This General tab enables you to define the general properties of a form control. These properties differ, depending on the control type. Not all of the following properties are available for every control.

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Open context menu of a selected form element - choose Control Properties - General tab.

Open Form Design toolbar, click Control icon - General tab.


If you export the current form document to HTML format, the default control values are exported, not the current control values. Default values are determined - depending on the type of control - by the properties' Default value (for example, in text fields), Default status (for check boxes and option fields), and Default selection (for list boxes).

Acting on a record

Specifies to show or hide the action items in a selected Navigation bar control. Action items are the following: Save record, Undo, New record, Delete record, Refresh.


You can use navigation actions to design your own database navigation buttons.

The following table describes the actions that you can assign to a button:




No action occurs.

Submit form

Sends the data that is entered in other control fields of the current form to the address that is specified in Form Properties under URL.

Enter the URL into the form's data property "URL" text box when you export to a PDF file.

Reset form

Resets the settings in other control fields to the predefined defaults: Default Status, Default Selection, Default Value.

Open document / web page

Opens the URL that is specified under \<link href=\"text/shared/02/01170101.xhp\" name=\"URL\"\>\<emph\>URL\</emph\>\</link\>. You can use \<link href=\"text/shared/02/01170101.xhp\" name=\"Frame\"\>\<emph\>Frame\</emph\>\</link\> to specify the target frame.

First record

Moves the current form to the first record.

Previous record

Moves the current form to the previous record.

Next record

Moves the current form to the next record.

Last record

Moves the current form to the last record.

Save record

Saves the current record, if necessary.

Undo data entry

Reverses the changes in the current record.

New record

Moves the current form to the insert row.

Delete record

Deletes the current record.

Refresh form

Reloads the most recently saved version of the current form.

Alignment / Graphics alignment

The alignment options are left-aligned, right-aligned, and centered. These options are available for the following elements:

  1. Title of Label fields,

  2. Content of text fields,

  3. Content of table fields in the columns of a table control,

  4. Graphics or text that are used in buttons.


    The \<emph\>Alignment\</emph\> option for buttons is called \<emph\>Graphics alignment\</emph\>.


Defines where the control will be anchored.


The AutoFill function displays a list of previous entries after you start to type an entry.

Background color

A background color is available for most control fields. If you click on Background color, a list will open which enables you to select among various colors. The "Standard" option adopts the system setting. If the desired color is not listed, click the ... button to define a color in the Color dialog.


With control fields that have a frame, you can determine the border display on the form using the "Border" property. You can select among the "Without frame", "3-D look" or "Flat" options.

Border color

Specifies the border color for controls that have the "Border" property set to "flat".

Currency symbol

In a currency field, you can predefine the currency symbol by entering the character or string in the "Currency symbol" property.

Date format

With date fields you can determine the format for the date readout.


All format fields (date, time, currency, numeric) are formatted automatically in the selected format as soon as you leave them regardless of how you entered the input.

Date max.

Determines a date which can not be exceeded by another value introduced by the user.

Date min.

Determines the earliest date that a user can enter.

Decimal accuracy

With numerical and currency fields you can determine the number of digits displayed to the right of the decimal point.

Default button

The "Default button" property specifies that the corresponding button will be operated when you press the Return key. If you open the dialog or form and do not carry out any further action, the button with this property is the default button.


This property should be assigned only to a single button within the document.

When using Web page forms, you might come across this property in search masks. These are edit masks that contain a text field and a Submit type button. The search term is entered in the text field and the search is started by activating the button. If the button is defined as the default button, however, simply hit Enter after entering the search term in order to start the search.

Default date

Sets the default date.

Default scroll value

Sets the default value for the scrollbar.

Default selection

Specifies the list box entry to mark as the default entry.

For a Reset type button, the Default selection entry defines the status of the list box if the reset button is activated by the user.

For a List box that contains a value list, you can click the ... button to open the Default selection dialog.

In the \<emph\>Default selection\</emph\> dialog, select the entries that you want to mark as selected when you open the form that contains the list box.

Default status

Specifies whether an option or a check box is selected by default.

For a \<link href=\"text/shared/02/01170101.xhp\" name=\"reset type\"\>reset type\</link\> button, you can define the status of the control if the reset button is activated by the user.

For grouped option fields, the status of the group corresponding to the default setting is defined by the "Default Status" property.

Default text

Sets the default text for a text box or a combo box.

Default time

Sets the default time.

Default value

Sets the default value for the control field. For example, the default value will be entered when a form is opened.

For a Reset type button, the Default value entry defines the status of the control if the reset button is activated by the user.


