I had a number of databases in Lotus Approach. Luckily, I’d had the foresight to make them dBASE databases, which LibreOffice knows a little about.
However, it doesn’t look as if LibreOffice knows much about Lotus Approach, which means all my existing forms were history. I started migrating them to LibreOffice forms. The form designer is a little rustic in LibreOffice (shift to multiselect on Windows, still can’t figure snap to grid out), but it’s enough to do what I need.
I used the automated form wizard to create forms from the fields first. That was enough to get started.
Next, I had a couple of fields that were combo boxes in Approach. To change the text field in LibreOffice Base to a combo box, I followed the instructions here:
In case that goes away, here’s the summary of what I did:
- Click on the text field that the wizard created
- Since that field is actually a group, pop up the context menu and say Group->Ungroup
- Click on the text field rather than the label
- Pop up the context menu and say Replace With->Combo Box
- Pop up the context menu and select “Control…” to open control properties
- All my combo boxes were populated from the database. To do that, choose the Data tab
- Change “Type of list contents” from “Table” to “Sql”
- For “List content”, enter SELECT DISTINCT “field” FROM “table” (e.g., SELECT “ARTIST” FROM “CD” for my CD database)
- Close the Properties dialog
- Re-group the field with its label
The same thing worked for dropdown lists – Replace With->List Box, change “Type of list contents” from “Valuelist” to “Sql” and use similar SQL to generate the list. I used “SELECT DISTINCT” rather than just “SELECT” because I didn’t want multiple copies showing up in my list box.