.

Use a picture on the button group defines a graphic file to be displayed on a button.

  • Picture file name: graphic file selected to be used on a button.

  • Embed picture in a document: picture embedded in the document.

    Tip

    Whenever an embedded picture is needed, it is retrieved from the document and not from the file system.

  • Save embedded picture to file: embedded picture is saved to a file.

  • Remove embedded picture: embedded picture is removed from the form document.

    Tip

    If the picture is embedded, this action enables saving it at a selected location. The picture is no longer embedded.

  • Picture position: picture position in relation to the object text.

  • Force original size: full-size graphic without resizing is used on a button.

Style

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events for button object is:

  • On Click: action is run on mouse click.

General

Button Group

Button Group adds a group of clickable and customizable buttons on a form. Use this object to create multiple buttons from a list of items in a single move. The created buttons allow you to set value of the connected variable, and/or execute the assigned actions.

Tip

The number of buttons in the group corresponds to the number of items (values) on the list.

Source

Connected data source is the dynamic data source that is connected with the object.

  • Variables: variable which stores the value selected in Button Group object.

  • Databases: database field which stores the value selected in Button Group object.

Settings

Settings tab defines object content editing specifics and displaying of values.

Allow duplicates allows duplicated values to appear in the object.

Is sorted sorts the list of elements in ascending order. Use case sensitive sort additionally determines if the letter case should affect the sorting order or not.

Values group of settings allows defining the listed elements:

  • Items source: defines the source for listed items.

    • Custom values: static user-defined values.

    • Installed printers: list of installed printers.

    • Database field: retrieved values from a connected database.

      • Field: selection of connected database field to retrieve the content from.

      • Use another field for connected data source option: connects another database field to the connected data source. Field values are still shown, but the connected data source receives the selected value from a field which is specified in Value field.

      • Value field: selects the database field that is sent to the object's Connected data source and displayed as its content.

        Example 59. Example:

        1. Button Group object details

          Items source:

          EAN Code

          Product ID

          12345

          ID1

          22345

          ID2

          33345

          ID3

        2. Text object details

          Added Text object should only display matching Product ID values.

        Result: The selected EAN Code in Button Group results in the matching Product ID in Text object.

        UUID-c9b229fa-c7b9-1450-5a02-b81689148b42.png

    • File names: lists all files in the selected directory.

      • Directory: defines the source folder for files to be listed.

      • File mask: specifies the filter for selecting the listed files.

        Example 60. Example:

        *.* lists all files

        *.nlbl lists only files with .nlbl extension.

        t*.nlbl lists files that start with "t" and have the extension .nlbl.


      • Show the file path: entire file path is displayed on the list.

      • Show the file extension: file extension visible on the list.

    • Font names: lists the installed fonts.

    • Labels in solutions: lists all labels within the solution.

    • Edit: converts other item sources into a custom values item source.

    • Values content list: displays the current object content.

    • Set as default: turns the currently active selection into a default value.

      Tip

      Default value is a value that is automatically selected when the form is run.

      UUID-7d0a197b-59e3-5fdd-0ed3-8e00e15b6b6e.png

Note

All values except for custom values are populated when the form is run. The values displayed at design time are sample values retrieved from the system. After clicking the Edit, Designer makes a copy of values and makes them editable in the Custom Values dialog.

Layout group allows you to customize the appearance of Button Group object.

Button size group allows you to define width and height of individual buttons in the group.

  • Automatically size buttons: disable this option to set custom Width and Height values.

Button spacing group sets the distance between individual buttons in a group.

  • Horizontal: defines horizontal distance between buttons in a group.

  • Vertical: defines vertical distance between buttons in a group.

Layout group defines how the buttons are distributed when the form is run.

  • Orientation: allows you to stack the buttons Horizontally or Vertically.

  • Number of rows: sets the number of rows in which the buttons are located on the form.

  • Word wrap: After reaching the end of button, word wrap breaks the tag into multiple lines.

Style

Style tab defines visual appearance of an object.