Specifies the delay in milliseconds between repeating events. A repeating event occurs when you click an arrow button or the background of a scrollbar, or one of the record navigation buttons of a Navigation bar, and you keep the mouse button pressed for some time. You can enter a value followed by a valid time unit, for example, 2 s or 500 ms.


A control field with the dropdown property has an additional arrow button which opens the list of the existing form entries per mouse click. Under Line count, you can specify how many lines (or rows) should be displayed in the dropdown state. Combination fields can have the dropdown property.

Combo boxes that were inserted as columns in a table control are always dropdown as the default.

Edit mask

By specifying the character code in pattern fields, you can determine what the user can enter in the pattern field.

The length of the edit mask determines the number of the possible input positions. If the user enters characters that do not correspond to the edit mask, the input is rejected when the user leaves the field. You can enter the following characters to define the edit mask:




A text constant. This position cannot be edited. The character is displayed at the corresponding position of the Literal Mask.


The characters a-z and A-Z can be entered. Capital characters are not converted to lowercase characters.


The characters A-Z can be entered. If a lowercase letter is entered, it is automatically converted to a capital letter.


The characters a-z, A-Z, and 0-9 can be entered. Capital characters are not converted to lowercase characters.


The characters A-Z and 0-9 can be entered. If a lowercase letter is entered, it is automatically converted to a capital letter.


Only the characters 0-9 can be entered.


All printable characters can be entered.


All printable characters can be entered. If a lowercase letter is entered, it is automatically converted to a capital letter.

For the literal mask "__.__.2000", for example, define the "NNLNNLLLLL" edit mask so that the user can only enter four digits when entering a date.


If a control field has the property "Enabled" (Yes), the form user can use the control field. Otherwise (No), it is disabled and greyed out.


Specifies to show or hide the filtering and sorting items in a selected Navigation bar control. Filtering and sorting items are the following: Sort ascending, Sort descending, Sort, Automatic filter, Default filter, Apply filter, Reset filter/sort.


For control fields which have visible text or titles, select the display font that you want to use. To open the Font dialog, click the ... button. The selected font is used in control fields names and to display data in table control fields.


Specifies the format code for the control. Click the ... button to select the format code.


You can also specify the target frame to display a URL that you open when you click a button that has been assigned to the "Open document or web page" action.

If you click the field, you can select an option from the list that specifies into which frame the next document should be loaded. The following possibilities exist:




The next document is created in a new empty frame.


The next document is created in a parent frame. If no parent exists, the document is created in the same frame.


The next document is created in the same frame.


The next document is created in a top-level window, that is, in the highest frame of the hierarchy; if the current frame is already a top window, the document is created in the current frame.


The "Frame" property is relevant for HTML forms, but not for database forms.


An image button has a "Graphics" property. The "Graphics" property specifies the graphic's path and file name that you want to have displayed on the button. If you select the graphic file with the ... button, the path and file name will be automatically included in the text box.


Defines the height of the control.

Help URL

Specifies a batch label in URL spelling which refers to a help document and which can be called with the help of the control field. The help for the control field help can be opened if the focus is positioned on the control field and the user presses F1.

Help text

Provides the option of entering a help text that will be displayed as a tip on the control. The tip shows the text in user mode when the mouse is moved over the control.

For URL type buttons, the help text appears as the extended tip instead of the URL address entered under URL.

Help text

In each control field you can specify additional information or a descriptive text for the control field. This property helps the programmer to save additional information that can be used in the program code. This field can be used, for example, for variables or other evaluation parameters.

Hide selection

Specifies whether a text selection on a control remains selected when the focus is no longer on a control. If you set Hide selection to "No", the selected text remains selected when the focus is no longer on the control that contains the text.

Icon Size

Specifies whether the icons in a selected Navigation bar should be small or large.

Incr./decrement value

Determines intervals to add or subtract with each activation of the spin button control.


The "Label" property sets the label of the control field that is displayed in the form. This property determines the visible label or the column header of the data field in table control forms.

When you create a new control, the description predefined in the "Name" property is used as the default for labeling the control. The label consists of the control field name and an integer numbering the control (for example, CommandButton1). With the "Title" property, you can assign another description to the control so that the label reflects the function of the control. Change this entry in order to assign an expressive label to the control that is visible to the user.

To create a multi-line title, open the combo box using the Arrow button. You can enter a line break by pressing Shift++Enter.


The "Title" property is only used for labeling a form element in the interface visible to the user. If you work with macros, note that at runtime, a control is always addressed through the "Name" property.

Label field

Specifies the source for the label of the control. The text of the label field will be used instead of the name of a database field. For example, in the Filter Navigator, Search dialog, and as a column name in the table view.

