PowerBuilder 9.0 Index Page / Application Techniques / Data Access Techniques / Chapter 15 Implementing Rich Text / Rich text and the user

Rich text and the user

All the editing tools described throughout this chapter and in the chapter on working with rich text in the PowerBuilder User's Guide can be made available to your users.

What users can do

Users can:

What you can make available to users in your code

You can program an application to allow users to:

If a RichTextEdit control shares data with a DataWindow object or DataStore, you can program:

The best way for you to prepare rich text for use in your application is to become a user yourself and edit the text in an application designed for the purpose. During execution, all the tools for text preparation are available.

What the user sees

The default view is the body text. You can also show header and footer text and a print preview.

Header and footer text For either a RichText DataWindow object or the RichTextEdit control, you can call the ShowHeadFoot function in a menu or button script. It displays the header and footer editing panels:


Call the function again to return to normal view.


The document as it would be printed The user can press ctrl+f2 to switch preview mode on and off. You can also control preview mode programmatically.

For a RichTextEdit control, call the Preview function:


For a RichText DataWindow object, set the Preview property:

dw_1.Object.DataWindow.Print.Preview = TRUE

Text elements and formatting

The user can specify formatting for:

Steps To display the property sheet for an object, the user can:

  1. Select the object. For example:

    • Drag or use editing keys to select text
    • Click on a picture
    • Set an insertion point (nothing selected) for the rich text document

  2. Right-click in the workspace and select Properties from the pop-up menu.

Steps To make settings for the paragraphs in the selection:

  1. Double-click on the ruler bar.


    Type ctrl+shift+s.

Modifying input fields

Unless you have made the rich text object display only, the user can modify the values of input fields.

Steps To modify the value of an input field:

  1. Click the input field to select it.

    The input field will flash.

  2. Press the space bar and type a new value, or right-click in the workspace and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.

    The Input Field Object property sheet displays.

  3. On the Input Field page, edit the Data Value text box.

Text formatting for input fields There are several ways to select the input field and apply text formatting. When the input field is selected, the Font page of the property sheet and the toolbar affect the text. When the input field is part of a text selection, changes affect all the text, including the input field.

The user cannot apply formatting to individual characters or words within the field. When the user selects the input field, the entire field is selected.

Inserting and deleting input fields You write scripts that let the user insert and delete input fields. The user can also copy and paste existing input fields. All copies of an input field display the same data.

Formatting keys and toolbars

When the toolbar is visible, users can use its buttons to format text in preview mode, or they can use keystrokes to format text in the workspace.

For a list of keystrokes for formatting rich text, see the chapter on working with rich text in the PowerBuilder User's Guide .