Generating choices for lists

About this task

When you are defining a list field, choose one of these options on the Control tab of the Field Properties box for generating the list.

Note that only the Dialog list type contains all of the following options. The Checkbox, Radio button, Listbox and Combobox types contain only the first two of the following options.

List field option


Enter choices (one per line)

Type a list of choices in the edit box. Select Sort to display the list in alphanumeric order. Click the green check mark to save your entries. Choices can contain letters, numbers, and all punctuation characters except commas.

Use formula for choices

Type a formula in the formula window to generate a list of choices. Click the green check mark to save your entries.

Use Address dialog for choices

This option displays the Names dialog box so users can select names from a Personal Address Book or Domino® Directory. Click "Look up names as each character is entered" to help users fill in a name quickly. Notes® looks up a match for the typed letters in the open Address Book or directory.

Use Access Control list for choices

This option brings up a list of people, servers, groups, and roles in the access control list for the database.

Use View dialog for choices

This option brings up a dialog box containing entries from a column in a view. Select the database to look up, select a view, and select a column number.

Use View dialog for choices

About this task

Looking up values in a view lets you retrieve data from databases. This is convenient for displaying choices that change, such as customer names, sales territories, and job titles.

View lookups provide the following benefits:

  • Non-designers can maintain choices without having access to the rest of the database design.
  • Designers can avoid hard-coding choices into fields. This makes verification and maintenance easier.
  • Designers can hide the design of the database without affecting maintenance of choices.
  • Designers or administrators can customize the application or conveniently translate lookup information to other languages.
  • Users can review choices and codes more conveniently from outside the form or application.
Note: Use lookups sparingly because they adversely affect the performance of the application.

To retrieve information from Domino® or non-Domino databases you can use @DbColumn and @DbLookup formulas instead of using a View dialog lookup.

Examples: Creating a field to display a list of choices

About this task

You want to make it easy for users to include a product number when they fill out a Purchase Request. Create an editable Dialog List field named ProductNumber and use the "Use View Dialog for choices" property to generate choices.

You select the Inventory Database, the By Product Number view, and Column 1, where product numbers are listed.

Creating a formula-generated list

About this task

A Travel Request form contains an editable Listbox field called Country that uses the following formula to show only those countries relevant to the location selected by the user:

@If(Location="Europe";"France":"Germany":"Italy":"Spain";Location="Far East";"Japan":"Singapore":"South Korea";Location="North America";"Canada":"Mexico":"United States";"")