This article discusses the two types of custom sections in Filevine: static sections and collection sections.
Filevine has a variety of different types of sections. Some of these sections are built-in, while others are customizable. The two different types of customizable sections are static and collections. Static and collections section both house fields that are customizable, but they differ in how they structure information, which has implications for reports and other functions. For more information on custom fields, read the “What field type should I use?” article.
Customs sections require access to the Advanced Tool, the Customs Editor.
Static sections are simple and very customizable. Static sections house an array of custom fields.
One good example of a static section is a personal injury Intake Section. An Intake Section contains many different fields and field types, but there is only one Intake Section for each project, and each field housed in that section exists only once. Examples of the fields in static sections include the date of incident, the client's demographic information, and the details of the incident.
Using a static section is easy—just fill out the fields and remember to save.
You may be used to storing a spreadsheet for each client, defendant, or medical provider
Collections sections, in contrast to static sections, allow users to store multiple sets of similar information and replace any need to store your data in a separate spreadsheet. A collections section creates a “collection” of items, where each item contains a set of fields. A good example of a collections section is a Meds Section which allows users to track the same data points—like date of visitation and cost of visit—for multiple providers.
To add a new item to a collections section from inside a project, hit the “+ add an item” button and a new collection item will appear. Enter information into the fields and save.
The entered data is saved as one item. If you add another item, you will see the collections items stack in a list. Clicking on one item will bring up that item to be edited.
Collections Sections have several additional options in the Customs Editor. These options are found in the “Collection Options” section of the Customs Editor.
In this menu, you are able to choose the default sorting method, the default order of sorting, and the left and right main fields. The default sorting method and sorting order will determine in the order of the collections items when you open the collection. For example, you might choose to default sort a witnesses section by the “Witness” field in ascending order to view the collection items in alphabetical order by witness name.
The other options in the Collections Options section are “Left Main Field” and “Right Main Field.” These options are both optional. Choosing a left or right main field will allow a collections item to display this information at the top of the item as a header for easy visibility, as in the image below, where witness name has been chosen as the left main field.
If an amount field of any kind is chosen for the right main field, an additional option will appear asking if you would like to display the total for this field. Choosing this option will display the total of that field for all collections items in the top right corner of that section.
Sorting and Displaying in a Project
Although the default sorting for Collections Sections is chosen in the Collections Options section of the Customs Editor, Collections Sections can also be filtered and sorted in-project by any field in the collection. You can use the “filter items” textbox at the top of a Collection Section to search for a specific collection item by the content of a specific field. The order (ascending or descending) of the sorting can be changed as well.
In the project, Collections Sections can be viewed in three different ways: item view, expanded view, and table view. The different views can be toggled back and forth, and whatever view you select will be saved for that section across all projects.
Item view will display the left and right main field at the top with rows of other fields beneath. If there are too many fields on display at once, each item will contain a scroll bar.
If you are in a Collections Section that contains a large number of fields or if the internet window is narrowed, a square “Expanded Item View” icon will appear. This allows you to expand the items in length so that all fields are visible at once.
To toggle to table view, click the button with multiple lines in the top right. Table view allows you to see your items in a more compressed display. Table view can also be configured to show only the information you choose. When table view is on, a cog will appear next to the table view button. To configure table view, click the cog in the top right.
Under “Configure Table View,” uncheck any information you would not like to display. Hit “Save” when done. Table View configurations are saved across project types, so once this configuration is saved, it will be the table view for this section across projects. The order of the fields in the table view is dictated by the order of the fields in the customs editor, but with the Left and Right main fields in the first and second positions rather than on the top of the section.
Collections Sections can be reported on by running a “List of [Section Name] Items” report. Collections Section data reports can also be exported more quickly through a collection export, which saves a report template for a collection. For more information on how to build a report, read “Build a Report.”