Background color defines object background color.

  • Transparent: transparent object background.

Border color sets the color of button border.

Font color defines font and underline colors.

Font selects the typeface.

The font may appear Bold, Italic, Underlined or as a Strikethrough text.

Alignment defines horizontal positioning of the entered content.

  • Left: text aligned with the left button border.

  • Center: text positioned centrally.

  • Right: text aligned with the right button border.

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events are:

  • On Click: action is run on mouse click.

General

Edit Field

Edit field object is used for inserting and editing a single line of text.

Source

Connected data source is the dynamic data source that is connected with the object.

  • Variables: variables which are used as object content source, or variables which store the Edit field object content.

  • Databases: database values which are used as object content. The object may also be used for adding or editing the database content.

Settings

Settings tab contains two editable properties:

  • Automatically move focus to next control: another object on a form gets focus right after the Edit Field receives a value of certain length. Define the length of the value that moves focus using Limit length in Input rules of the variable.

    Note

    Edit Field must be connected to a variable. Length of the connected variable value must be limited.

    The order in which focus moves from one object to another is defined in Form Properties > Tab Order.

  • Password field: makes the in Edit Field characters invisible. The characters are masked with asterisks.

  • Spell checking: marks incorrectly spelled words when the form is run. Language is defined by your currently selected keyboard. The selection of available languages depends on your operating system.

  • Right to left text flow enabled (RTL): allows you to type content using right-to-left scripts such as Arabic or Hebrew. When enabled, this setting right aligns object content and appends letters from RTL scripts to the left. If you are using letters from left-to-right scripts or any other characters, the content remains right aligned, but the setting appends these letters and characters to the right.

Tip

Edit Field must be connected to a data source and must have a limited length defined.

Style

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events for edit field object are:

  • On Focus: action is run when focus is set on the object.

  • On Exit: action is run when focus moves to another object.

  • On Change: action is run when a change in the Edit Field object occurs.

General

Memo Field

Memo field object is used for inserting textual content in multiple lines.

Source

Connected data source is the dynamic data source that is connected with the object.

  • Variables: variables which are used as object content source, or variables which store the object content.

  • Databases: database values which are used as object content. The object may also be used for adding or editing the database content.

Settings

Settings group contains two editable properties.

  • Automatically move focus to next control: another object on a form gets focus right after the Memo Field receives a value of certain length. Define the length of the value that moves focus using Limit length in Input rules of the variable.

    Note

    Edit Field must be connected to a variable. Length of the connected variable value must be limited.

    The order in which focus moves from one object to another is defined in Form Properties > Tab Order.

  • Password field option makes the characters in this edit field invisible. They are masked with asterisks.

  • Spell checking: marks incorrectly spelled words when the form is run. Language is defined by your currently selected keyboard. The selection of available languages depends on your operating system.

  • Right to left text flow enabled (RTL): allows you to type content using right-to-left scripts such as Arabic or Hebrew. When enabled, this setting right aligns object content and appends letters from RTL scripts to the left. If you are using letters from left-to-right scripts or any other characters, the content remains right aligned, but the setting appends these letters and characters to the right.

Style

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events for memo field object are:

  • On Focus: action is run when focus is set on the object.

  • On Exit: action is run when focus moves to another object.

  • On Change: action is run when a change in the Edit Field object occurs.

General

Combo Box

Combo box is used as an object for user input. Its role is to let the user select an option from a dropdown list or to add a custom value to the list.

Source

Connected data source is the dynamic data source that is connected with the object.

  • Variables: variables which are used as object content source, or variables which store the selected value in Combo box object.

  • Databases: database values which are used as selectable Combo box values. The object may also be used for adding or editing the database content.

Settings

Style

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events are:

  • On Focus: action is run when focus is set on the object.

  • On Exit: action is run when focus moves to another object.

  • On Change: action is run when a change in the Edit Field object occurs.

General

Tip

With enabled read-only option, combo box behaves as a regular dropdown list.

