This article describes the function and use of multiple choice fields within the Customs Editor. When gathering data that will always be one of several answers, use custom multiple choice fields like the Dropdown List fields and the Multi-Select List field.
To learn how to add custom fields, including multiple choice fields, read the article on using the Customs Editor.
Using Multiple Choice Fields
Multiple choice fields—Dropdown List and Multi-Select List fields—consist of several options that the user inputs when creating the field. A Dropdown List field can appear as either a dropdown menu or a multiple choice menu, as shown below. The dropdown menu will include the default option “Unknown.” A user can only choose one option from the dropdown menu.
A Multi-Select List field, in contrast, appears as a multiple choice menu with checkmark boxes instead of bubbles, as shown below. Multi-select lists allow a user to check as many options as apply.
Both Dropdown List fields and Multi-Select List fields can contain characters, numbers, and symbols. Multiple choice fields are best suited for information that has several possible answers. If the information should be limited to one answer, a Dropdown List field is the best option; if users should be able to choose multiple options, a Multi-Select List field might be the best choice. (A series of Yes/No fields would also work well here and provide additional reporting criteria.)
Dropdown List fields are one of the most useful and flexible custom fields. They are used for any instance where data should be one choice from a set of possible answers. They are often used for data like case type, employment status, or referral source. Multi-Select List fields are used for data that requires the user to be able to check more than one option, like a list of injuries.
Using a Dropdown List field aids in keeping data clean and easy to use. Dropdown List fields limit the number of options, meaning that they create fewer instances of user error and cleaner data than text fields. Dropdown fields can also be used to dramatically cut down the number of fields in a form or section. For example, instead of having three date fields for three different date types, a user might have a date field with an adjacent Dropdown List field asking the user whether the date is a deposition date, a trial date, or a settlement date.
Functions of Multiple Choice Fields
When creating a Dropdown List or Multi-Select List field, be careful of changing the text of options you’ve chosen for the list. Editing an option in a multiple choice field menu will not change the data to the edited option; instead, the edited option will be blank, and the data from the pre-edited option will no longer display. For example, if you change an option from “MD” to “Maryland,” any choice of “MD” will not appear in the project, and all choices of the new “Maryland” will appear blank in the project. However, reports can still be run on the old option—in this case, on the “MD” option.
If you would like to change the text of a Dropdown List option, you will need to add a new option with the desired text, mass update all of the data to the new option, and then delete the old option. Be careful! Multi-select fields cannot be mass-updated.
Dropdown List and Multi-Select List fields have a variety of reporting criteria available. Reports for Dropdown List can be limited by a specific option, or by multiple options, as well as by whether or not the Dropdown List field is empty or what it contains.
Similarly, reports with Multi-Select List fields can be limited by whether a field contains any of a list of options, all of a list of options, or none of a list of options. Other criteria include whether the field is empty and whether the options chosen contain certain text.
Below are of exact reporting criteria for Dropdown List and Multi-Select List fields.
|Dropdown List||is, contains, is not, does not contain|
is empty is No, Yes
|Dropdown List||is in (list), List of Values|
is Not in (list), List of Values
|Multi-Select List||is Empty, Not Empty|
has all of (list) List of Values
has any of (list) List of Values
has none of (list) List of Values
|Multi-Select List item||