Modal and Modeless Data Entry


Alpha Anywhere gives you three choices for data entry on Forms and Browses: modal, modeless, and parent-modal.

  • Modal

    Prevents users from making edits, unless specific actions are taken.

  • Modeless

    Users can edit any fields or records without taking prior actions.

  • Parent-modal

    Similar to modal; useful when you are editing a Form that is based on a Set with one-to-many links.

To set the system data entry mode:

  1. Select View > Settings.

  2. The Settings dialog box displays the data entry style dialog.

  3. Expand the System menu, and select Data Entry. The default system data entry style is modeless.

  4. Change the data entry style by selecting Modal.

Modal Data Entry Mode

In Modal data entry mode:

  • To edit a record, you must first select the Change Record button on the toolbar, press F3, or press ALT+C.

  • To start a new record, you must first select the Enter New Record button on the toolbar, or press CTRL+E.

  • Pressing Enter or Tab in the last data field does not open a new record.

  • After saving the record, edits are disallowed.

  • After making changes to a child record in a set, edits are disallowed.


  • User presses F3 to allow editing in the top level table of a set.

  • Form now remains editable regardless of what table in the set the user is editing.

  • Form will only revert to Modal when the user navigates to a different parent record.

Modeless Data Entry Mode

In Modeless data entry mode:

  • You can edit any fields or records without first selecting Change Record or Enter New Record mode. While modeless data entry is convenient, it allows accidental field editing.

Changing the Setting of a Layout

  1. To change the data entry setting for a browse or form in Design Mode, press F12.

  2. The Properties dialog box appears.

  3. Select the Data entry tab, and select Modeless. Your selection specifies the data entry mode for a specific form or browse.

  4. Selecting System Default applies the View > Settings > System > Data Entry settings.

Parent-modal data entry was added in Version 10.