Advanced Training: Admin

Layout Editor FAQ

Q. "Does it matter where I put fields in the layout / what order they're in / how close together they are?"

There's really no right or wrong answer to this question, but here are a few tips:

  • Don't put the fields too close together in your layout. When viewing and editing data, if fields are placed in close proximity, data fields may end up overlapping when viewed, making it difficult to see certain areas of the layout. We recommend keeping a reasonable gap between each field. You'll of course want to inspect your layout from time to time by looking at real records in the database to ensure the best quality.
  • Don't hide or bury critical data from your user's view. For cultures that use Latin-based languages, from the moment we begin reading our eyes our trained to read from left-to-right, top-to-bottom. Well guess what, the same principles apply to creating a page layout. A good record layout will have the most critical information at the top of the form, organized in a way that the user can quickly access it. Keep the most essential information in front of the user as often as possible.
  • Remember that users can use the TAB key while entering data to move between fields—if the layout has been set up correctly. The cursor moves from left to right, top to bottom while tabbing through fields, so if you want information entered in a certain order, set the fields in the layout to follow that pattern (i.e., First name on top left, Last name on top right, followed by Account name below left, followed by phone number below right, and so on).

Q. "I like my sales reps, but some of them aren't great at typing or data input. Is there anything I can do to speed things up in my layouts?"


A. This is a common problem for many organizations. Despite its sophistication, at its core™ still requires some level of data entry to work to its ultimate potential. Without at least some marginal effort by users and managers to track and organize data, the system quickly breaks down.

One thing you can do to alleviate some of the headache of data entry is to use drop-down fields as much as you can. Drop-downs are great for slow typers, because they don't have to take their hand away from their mouse or actually key in any data to select data. Just be sure not to get too carried away with drop-down fields if it's not appropriate. For example, if you suddenly find you keep having to add options to a drop-down field constantly, or you have dropdowns with more than two or three dozen options, you should probably change those over to text fields and have the users type them in. One benefit of drop-downs for you as a manager is that you'll get consistent data entry from your agents. That will help as you want to build reporting and system optimization.

Q. "Is it better to use a multiple page layout if I have a lot of fields, or should I just increase the height and width of form so I can fit everything in?"

A. The answer to this question is simply, "Whatever works best for you and your users." If your users don't mind scrolling to input data, change the page height and width. If that method appears too disorganized, or you simply prefer using a multiple page form, then use that method. You may also want to look into "conditional panels" that open or close sections of the layout depending on what drop-down menu choices you agents select. That way your agents will only have open what they need for each record. We won't cover that feature in this level of certification, but we'd be glad to discuss it with you in Implementation and Support.

Q. "What are the most common custom fields people use?"

A. By far the most commonly used fields are text and custom dropdowns. Date fields are a distant third. More commonly though our users like to rename existing standard fields. This is perfectly acceptable, but watch out that you don't get yourself and our Support team confused when they try to diagnose and troubleshoot system problems.

Q. "How much text can I put in a standard text field? A description field?"

A. Text fields hold up to 100 characters of text; description fields hold over 30,000 characters (15 pages or so). Some fields can be adjusted to hold and/or display more than the default limits. In the Layout Editor tool work within the "Field Properties" panel to make those adjustments.

Q. "Can you get my layouts to also order my pizza for lunch?"

A. Umm . . . well actually, we could if you wanted to. Create a JavaScript button that integrates to Papa John's Web site with all of your favourite toppings pre-selected . . . and actually, we're really only half-kidding about this. Really.

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