List Box

List box serves as a user input object. Its role is to let the user select a predefined option from a list.

Tip

Unlike Combo box, List Box does not allow inserting custom values.

Source

Connected data source is the dynamic data source that is connected with the object.

  • Variables: variables which are used as List box object content source, or variables which store the selected value in List box object.

  • Databases: database which stores the values selected in List box object.

Settings

Settings tab defines object content editing specifics and displaying of values.

Allow duplicates allows duplicated values appear on the dropdown list.

Is sorted sorts the list of elements in ascending order. Use case sensitive sort additionally determines if the letter case should affect the sorting order or not.

Values group of settings defines which elements are going to be listed in the List box object:

  • Items source: defines the source for listed items.

    • Custom values: static user-defined values.

    • Installed printers: list of installed printers.

    • Database field: retrieved values from a connected database.

      • Field: selection of connected database field to retrieve the content from.

      • Use another field for connected data source option: connects another database field to the connected data source. The Values content list still displays the Field values, but the connected data source receives the selected value from a field in Value field.

        Example 63. Example:

        Field: ObjectField1

        Value field: ObjectField2

        Connected data source: Variable1

        Result:

        Object connected to Variable1 displays the content from ObjectField1 and sends the content from ObjectField2 to the Variable1.


      • Value field: selects the database field that is sent to the object's Connected data source and displayed as its content.

    • File names: lists all files in the selected directory.

      • Directory: defines the source folder for files to be listed.

      • File mask: specifies the filter for selecting the listed files.

        Example:

        *.* lists all files

        *.nlbl lists only files with .nlbl extension.

        t*.nlbl lists files that start with "t" and have the extension .nlbl.

      • Show the file path: entire file path is displayed on the list of files.

      • Show the file extension: file extension is displayed on the list of files.

    • Font names: lists the installed fonts.

    • Labels in solutions: lists all labels within the solution.

    • Edit: converts other item sources into a custom values item source.

    • Values content list: displays the current object content.

    • Set as default: turns the currently active selection into a default value.

      Tip

      Default value is a value that is automatically selected when the form is run.

Note

All values except for custom values are populated when the form is run. The values displayed at design time are sample values retrieved from the current computer.

Style

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events are:

  • On Focus: action is run when focus is set on the object.

  • On Exit: action is run when focus moves to another object.

  • On Click: action is run on mouse click.

General

Radio Group

Use Radio Group object to allow the user to select a single item from a set of mutually exclusive items.

Source

Connected data source is the dynamic data source that is connected with the object.

  • Variables: predefined variable values which are used as Radio group object content.

  • Databases: database values which are used as Radio group object content.

Note

The down arrow object button provides direct access to dynamic data sources. Click the arrow to add a new object on the design surface and to connect it with the selected data sources simultaneously.

Settings

Settings tab defines object content editing specifics and displaying of values.

Allow duplicates allows duplicated values appear on the dropdown list.

Is sorted sorts the list elements in ascending order. Use case sensitive sort additionally determines if the letter case should affect the sorting order or not.

Values group of settings allows defining the listed elements:

  • Items source: defines the source for listed items.

    • Custom values: static user-defined values.

    • Installed printers: list of installed printers.

    • Database field: retrieved values from the connected database.

      • Field: selection of connected database field to retrieve the content from.

      • Use another field for connected data source option: connects another database field to the connected data source. The Values content list still displays the Field values, but the connected data source receives the selected value from a field in Value field.

        Example 64. Example:

        Field: ObjectField1

        Value field: ObjectField2

        Connected data source: Variable1

        Result:

        Object connected to Variable1 displays the content from ObjectField1 and sends the content from ObjectField2 to the Variable1.


      • Value field: selects the database field that is sent to the object's Connected data source and displayed as its content.

    • File names: lists all files in the selected directory.

      • Directory: defines the path from where the labels are going to be listed.

      • File mask: specifies the filter for selecting the listed files.