To define one character of the label as a mnemonic, so that the user can access this control by pressing the character on the keyboard, insert a tilde (~) character in front of the character in the label.

Only the text of a group frame can be used as the label field when using radio buttons. This text applies to all of the radio buttons of the same group.

If you click on the \<emph\>...\</emph\> button next to the text field, you will see the \<emph\>Label Field Selection\</emph\> dialog. Select a label from the list.

Check the No assignment box to remove the link between a control and the assigned label field.

Large change

Specify the value to add or subtract when the user clicks next to the slider on the scrollbar.

Line count

For combo boxes with the "Dropdown" property, you can specify how many lines should be displayed in the dropdown list. With control fields which do not have the Dropdown option, the line's display will be specified by the size of the control field and the font size.

List entries

Please note the tips referring to the keyboard controls.

The predefined default list entry is entered into the \<emph\>Default selection combo\</emph\> box.


Note that the list entries entered here are only incorporated into the form if, on the \<emph\>Data\</emph\> tab under \<emph\>Type of list contents\</emph\>, the option "Valuelist" is selected.

If you do not want the list entries to be written to the database or transmitted to the recipient of the Web form, but rather assigned values that are not visible in the form, you can assign the list entries to other values in a value list. The value list is determined on the Data tab. Under Type of List Contents, select the option "Value List". Then enter the values under List Contents that are to be assigned to the corresponding visible list entries of the form. For the correct assignment, the order in the value list is relevant.


For HTML documents, a list entry entered on the \<emph\>General\</emph\> tab corresponds to the HTML tag <OPTION>; an entry of the value list entered on the \<emph\>Data\</emph\> tab under \<emph\>List content\</emph\> corresponds to the <OPTION VALUE=...> tag.

Literal mask

With masked fields you can specify a literal mask. A literal mask contains the initial values of a form, and is always visible after downloading a form. Using a character code for the Edit mask, you can determine the entries that the user can type into the masked field.


The length of the literal mask should always correspond to the length of the edit mask. If this is not the case, the edit mask is either cut off or filled with blanks up to the length of the edit mask.

Max. text length

For text and combo boxes, you can define the maximum number of characters that the user can enter. If this control field property is uncertain, the default setting will be zero.

If the control is linked to a database and the text length is to be accepted from the field definition of the database, you must not enter the text length here. The settings are only accepted from the database if the control property was not defined ("Not Defined" state).

Mouse wheel scroll

Sets whether the value changes when the user scrolls a mouse wheel. Never: No change of the value. When focused: (default) The value changes when the control has the focus and the wheel is pointing at the control and gets scrolled. Always: The value changes when the wheel is pointing at the control and gets scrolled, no matter which control has the focus.


Allows you to select more than one item in a list box.


Each control field and each form has a "Name" property through which it can be identified. The name will appear in the Form Navigator and, using the name, the control field can be referred to from a macro. The default settings already specify a name which is constructed from using the field's label and number.


If you work with macros, make sure that the names of the controls are unique.

The name is also used to group different controls that belong together functionally, such as radio buttons. To do so, give the same name to all members of the group: controls with identical names form a group. Grouped controls can be represented visually by using a Group Box.


Specifies to show or hide the navigation items in a selected Navigation bar control. Navigation items are the following: First record, Previous record, Next record, Last record.

Navigation bar

Specifies whether to display the Navigation bar on the lower border of the table control.


Specifies the horizontal or vertical orientation for a scrollbar or spin button.

Password characters

If the user enters a password, you can determine the characters that will be displayed instead of the characters typed by the user. Under Password character, enter the ASCII code of the desired character. You can use the values from 0 to 255.


The characters and their ASCII codes can be seen in the Special Characters dialog (Insert - Special Character).


Defines the X position of the control, relative to the anchor.


Defines the Y position of the control, relative to the anchor.


Specifies to show or hide the positioning items in a selected Navigation bar control. Positioning items are the following: Record label, Record position, Record count label, Record count.

Prefix symbol

Determines if the currency symbol is displayed before or after the number when using currency fields. The default setting is currency symbols are not prefixed.


Specifies whether you want the control field to appear in a document's printout.


The "Read-only" property can be assigned to all controls in which the user can enter text. If you assign the read-only property to an image field which uses graphics from a database, the user will not be able to insert new graphics into the database.

Record marker

Specifies whether the first column is displayed with row labels, in which the current record is marked by an arrow.


Specifies if the action of a control such as a spin button repeats when you click the control and hold the mouse button down.

Row height

In table controls, enter a value for the row height. If you want, you can enter a value followed by valid measurement unit, for example, 2 cm.


