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Laying out the data capture interview

Laying out the data capture interview

XpressDox creates the data capture interview for a template by analysing the template at the time it is run.  It will place data capture controls onto the form in the sequence in which it encounters them on the template, starting at the top of the body of the template, then the header and then the footer.

Sequencing the data elements

If this is not the order in which you would like to see the data elements on the data capture form, then the CaptureDataElement command can be used to force the capture of a particular data element higher in the form.   If the data element you are interested in is too high on the form, you would have to use CaptureDataElement for all those which come below it on the form.

A snippet of a template might look like this:


Dear <<Greeting>>

This would cause the data element Greeting to appear on the top of the data capture interview, rather than after the third address line.

The CaptureLater command can also be used in conjunction with all other techniques for positioning data elements on the interview.


If you have a template with many data elements, the data capture form can start to look intimidating.  There are two ways of handling a large number of data elements.  The one is the use of Headings and the other is by using Tabs.

Suppose we have an application form template which looks something like this (not a real example, a real example would be formatted nicely):

Name: <<Name>>
Address: <<Address>>
Telephone Number: <<Telephone>>
Fax Number: <<FaxNumber>>


Employer: <<EmployerName>>
Address: <<EmployerAddress>>
Telephone Number: <<EmployerPhone>>
Fax Number: <<EmployerFax>>

The data capture form could be split into two with the following two commands:

<<Heading(Name,    PERSONAL INFORMATION)>>
<<Heading(EmployerName,     EMPLOYER)>>

The first of these will put a heading with the text “PERSONAL INFORMATION” above the Name data element on the form.  The second command puts a heading above the EmployerName data element.

Note that the Heading commands can appear anywhere in the template.


The second mechanism for dividing up the data capture form is to use the Tab command.

Applying this to the above example, instead of the two Heading commands, we could use two Tab commands:


This will cause XpressDox to create two tabs on the data capture form.  The first will be labelled “Personal” and the date capture controls for the Name, Address, Telephone and FaxNumber data elements will be included on that tab.  The second tab will be labelled “Employer”, and all the data elements not mentioned for the Personal tab will be included on that second tab.

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