        Example 65. Example:

        *.* lists all files

        *.nlbl lists only files with .nlbl extension.

        t*.nlbl lists files that start with "t" and have the extension .nlbl.


      • Show the file path: entire file path is displayed on the list.

      • Show the file extension: file extension visible on the list.

    • Font names: lists the installed fonts.

    • Labels in solutions: lists all labels within the solution.

    • Edit: converts system-defined items on the Values content list into a list of custom values.

    • Values content list: displays the current object content.

    • Set as default: turns the currently active selection into a default value.

    Tip

    Default value is a value that is automatically selected when the form is run.

Note

All values except for custom values are populated when the form is run. The values displayed at design time are sample values retrieved from the current computer.

Style

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events are:

  • On Focus: action is run when focus is set on the object.

  • On Exit: action is run when focus moves to another object.

  • On Click: action is run on mouse click.

General

Checkbox

Checkbox is a form object that allows the user to make a binary choice – select or deselect the listed options.

Source

Source tab defines data sources, data types, values, and prompting rules.

Connected data source is the dynamic data source that is connected with the object.

  • Variables: variables which stores the selected checkbox value.

  • Databases: database which stores the selected checkbox value.

Settings

Settings tab defines specifics for object content editing and displaying of values.

checkbox text is a field for entering the checkbox text.

  • Checked: default checkbox state (selected/cleared) when the form is run.

  • Word wrap: text is divided into multiple lines to make sure it does exceed the checkbox width.

State values is the state which is stored in the connected variable's value.

  • Checked value: by default set to "True". Checked option confirms the assigned action.

  • Unchecked value by default set to "False". Checked option rejects the assigned action.

    Tip

    Checked and Unchecked values are customizable. These values can be defined manually or dynamically using a Data source.

Style

Style tab defines visual appearance of an object.

Background color defines the object background color.

  • Transparent: transparent object background.

Font color defines the font and underline colors.

Font selects the typeface.

The font may appear Bold, Italic, Underlined or as a Strikethrough text.

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available events are:

  • On Focus: action is run when focus is set on the object.

  • On Exit: action is run when focus moves to another object.

  • On Click: action is run on mouse click.

General

Database Table

Database Table object displays the selected database table on a form. Such table allows searching, filtering and selecting the connected database tables and records.

Settings

Settings tab allows selecting the connected database table.

Table group displays the currently used (active) database table. Select the database table which should be displayed in the Database table object.

Tip

Add a database by running the Database wizard or select it from the databases that have been defined using the Dynamic Data Manager.

  • Enable multiple row selection allows selecting multiple database records simultaneously.

    • Enable selection with checkbox: added selection checkbox in front of database records.

      Tip

      This option enhances the use of touch screen devices. Selection of multiple records becomes more user-friendly.

  • Show search controls option shows/hides the database search commands on the form.

    • Database search field allows you to enter search strings. If a match is found in the connected database table, the matching row is highlighted. To clear the database search field, click the erase sign which appears in the field after you enter the string.

    • Database field selector allows you to choose the fields in which the strings should be searched for. By default, all fields are selected. Check or clear the fields using the drop down list.

      Note

      If a match is found, the currently selected database row is set to the first row that matches the search criteria.

      Note

      If the queried database field is connected to another form object, this object displays the matching row data.

    • Find button starts the search.

  • Store selected row number to variable: stores the number of the selected table row to a variable.

    Tip

    If multiple rows are selected, variable stores the number of the last selected row.

Columns group allows managing the connected database table columns.

  • Style: button opens the Column style dialog window. This dialog enables the user to customize the visual appearance of a selected table column or cell.

  • Move up: button places the selected record one position higher.

  • Move down: button places the selected record one position lower.

  • Field alias: column displays the name of the table field as defined in the source database.

  • Caption: allows defining a custom column name.

  • Width: defines table column width.

  • Visible: makes the table column visible or hidden on the form.

  • Variable: variable which stores the value of a selected database record.

