27 Mar 2017: see User-Friendly Excel Exports, part 6 for an updated approach.
Colleagues and family members are starting to express concern at my obsessive refusal to bring this series to a close. But we’re getting close. Really. In fact, today, we’re going to look at two cool tricks (and one work around) which are utilized in this article’s demo file, excel exports, part 4, but that could prove useful in a variety of other situations. They are:
- Dwindling Value Lists
- Using a variable rather than a hard-coded file reference as an import source
- Adapting the translation table technique to work with Anchor/Buoy (or any other multiple-table-occurrence-group design philosophy)
Dwindling Value Lists
I’m just going to touch briefly on these today because they are fully deserving of their own topic, but the technique is ideally suited to the task at hand. We want the user to be able to flexibly pick “fields” (actually pseudo-fields, as per earlier articles in this series) to be exported, assigning them to columns A, B, C, etc.
Once a field has been assigned to a particular column, we really don’t need or want to see it in the list of choices any more, do we? Ideally the value list should “dwindle” (shrink) as items are chosen, to make things clearer for the user. (You will note that in the above screen shot, the items in columns A through E, having already been assigned, do not appear in the pop-up menu.)