Designing a form that presents a dialog box

About this task

To help users to fill out documents, create a custom dialog box that prompts for specific input. You can do this by using the @DialogBox function or LotusScript®. Using @DialogBox requires two forms: one, the dialog form, has a layout region that contains fields, text, and graphics, and looks like a dialog box; the other, the host form, contains a button that uses @DialogBox to display the dialog form. The two forms contain shared fields, and when users enter field values in the dialog form, the values are shared with fields on the host form that have the same names. For example, a host form called "Memo" has a button that uses @DialogBox to bring up the dialog form called "Memo Options." Both forms have a field called "Comments." Text entered into the Comments field in the Memo Options form also appears in the Comments field in the Memo document.

When you use @DialogBox, all values entered in the dialog box are stored in the document created with the host form and can be seen in its Document Properties box even if the fields do not appear on the host form. If the keyword [NoNewFields] is used with the @DialogBox function, the fields that are on both the host form and the dialog form will be updated when the dialog form is saved or refreshed. If [NoFieldUpdate] is used, no fields or field values from the dialog box form will be updated on the host form.

Layout regions are supported in Notes® applications only.


  1. Open or create the dialog form.
  2. Choose Create - Layout Region - New Layout Region.
  3. Resize the layout region to fit the dialog box you want to create.
  4. Choose Design - Layout Properties.
  5. Deselect "Show border" and select "3D style."
  6. Click the layout region and then create the graphics, text, and fields for the dialog box.
  7. Close and save the form.
  8. Double-click the host form that will display the @DialogBox button.
  9. Place the cursor where you want to add the button, and choose Create - Hotspot - Button.
  10. On the Display tab, add a label and width for the button.
  11. In the Programmer's pane, click Formula, and write a formula using @DialogBox. Include the name of the dialog form.


For information on using @Dialogbox, see the Domino® Designer Programming Guide.

Guidelines for designing a form that presents a dialog box

About this task

To match the Notes® user interface as closely as possible, follow these guidelines:

  • For the dialog form, use a layout region with the 3D property selected.
  • In the @DialogBox formula, include the [AutoVertFit] and [AutoHorzFit] options to size the dialog box to fit the layout region.
  • Use 9 point Helvetica for static text, fields, and buttons.
  • Place static text labels before the fields and end them with a colon (for example, Name:).
  • Place buttons at the end of forms.
  • To arrange choices horizontally, use the multi-column display option with radio button and check box field; use None for the frame option so choices blend with the dialog box background.
  • For button text with multiple words, use initial capital letters. Use ellipses for buttons that lead to another dialog box or task -- for example, "Show Details..."