Note

Visibility of columns can also be defined when the form is run. Show or hide table columns using the Set object property action. Below is an example of how the form should be configured.

Example 66. Example:

  1. Add Database Table object to the form and connect it to a database.

  2. Add Button object to the form.

  3. Configure the added Button object to trigger the Set object property action with a click. Set the On click event as trigger.

    • Go to Button properties > Events tab.

    • Click Actions ... to configure the Set object property action.

      • Set Object name: name of Database Table form object you wish to hide some of the columns.

      • Select the Property: Visible columns.

      • Define Value: insert comma-separated names of table columns. Use the “ character if value name includes a comma.

  4. Run the form.

  5. Click the button. Only selected columns are now visible in the table.


Style

Style tab defines visual appearance of the Database Object table.

  • Alignment: alignment of table header row.

  • Background color: table background color.

  • Font color: table text font color.

  • Font: table text typeface and its properties (Bold, Italic and size).

Cell style group defines visual appearance of a cell in a database table.

  • Alignment: table cell content alignment.

  • Background color: cell background color.

  • Font color: cell font and underline colors.

Font group defines the cell text font and its properties (Bold, Italic and size).

Position

Events

Events tab defines the actions that are run by various object-related events.

Tip

See section Actions Editor to read more about this powerful Designer tool.

Available event for Database Table object is:

  • On selection change: action is run on form startup and/or after a row (or multiple rows) is selected or deselected in the table.

General

General tab defines the object and defines object settings for form startup.

Name sets a unique object ID. It is used for object referencing when defining functions, variables, scripts, etc.

Description allows adding notes and annotations for an object.

Hint helps the form users by briefly explaining why or how to use the selected object.

Initial state on form setup group defines the object behavior while editing and printing a form:

  • Enabled: defines if the object is going to be active (editable) on the print form or not.

    • Condition: an object is enabled if the result of the given condition is "True".

  • Read-only: prevents connected data source input and content editing.

    Tip

    Read-only becomes enabled if the selected database is a "real" database. Excel database cannot be edited and is therefore read-only by definition.

  • Visible: defines if the selected object is going to appear on the form or not.

    • Condition: an object is visible if the result of the given condition is "True".

Column Style Dialog

Column style dialog allows defining style-related table properties of the Database Table object.

Column style group defines visual appearance of table column.

  • Override table default style: enables style customization of the selected column.

  • Alignment: defines header row content alignment.

  • Background color: defines column background color. Transparent makes the column background invisible.

  • Font color: specifies the font color.

  • Font: allows specifying the typeface and its properties: Size, Bold and Italic.

Cell style group defines visual appearance of individual cells.

  • Override table default style: enables style customization of the selected cell.

  • Background color: defines the cell background color. Transparent makes the cell background invisible.

  • Font color: specifies font color.

  • Font: allows specifying font type and its properties: Size, Bold and Italic.

Database Navigator

Database Navigator object is a tool for navigating, adding and deleting the database records on a form.

Settings

Table defines the database table which should be navigated using the Database navigator object.

Tip

Add a database by running the Database wizard or select it from the databases that have been defined using the Dynamic Data Manager dialog.

Database navigator commands differ according to the initial state of the selected database table on form startup: Read-and-Write or Read-only. The first one allows editing action, whereas the second one prevents the user from making any changes on the connected database.

Read-and-Write mode commands are (from left to right):

UUID-b38fb572-3319-241b-d657-e6dfd5710d64.png
  • First record: places you on the first record of the connected database table.

  • Prior record: places you one record back.

  • Next record: places you one record further.

  • Last record: places you on the last record of the connected database table.

  • Insert record: inserts a new record in the connected database table.

  • Delete records: deletes a record in the connected database table.

  • Post edit: posts the changed record in the connected database table.

  • Cancel edit: cancels the record editing and discard any changes done.

  • Refresh data: refreshes the displayed data in the connected database table.

Read-only mode includes a reduced set of commands:

UUID-65ff5233-cc24-4cfe-d322-9ab9229d9199.png
  • First record: places you on the first record of the connected database table.

