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How to include paragraph rules in section and harness rules

Updated on May 3, 2020


On a work object form, labels are limited to 64 characters and use a single HTML style that defines the font size, color, and other attributes. Using paragraph rules (Rule-HTML-Paragraph rule type) rather than labels, you can design labels that provide these benefits:

  • Paragraphs can convey entire sentences or paragraphs to the user (up to about 1,000 characters), in contrast to the 64-character limit for labels.
  • A paragraph can include multiple fonts, colors, and images.
  • One paragraph rule can appear in multiple harness, section, and flow action rules, simplifying maintenance.
  • At runtime, a paragraph rule can present a SmartInfo pop-up section display providing further instructions.



Suggested Approach

To illustrate these benefits, a the following example rule shows how paragraphs in a harness rule can mimic the layout and format of a familiar U.S. government form.

Note: As a best practice, work object forms in Process Commander applications should offer users fewer input fields than Form 1040EZ at any one time. This form was produced only to show the value and power of paragraph rules.

Form 1040EZ

You can compose and revise paragraph rules in Designmode directly, without the need to enter HTML markup or styles, as in the example below.

    Paragraph form

Step 1: Create Binary File rules

If your paragraphs will include images, create a binary file rule (Rule-File-Binary rule type) for each image. To create the rule, select the Application > New > Rule > Technical > Binary File menu item. Upload each image file (JPG, PNG or GIF format) into the corresponding binary file rule. In this example, the image is named efile.gif.

    Binary file rule

Step 2: Create paragraph rules

Create the paragraph rules you need before you create or update the section, harness, or flow action rules that will reference the paragraph rules. In this example, the paragraph rule Line1Wages has a blue numeral (1) and text longer than 64 characters, but little other HTML markup.

   Line 1 paragraph rule

Line 10 of the form requires bolded text.

    Line 10 paragraph rule

If you are familiar with HTML markup and styles, you can insert markup and styles in Source mode. The following paragraph required editing in Source mode, to select the Wingdings 3 font that contains the p glyph:

    Paragraph you must

The source text is:

<P style="TEXT-ALIGN: center"><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Wingdings 3'">p</SPAN>
You <STRONG>must</STRONG> enter <SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Wingdings 3'">p</SPAN><BR>your SSN(s) above.</P>

Step 3: Add paragraph rules to harness and section rules

Open the Harness or Section form. On the Layout tab, select and drag the paragraph icon (Paragraph icon) into a cell. Complete the Paragraph Include panel to identify the paragraph rule. Optionally, in the Inline-style field, enter a style that will wrap the entire paragraph, for example text-align:left.

Harness form

Changes you make to paragraph or section rules are not immediately reflected on the Harness form. Click the Refresh toolbar tool (Refresh) to update the Harness form.

Step 4: Add SmartInfo capabilities

To enable the SmartInfo pop-up feature for a paragraph, click the SmartInfo icon (SmartInfo) on the Paragraph form and identify a section. This, the section rule contains a single cell that contains a single paragraph. If you want the SmartInfo pop-up to present one of a set of paragraphs depending on context, you can conditionalize the section rule by adding when condition rules that control which paragraphs are visible.


Step 5: Reference the harness rule in a flow

Reference the harness rule you have designed in a flow rule (in the Harness for work object creation field on the Process tab).

Step 6: Test

Test the flow and the work object form.

Form 1040EZ

See also the help topic: Harness, Section, and Flow Action rules  — Adding paragraphs to place rich text in layout cell or header for additional details.

p p p p p

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