This article describes the function and use of custom text fields within the Customs Editor. When creating a field that requires letter characters and differs widely project-to-project, use custom text fields like Text – Single Line, Text - Single Line List, Text – Multiple Lines, and Text – Multiple Lines (Large) fields.
To learn how to add custom fields, including text fields, read the article on using the Customs Editor.
Using Text Fields
Text fields accept characters, numbers, and some symbols. The flexibility of text fields can cause issues for data entry, reporting, and DocGen if text fields are utilized in unideal scenarios. Filevine Support recommends that text fields only be used in cases that require text and vary greatly from project to project. In many cases, other types of fields can provide the user with more options for reporting and handling the information.
For example, while text fields are capable of storing numbers, amount fields would be more appropriate for numbers because they keep data clean, allow for sorting, and can be summed and averaged in collections. In instances where the answer will be one of several choices, using Dropdown List fields instead of text fields can help normalize the data and cut down on user error.
A text field would be best suited for storing information like notes and details that are not regular across projects, or any type of account ID that contains both letters and numbers.
Users can also employ text fields to enter additional contextual information. In these cases, it’s best to ensure that there is only one data point per field. The user should select a field type that best normalizes the data entered and then add an adjacent “Note” text field to store additional information. Read "Defining a Data Point" to learn more.
Functions of Text Fields
Differences and Conversions
Text - Multiple Lines and Text - Multiple Lines (Large) are both conducive to larger text entries because they provide a larger area for text and because they accept line breaks to separate text. Text - Single Line and Text - Single Line List fields do not allow for line breaks.
The Text - Single Line, Text - Multiple Lines, and Text - Multiple Lines (Large) fields can each be converted to each other. However, if the field type is changed after data is entered, changing a multiple lines field to a single line field will condense all data into a single line. These three text fields can also be converted into a Url field or a Case Number field. It is impossible to convert a text field to a non-text field after it is created, so it is important to select the correct field type from the start!
Text - Single Line List fields are not able to be converted to anything else. This text field has some special qualities. The items in the list are able to be edited, reordered, and sorted alphabetically.
Text fields include limited reporting criteria. When building reports with text fields, you can limit the report to line items that are filled, or line items that contain a certain word, with the following criteria:
|Text field||contains, does not contain ________|
|Text field is empty is||Yes, No|
The Text - Single Line List field has some special criteria, since it consists of a list rather than a single field:
|Text - Single Line List||is Empty, Not Empty|
|Text - Single Line List||has all of (list) List of Values|
|Text - Single Line List||has any of (list) List of Values|
|Text - Single Line List||has none of (list) List of Values|
|Text - Single Line List||is, contains|