  • Prior record: places you one record back.

  • Next record: places you one record further.

  • Last record: places you on the last record of the connected database table.

  • Refresh data: refreshes the displayed data in the connected database table.

Position

General

Database Search

Database Search object is a search tool for databases which are connected to form objects.

UUID-0214e728-172b-132e-5655-1bdce384a03e.png
  • Database search field allows you to enter a search string. If a match is found in the connected database table, the matching row is highlighted.

    Note

    If a match is found, the currently selected database row is set to the first row that matches the search criteria.

    Note

    If the queried database field is connected to another form object, this object displays the matching row data.

  • Find button starts the search.

  • Database field menu allows you to select the fields in which the strings should be searched for. By default, the table's first field is selected.

Settings

Table defines the database to be searched.

Tip

Add a database by running the Database wizard or select it from the databases that have been defined using the Dynamic Data Manager dialog.

  • Search on every keypress (incremental search): highlights and selects the row(s) with matching character sequence after each entered character.

  • Select record only when exact match is found: highlights and selects the row(s) with a complete sequence of characters that matches the entered search term.

Style

Style tab defines visual appearance of an object.

Background color defines the object background color.

  • Transparent: transparent object background.

Font color defines the font and underline colors.

Font selects the typeface.

The font may appear Bold, Italic, Underlined or as a Strikethrough text.

Position

General

Label Preview

Label Preview object offers live print preview with defined print parameters for the selected label.

Settings

Label specifies the label file whose preview is displayed in the object.

Tip

Click New label to create a new label within the solution. If the label is not supposed to be a part of the solution, locate it using the Browse button. The label can also be defined dynamically using a connected data source.

Printer defines the printer whose settings are used for generating the preview.

Tip

If no other printer is defined, the printer defined for the active label is used. The printer can also be defined dynamically using a connected data source.

Content group defines what the Label Preview includes:

  • Show a single label: preview of label's printable area.

  • Show all labels on the page: preview of the entire page containing the labels.

Note

This option is useful when Labels Across is in use or when previewing the label margins.

Quantity group defines the number of previewed labels.

  • Labels: the number of label to be displayed in the Label Preview.

  • All (unlimited quantity): prints the entire range of labels depending on the data.

Number of skipped labels defines the numbers of labels to be skipped on the first page of preview.

Tip

This option is used with Labels Across.

Identical copies per label defines the number of copies for each label in the preview.

Number of label sets specifies how many times the entire label preview should repeat.

Label Side defines the side of the label to be displayed in the preview.

  • Show front side: front side of the label appears in the preview.

  • Show back side: back side of the label (if available) appears in the preview.

Note

If both options are selected, both label sides appear on the preview.

Style

Style tab defines visual appearance of an object.

  • Background color: Label Preview background color.

  • Transparent: transparent object background.

  • Show border: Label Preview object border visible.

  • Border color: Label Preview border color.

  • Border width: Label Preview border width.

Position

Events

General

Data Initialization

Data Initialization object is a panel for assigning values to variables that are used on the selected label that belongs to a solution.

Settings

Label selects the label that is going to be used with Data Initialization object.

Tip

If the label is not a part of the solution, it can be located using the Browse button. The label can also be defined dynamically using a connected Data source.

  • Place focus on Data Initialization when label changes: sets focus to the Data Initialization table when the selected label changes. This makes the table instantly editable.

  • Show selection of labels from the solution: adds a dropdown list that the enables the user to select a label from those that are included in the solution.

    Tip

    This dropdown list allows the user to change the active label that is going to be printed. If this option remains unchecked, select the label by setting the Label data source.

Table Initialization group enables selection of records in the connected database.

Note

A separate tab is added for each database table that is connected to a label.

Columns group sets the width of data initialization table and its Prompt, Value and Formatted value columns.

  • Auto-size: automatic column resizing.

  • Show fomatted value: makes the Formatted value column appear in the object table when the form is run.

