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List boxes are used when you want to give the user the opportunity to pick multiple options within a field. For instance here, we've been asked to help name a new line of flavored oils. If I click on the list, this little scrollbar shows up and I can see what my options are. Now let's see, do I like any of these? HerbOlive, I sort of like that. What if I want to pick another one? Well, the caption up here tells me that on the PC I can Ctrl+Click my selections, on the Mac I can Command+Click. So I am going to go down here and I think I sort of like Modern Olive, so I'll Ctrl+Click that.
There isn't a submit button on this form, but if there were when I submit this data it's going to include both of those choices. So how do you create a list box? I am going to go to the start file, go to Tools>Edit, the auto recognition feature raise its head and says, you want me to help? Nope. So I am going to make my own list box. So if I just click-and-drag to create my rectangular field and I am going to name it names, but then I am going to go right to All Properties, so that I can control the way it looks, and the entries in that field.
Under Appearance, I don't want to cover up what's underneath. So I am going to change that to No Color. The Options tab is where all the work takes place. This is where you enter the items that are going to show up in the list. So I am going to put in Herb Olive and then click the Add button. If I want to enter another option, it's going to be let's say Modern Olive. Now I might want to specify an Export Value. So the easy way to do that of course is to just copy and paste and then you have to hit Add every time and that's something you will forget as you start making list boxes, but you will remember the next time.
And my last choice, because I don't want you too carried away with this is Beyond the Olive and again I am going to copy and paste and click Add. You must remember to click Add. I also had to remember to check Multiple selections so that they can choose multiple selections here. A couple things are going that aren't exactly obvious. Here is one of them. Select an item in the list and make it the default choice. It's easy to forget that; that last item that you've added is selected when you hit Close. That means that's what's going to show up by default.
Something else you might want to do is make this list alphabetical. If I check Sort items here, notice that now that list is alphabetical. It's sort of an odd size feel. I need for my text to be big enough that you don't see two options at once. I think, I am going to go back and go to my Appearance and I am going to increase my text Size, 14 is almost it. 18, I think 18 might work. One of the things I suggest you do in Options; since whatever is chosen is like the default selection, you don't want people to accidentally choose something they didn't mean to.
So I suggest that you put sort of the non-entry in there that actually acts as a label. So I am going to just type Choose one... and add that. It's not an olive oil flavor; it's a label. I want to move it up to the top, so it's the first thing in the list, but as long as Sort items is checked, I can't do that. So I uncheck Sort items, choose, Choose one, and then hit Up. Now it's at the top of the list and because it's selected as I exit this dialog, it's what's going to show up by default in the field.
So when I click close, let's test, go to Close Form Editing, switch to the Hand Tool. When you click on the field, it sort of comes to life, and this little scrollbar shows up, and now as I go through, if I want to choose Herb Olive, and then maybe also choose Modern Olive, remember I hold down Ctrl or Command and there we go. So that's how list boxes work.
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