Resizes the image to fit the size of the control.

Scroll value max.

Specify the maximum value of a scrollbar control.

Scroll value min.

Specify the minimum value of a scrollbar control.


Adds the scrollbar type that you specify to a text box.

Small change

Specify the value to add or subtract when the user clicks the Arrow icon on the scrollbar.

Spin Button

Numerical fields, currency fields, date and time fields can be introduced as spin buttons in the form.

Strict format

You can have a format check with control fields that accept formatted contents (date, time, and so on). If the strict format function is activated (Yes), only the allowed characters are accepted. For example, in a date field, only numbers or date delimiters are accepted; all alphabet entries typed with your keyboard are ignored.


Specifies whether Check boxes and Option buttons are displayed in a 3D look (default) or a flat look.

Symbol color

Specifies the color for symbols on controls, for example the arrows on a scrollbar.

Tab order

The "Tab order" property determines the order in which the controls are focused in the form when you press the Tab key. In a form that contains more than one control, the focus moves to the next control when you press the Tab key. You can specify the order in which the focus changes with an index under "Tab order".


The "Tab order" property is not available to Hidden Controls. If you want, you can also set this property for image buttons and image controls, so that you can select these controls with the Tab key.

When creating a form, an index is automatically assigned to the control fields that are added to this form; every control field added is assigned an index increased by 1. If you change the index of a control, the indices of the other controls are updated automatically. Elements that cannot be focused ("Tabstop = No") are also assigned a value. However, these controls are skipped when using the Tab key.

You can also easily define the indices of the different controls in the Tab Order dialog.


The "Tabstop" property determines if a control field can be selected with the Tab key. The following options are available:


When using the Tab key, focusing skips the control.


The control can be selected with the Tab key.

Take Focus on Click

If you set this option to "Yes", the Push button receives the focus when you click the button.

Text lines end with

For text fields, select the line end code to be used when writing text into a database column.

Text type

Allows you to use line breaks and formatting in a control field, such as a text box or label. To manually enter a line break, press the Enter key. Select "Multi-line with formatting" to enter formatted text.


If you select the text type "Multi-line with formatting", you cannot bind this control to a database field.


This control is named "Multiline input" for a text column inside a table control.

Thousands separator

With numerical and currency fields you can determine whether thousands separators are used.

Time format

You can define the desired format for the time display.

Time max.

Determines a time which can not be exceeded by another value introduced by the user.

Time min.

Determines the minimum time that a user can enter.


Specifies if a Push button behaves as a Toggle Button. If you set Toggle to "Yes", you can switch between the "selected" and "not selected" control states when you click the button or press the Spacebar while the control has the focus. A button in the "selected" state appears "pressed in".


Specifies whether a check box can also represent ZERO values of a linked database apart from the TRUE and FALSE values. This function is only available if the database accepts three states: TRUE, FALSE and ZERO.


The "Tristate" property is only defined for database forms, not for HTML forms.


Enter the URL address for a Open document or web page button type in the URL box. The address opens when you click the button.

If you move the mouse over the button in User mode, the URL appears as the extended tip, provided that no other \<link href=\"text/shared/02/01170101.xhp\" name=\"Help text\"\>Help text\</link\> was entered.


In a hidden control, under Value, you can enter the data which is inherited by the hidden control. This data will be transferred when sending the form.

Value max.

For numerical and currency fields, you can determine the maximum value that the user can enter.

Value min.

For numerical and currency fields you can determine a minimum value to prevent the user from entering a smaller value.

Value step

You can preset the value intervals for numerical and currency spin buttons. Use the up and down arrows of the spin button to increase or decrease the value.


Defines whether the control will be visible in live mode. In design mode, the control is always visible.

Note that if this property is set to "Yes" (the default), this does not necessarily mean the control will really appear on the screen. Additional constraints are applied when calculating a control's effective visibility. For instance, a control placed in a hidden section in Writer will never be visible at all, until at least the section itself becomes visible.

If the property is set to "No", then the control will always be hidden in live mode.

Older versions up to 3.1 will silently ignore this property when reading documents which make use of it.

Visible size

Specifies the size of scrollbar thumb in "value units". A value of ("Scroll value max." minus "Scroll value min." ) / 2 would result in a thumb which occupies half of the background area.

If set to 0, then the thumb's width will equal its height.


Sets the column width in the table control field in the units that are specified in the LibreOffice module options. If you want, you can enter a value followed by a valid measurement unit, for example, 2 cm.


Defines the width of the control.

Word break

Displays text on more than one line. Allows you to use line breaks in a text box, so that you can enter more than one line of text. To manually enter a line break, press Enter.

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