Advanced

The Data Initialization object sets variable values for your solutions. Labels then print with these values.

  • Allow loading variable values: If you enable this option, you can load variable values from files stored on your computer after you run the form. NiceLabel 10 automatically initializes the variables on your label or form with values from the selected file.

    Files with variable values have ".defaults" or ".values" extensions. The two supported variable formats are:

    • XML:

      <variables>
          <variable name="var1">variable1</variable>
          <variable name="var2">variable2</variable>
      </variables>
    • name-value:

      var1=variable1
      var2=variable2

    With the Allow loading variable values option enabled, the active form displays the Load... icon. Click Load... to locate and load variable values for your forms.

    Note

    Three rules apply to loading variable values on forms:

    1. If the variable does not exist in the file, the original value remains unchanged on the printed label.

    2. If the variable file contains variables that are not defined on the label, NiceLabel 10 ignores these variables.

    3. If a value from the variable file is not valid, the original variable value remains unchanged. Error message appears.

  • The Data Initialization object lists all variables used on labels in your solution by default. To exclude specific variables from the Data Initialization object, select Limit visibility of variables.

    Names of variables to show: Type names of variables you wish to keep visible in the Data Initialization object. Separate names of multiple variables with commas.

Example 67. Example:

You want to limit variable visibility on sample labels.

Your sample GS1-128 label uses the following variables:

Product_name

SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code)

Count of Trade Items

Best Before Date

Batch or Lot number

GTIN of Contained Trade Items

You decide to use the Data Initialization object to make only two variable values editable:

Product_name

Best Before Date

  1. Create a new label.

  2. Open label GS1-128 from samples (go to Help > Sample Files > Labels).

  3. Save the label as a solution file (.nsln). This allows you to start adding forms in the same document.

  4. Add a new blank form.

  5. Select the label in Data Initialization object Properties > Settings > Label.

  6. Data Initialization object lets you edit all label variable values by default:

    UUID-28673293-bcfb-cc4a-41ef-17e16c46a9ce.png
  7. To limit editing of variable values to only Product_name and Best Before Date, select Limit visibility of variables.

  8. Type variable names under Names of variables to show.

    UUID-6f58b75b-41bb-9386-93ac-1f55cad99524.png
  9. Run the form. Data Initialization object only shows variables Product_name and Best Before Date.

    UUID-07ec2ced-0380-fef1-4e3e-33ca81e931cb.png

Style

Position

General

Preparing Variable Values for NiceLabel Automation

In combination with NiceLabel Automation, Designer allows you to use the values from Data Initialization object to trigger automated label printing, and to define the content of printed labels.

To enable such use of values that you type into the Data Initialization object, you must configure your solution to:

  1. Store the variable values from the Data Initialization object in a new dedicated variable.

  2. Forward the stored content of this dedicated variable to NiceLabel Automation.

To make the variable values from your solution available for NiceLabel Automation:

  1. Add a new variable to your solution.

  2. Rename the added variable to [YourDataInitializationObjectName]_VariableValues. [YourDataInitializationObjectName] is the name of your Data Initialization object.

    • The variable contains values from the data initialization object in XML format.

  3. Use the variable in NiceLabel Automation HTTP trigger.

    Example 68. Example:

    1. Use an object on your form (e.g. button) to create an HTTP request. When configuring the action in Designer, type in the variable name ([YourDataInitializationObjectName]_VariableValues) under Content > Data:.

    2. When configuring the HTTP Server trigger in Automation Builder, enable the Save data received by the trigger to file option under Settings > Save Received Data. Define the file name and location (e.g. .\tmp.txt).

    3. Deploy the Automation configuration. After the trigger fires, the variable values from your solution are saved in the specified file. The file content is:

      <Variables>
      <variable name="Variable1" >xx</variable>
      <variable name="Variable2" >yy</variable>
      </Variables>

    Variables named Variable 1 and Variable 2 belong to the label that is selected for your Data Initialization object.


Note

Values of internal and global variables cannot be stored in the XML file.

