How do I tell if a Field is Multivalue or uses a pre-defined list?

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There are a few ways to tell if a field is Multivalue (MV) or uses a pre-defined list (PDL). The first does require to have Administrator level access to your Catalogue. Firstly, open the Catalog -> Administration dialog and then click the Custom Fields tab. Now, select the field you are interested in and click the edit button. The Custom Field Definition dialog opens. You can now see (but cannot alter), as appropriate; the field data type, string length, degree of decimal precision, whether MV, whether using a PDL. If there is a tick in the 'Multiple Values' box, you've got an MV field, likewise a tick for 'Pre-defined list' means a PDL field. For PDL enabled fields, click the 'Edit List' to see if the 'Allow only Words from List' is ticked.

What if you don't have Administrator access as you can't open the Catalog -> Administration dialog? Luckily there is a simple way to get this information, even if you only have Editor or Publisher level access. Choose Record View and open the Customize Gallery dialog, selection the Record View tab. As you scroll down the list of field names you will notice some have a box to the right of them - in a default Catalogue with no custom fields you will see 'Keywords' has a '3' next to it and 'Description' a '5'. Custom Fields, default to '1'. To find the information we need you need to set the number to about 4 and tick the field to ensure it is displayed, & click OK. Now click the 'Edit' tickbox on the bottom of the dialog and click the 'Apply' button.

The first point to note is that any field with a boxed number shown next to it is either a textbox or an MV type field. How then you tell the difference? First click OK to dismiss the Options dialog so you can see the Record view. Now click on the box holding the data for one of the displayed fields. Notice that because you ticked the 'Edit' option you can actually access the data on screen. On the right side of the data 'box' you will see one of two things. First, if you see scroll bars on the right side of the box - they may be greyed out - then you're accessing a textbox field. If you see a '+' and a '-' button then it's an MV field. If there is a drop-down box along the top of the data box then it is both an MV and a PDL field. Lastly try entering a word not in the drop-down list. If you can't enter a new word, then the field is set to only allow existing PDL entries.

You can also open the Item menu's 'Edit Field Values' dialog. Click the 'Replace' radio button and select your field. If there are 4 radio buttons and 2 text boxes it is an MV field, if there are 3 radio buttons and one text box it is a text block field and if it has 2 radio buttons and one text box is it an ordinary (single value field). If any of the text boxes have a drop down arrow at the right side the field uses a PDL. If you can't type you own value into a drop-down list then the field is list only.

There is one other way to find out this information and that is via scripting. In Windows using VB, look at the Field Class' Properties. You should also be able to do similar on the Mac OS via AppleScript.

Question: How do I tell if a Field is Multivalue or uses a pre-defined list? [FAQ00185.htm]
Last Update:- 01 June 2006

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