Design concepts

When you design the windows using Window Manager, take care to present the information in a way that enables the user to work at maximum efficiency. This means producing windows that are easy to use and that work in a logical way.

Window layout

Align the controls on a window in columns and make them run from left to right and from top to bottom. Set up an intuitive tabbing sequence (the order of controls to which the cursor jumps on each successive press of the Tab key), ensuring the users’ eyes are automatically drawn to the next control. For more information about setting the tabbing sequence, see Reordering controls.

Make controls large enough to contain the values that are typically entered. For example, make drop-down list boxes wide enough to show their full contents, rather than truncated text.


Accelerators enable users to use the keyboard rather than the mouse to perform different functions. Using the keyboard can be quicker and more efficient in some situations. To enable keyboard shortcuts you must define an accelerator for each control. You define accelerators by typing an ampersand (&) in front of the accelerator character, which is then underlined on the window.

By default, when you add a control to a window, it has a predefined accelerator key. You can change this if required.

To choose an accelerator:

Group boxes

We recommend that you use group boxes to group similar fields together on a window.

Group boxes are particularly important in Web Access and Workspaces, where they are used to improve the layout of windows.

Use group boxes to make the layout of your windows more interesting, and to give the user some visual clues about the type of data that is being entered.

We recommend that you do not place group boxes inside other group boxes.

For more information, see Adding group boxes to a window.

Dynamic windows

To help you to ensure that users complete the required fields on a window as efficiently as possible, you can use calculations to create dynamic windows for Web Access and Workspaces. You can set whether or not a field on a window is mandatory, read-only, or hidden, based on values selected elsewhere on the window.

For more information about creating dynamic windows, see Dynamic windows. For more information about creating calculations, see Calculations.