Printer Settings

Printer Settings object enables adjusting printing speed and darkness on a form.

Note

The object overrides the currently defined driver settings – printing within the active solution uses properties as defined using this object.

Settings

Label specifies the label file to be used with Printer Settings object.

Tip

If the label is not a part of the solution, it can be located using the Browse button. The label can also be defined dynamically using a connected Data source.

Printer defines the printer whose settings are used.

Tip

If no other printer is defined, the printer defined for the active label is used. The printer can also be defined dynamically using a connected Data source.

Show speed settings sets printing speed setting availability.

Show darkness settings sets printing darkness setting availability.

Style

Style tab defines visual appearance of an object.

Background color defines the object background color.

  • Transparent: transparent object background.

Font color defines the font and underline colors.

Font selects the typeface.

The font may appear Bold, Italic, Underlined or as a Strikethrough text.

Position

General

Print Quantity

Print Quantity object defines the number of labels (or pages of labels) to be printed.

Settings

Label specifies the label file to be used with Print Quantity object.

Print Quantity is defined using a connected variable value.

Tip

The variable must be used as the quantity that is defined for the print action.

Show additional settings group allows defining the following properties:

  • Number of skipped labels variable: assigns the selected variable a number of labels to be skipped on first page.

    Note

    When defining the number of skipped labels, duplicates, or label sets, a new window appears. This window allows the user to enter the values.

    Tip

    This option is used with Labels Across.

  • Identical copies per label variable: assigns the selected variable a number of copies for each label in a print job.

  • Number of label sets variable: assigns the selected variable a value that specifies how many times the entire label printing process should repeat.

Warning

At least one variable must be defined when the Show additional settings option is enabled.

Style

Style tab defines visual appearance of an object.

Background color defines the object background color.

  • Transparent: transparent object background.

Font color defines the font and underline colors.

Font selects the typeface.

The font may appear Bold, Italic, Underlined or as a Strikethrough text.

Position

General

Run Form

To make the form operable, you have to switch its mode from design to run. When you are done with designing a form, run the form to activate it or to test if everything works as expected.

There are multiple ways to run a form.

  • Click Run form in the Home tab ribbon – Action group

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  • Press Ctrl+D. This runs the startup form.

    Note

    Startup form is the default form that runs after you open your solution.

  • Press Ctrl+R. This runs the form that you are currently editing.

  • Use right-click menu in the Solution manager.

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The form in rune mode opens in a separate window. To continue designing it, close the form window and continue with editing.

Note

You can only return back to design mode if the run mode was started directly from Designer. Users that open the form using NiceLabel Print in can only use the form in run mode and cannot edit it.

Form Debugger

Form Debugger is a form testing, reviewing, and troubleshooting tool. To open the Form Debugger, create/open a solution, run a form, and press Ctrl + Shift + F12.

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Data sources area provides an overview of the data sources which are used by form objects.

  • Category: sorts data source categories (database fields, variables, functions). By default, the connected data sources are grouped by this column.

  • Name: data source name.

  • Value (string): string representation of data source value. This field is editable.

Actions area lists the currently executing (or last executed) set of actions. The currently executing action is marked with green color. After an action is executed, the area also displays its execution time.

  • Step-by-step execution: makes the Form Debugger stop before an action is executed.

  • Step button: executes an action that the Form Debugger has stopped at.

  • Event type: allows you to filter the events according to their origin. The events can be either started by:

    • user action (click, enter the object, mouse hover, etc.)

    • automatically (using timer)

Action execution log field lists the details of executed actions. These actions are listed using the following format: [date time] action name value/string.

Datasets lists the tables loaded by form. Select a table to display the data it contains.

Note

Form Debugger is not available in production environments. It can only be run during the solution development with enabled have read/write access to the solution file.

Tip

Form Debugger also allows you to debug the form startup actions. To do so, run the debugger while designing the form. Press Crtl + Shift + R. The form and Form Debugger will open simultaneously.