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Open Office Database Tutorials

Editing data, using forms. Editing the forms.

You may find that the database being shipped with OpenOffice (ver.2 and higher) delights you as much as it has me. This page tries to help you use it.

Forget anything you may have heard about Adabas, which came with Star Office, the commercial version of Open Office 1. The current Open Office's database, "Base", aka "ooBase", is unrelated. And remember that Open Office, including ooBase, is free! But don't let that fool you. And it's not new. Big organizations, government and civilian, are adopting it as their standard office suite... and saving million$, but still Getting The Job Done.

There's more about ooBase in the main index to this material.

This page is "browser friendly". Make your browser window as wide as you want it. The text will flow nicely for you. It is easier to read in a narrow window. With most browsers, pressing plus, minus or zero while the control key (ctrl) is held down will change the texts size. (Enlarge, reduce, restore to default, respectively.) (This is more fully explained, and there's another tip, at my Power Browsing page.)

Page contents © TK Boyd, Sheepdog Software ®, 10/10.

What's here....

This page is just a quick note about something that confounds new users of Open Office time and again. Don't feel foolish if you tripped on the issue I will address... you aren't the first.

I can't edit my data via a form.
My forms are "read-only"
The "edit form" button is greyed out / grayed out.

You've started your database. Good!

And you've made a form, for viewing and editing the data in a table. Even better! It is a Bad Practice to work directly with tables. (Although we all do it from time to time. And pay for that sloppiness, eventually.)

But you "can't" edit the data!

Are you sure? Have you tried? Or did the "read-only" in the form's title bar scare you off?

Actually, you can edit the data in the table, usng your form. (Unless there's some other problem, beyond the scope of this note.) Just try it!

The "read-only" is speaking of the form itself. You can't, at the moment, edit that. The greyed out "edit file" button might let you edit the form... if the button were not greyed out.

So how DO you edit the form?

Close the form, if you have it open.

Go back to the main ooBase main project manager window. Click on "Forms" in the left hand pane, if you haven't already done that. Right-click on the form you want to edit. Click on "edit" in the pop-up menu. Hey, presto! You are into the form, ready to edit its design.

Make whatever changes you wish to make, and then leave the "Design" mode... I'll say how in a moment. Test your changes. If all's well, you're done; if not, you can repeat the cycle.

Even when you have the form open for edit, the "Edit File" button remains greyed out. I don't know what it is for or when it is not greyed out. At least the "read-only" is gone from the title bar when you initially open the form as described a moment ago.

Turning Design Mode On and Off

What I call being able to edit the design of the form the nice people at Open Office call being in the "Design Mode". Fair enough.

As explained above, if you just open a form the easy way, you can use the form to view or edit the data in a table, but you can't change the form itself.

To change the form, to change its design, you open the form differently, by the route explained above. When you open it thus, you open it with "Design Mode" switched on. If you opened the form that way, you can switch the Design Mode on and off repeatedly.

There is a button found on many toolbars to do this. (I don't think there's a way to do it from the window's menu.)

A suitable toolbar is the Form Design toolbar. Click "View" on the menu, then "Toolbars" to see if the Form Design toolbar is turned on. The button on that which you want is an orange set-square over a ruler with a diagonal pencil. Hover over it, and the tooltip will say "Design Mode On/Off". If you need more help, see my note on the Form Controls toolbar. The "Design Mode On/Off" button occurs there, too, as button number 2 in my illustration on that page.

I hope that helped?

Editorial Philosophy

I dislike 'fancy' websites with more concern for a flashy appearance than for good content. For a pretty picture, I can go to an art gallery. Of course, an attractive site WITH content deserves praise... as long as that pretty face doesn't cost download time. In any case....

I am trying to present this material in a format which makes it easy for you to USE it. There are two aspects to that: The way it is split up, and the way it is posted. See the main index to this material for more information about the way it is split up, and the way it is posted.

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If you liked this ooBase tutorial, see the main index for information other help from the same author.

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