Field Formatting Editor

If you have chosen to Create a new Catalog Number or Accession Number format from either the Specify Setup Wizard or Configuration window in Specify you are now seeing the Field Formatting Editor.

Field Formatting Editor


Field Formatting Editor

A format allows a field to include sections for different data, such as static text, a date or an incremented number.

The table, field and field length information is located on the top left.

  • Name is used within the application files. It should be text only and will not be displayed to the user anywhere else in the application.
  • Title will be displayed in any application format lists that are presented to the user.
  • Reset Counter Every Year will become enabled when a Numeric section that 'Is Incremented' is added to the format (this is explained in more detail in the following text). Checking this box will start a new count each year.

A format can be made up of one or many sections.

1. Begin creating a format by clicking the add(add) button on the right side of the editor to add a section.

2. Next, choose the type of section to add.


Field Format Section Types

  • Numeric may only be numbers and can be auto incremented by checking the 'Is Incrementer' box and using Auto Numbering when entering data. When auto numbering Specify will start incrementing from the highest number present for the section within the database. A numeric section can be set between 1 and 10 characters in length. To start a new count for each year, check the Restart counter every year box.

    It is important to remember that different field formats are implemented at different levels and that formats that include a section that 'Is Incremented' will include a numbering scheme that may be shared. For instance, an Accession number can be implemented at either an Institution or Division level. An Accession number implemented at a Division level configured with 'Is Incrementer' checked will increment in all collections and disciplines for that division. In other words, they share a numbering scheme.

    Collection Numbers are implemented at a Collection level and increment automatically for single collections only. Members that wish to increment Collection Numbers between more than one collection should contact the Specify staff at for help setting that paramater.

  • Alphanumeric may use both alphabetic characters a through z and numbers. A length field will appear which allows the section to be set between 1 and 10 characters in length.
  • Alpha may only be alphabetic characters a through z. A length field will appear which allows the section to be set between 1 and 10 characters in length.
  • Separator refers to a character that separates the various sections. Separator choices include - . / ' ' _ and are one character in length.
  • Year will automatically add the current year on a form, but can be edited.
  • Any char(acter) allows any alphabetic characters a through z, any number or any other keyboard character. A length field will appear which allows the section to be set between 1 and 10 characters in length.
  • Constant refers to any section that will remain constant and is not editable on a form. This type of section is useful when an institution code is part of a format. Type the characters for the constant in the text field labeled Text located under the Type box.


3. Once the section information is configured correctly add it to the format by clicking the up arrow button.

The section will appear in the window with the appropriate information in each of the columns.

  • Type refers to the Type of section that was chosen from the pick list.
  • Value shows the character used to represent the segment in the Sample at the bottom of the window.
  • Size refers to the number of characters chosen for the section. This is not applicable to the Separator or Year section types.
  • Is By Year refers only the Year section type.
  • Is Incrementer refers only to the Numeric section type that is incremented. On the Wizard's Collection Number window, it will display in the Is Numeric section.

4. Reorder sections by clicking the reorder up (reorder up) and reorder down (reorder down) buttons on the right side of the editor.

5. Delete unwanted sections by clicking the delete (delete) button.

6. Continue adding sections until the format is complete and displays correctly in the Sample window at the bottom of the editor.

Note: When manually entering a formatted number field, it is paramount that numbers be padded with 0's. For example, if 3 numbers are available in a numbering scheme (###) and the desired number is 1, then 001 must be entered. If only 1 is entered, then Specify will read this as 100. This will produce incorrect results in searches, queries and reports.