Working with Frames

Most of the work done with a frame is through the Frame properties box. The properties box has five tabs: Basics, Frame Size , Frame Border, Advanced, and Additional HTML. On the Basics tab, you name the frame, define the contents, and set the target frame, if appropriate. The Frame Size tab lets you control the size of the frame, the type of scrolling, whether you allow resizing of the frame, and whether the frame has initial focus for Notes clients . The Frame Border tab has settings for the style and color of the frame borders and border caption. In the Advanced tab, you can set frame spacing and margin height and width. The Additional HTML tab has settings for HTML tags.


You should use a name that is unique across all framesets in a database for each frame. Because elements such as pages can launch into named frames, having two frames with the same name in two separate framesets could cause unpredictable results. It is also important to avoid the use of the reserved frame names : _top, _self, _parent, and _blank. One naming technique is to use a reference to the frameset name, perhaps the alias, as a prefix to the frame name.


EX1 is the alias of the Example frameset. Figure 10.7 shows the Basics tab of the properties box for the EX1Logo frame.

Figure 10.7. The Basics tab of the Frame properties box has two sections: Name and Content.


Adding Content to Frames

The contents of a frame can come from a link, a named element, or a URL. To add content, you can click the Type drop-down box and choose one of the three types. When you change types, the Browse, Formula, and Paste buttons are conditionally displayed. For example, for a link, only the Paste button appears; for URLs, only the Formula and Paste buttons appear. When you've specified the contents for the frame, a text description of the contents appears next to Content Value in the frame when Show Frame Content is turned off. If you use a formula, Computed appears next to Content Value.


If you have a link or URL copied to the Clipboard, you can click the Paste button from any setting for Type. The Type setting changes to the appropriate one, and the Value field is set for you.


Links can be view links, document links, or anchor links; they must first be copied to the Clipboard and then pasted into the Content section using the Paste button. Note that you cannot copy a database link into a frame.

Using a named element gives designers access to pages, forms, framesets, views, folders, and navigators. To select a named element from the list of available objects, click the Browse button. When you do so, the Locate Object dialog box opens. This dialog box has three fields: Kind of Object, Database, and Object. The name of the last field changes to the type of object selected in the Kind of Object field. Figure 10.8 shows the Locate Object dialog box.

Figure 10.8. The Locate Object dialog box is easy to use and gives you access to a wide variety of objects.


Pages are frequently used in framesets because you can embed other elements in them and combine those elements with text and graphics. Because of this feature, using a page to display design elements is often better than simply using the object itself. For example, you can add a view to a frame, and it will display properly. However, you can also add a view to a page, include graphics, text, and additional objects on the page, and then place the page in a frame. You can read more about pages in Chapter 8, "Using the Page Designer."

When you enter a URL by pasting it into the Content area, by typing it in directly, or by using a formula, you must use the full URL syntax, starting with http:// . If you paste it using the Paste button, the Type field automatically changes to URL and the URL appears in the Value field.

For both URLs and named elements, you can determine the contents of a frame with a formula. To enter a formula, click the Formula button; the Formula window opens. The formula must evaluate to a URL or the name or alias of a named element. In addition, you must select the appropriate type of named element or URL. For more information on writing formulas, see Chapter 12, "Using the Formula Language."

The last field on the Basics tab of the Frame properties box is the Default target for links in frame. This is useful when you have a frame containing an element that provides navigation, such as a page of links, a navigator, an outline, a view, or a folder pane. A navigational pane often occupies a smaller frame and, when the links are clicked, the linked content appears in a larger pane. In the example used in this chapter, the navigation frame is on the left and the content frame is on the right. This is where the naming of frames is important. In this example, the navigational frame is named EX1Nav, and the default target for links in this frame is the content frame, EX1Content.

As an example, let's return to the four-paned frameset and add content and navigational capability. First, you need to create several pages to populate the frames. The database for this chapter can be found on the Web, and has several ready-made pages:

  • R6Logo ” Contains the shared image resource, R6.jpg
  • Banner ” Contains a page for the Banner frame
  • View Navigator ” Contains an embedded outline

The R6Logo page goes in the EX1Logo frame in the upper-left corner as a named element. The Banner page goes in the EX1Banner frame in the top right. The View Navigator page goes in the EX1Nav frame on the left, underneath the EX1Logo frame. The links in the EX1Nav frame must point to the EX1Content frame, so in the properties box for the EX1Nav frame, specify EX1Content as the default target for links in this frame (see Figure 10.9).

Figure 10.9. The target for the EX1Nav frame is the EX1Content frame.


For content frames, you normally specify a "default" link so that the user doesn't see a blank area when the frameset is initially displayed. For example, you might choose the By Category view to display. See Figure 10.10, which shows the properties box for the EX1Content frame.

Figure 10.10. The properties box for the content frame is set to a default view. Note the additional properties for view or folder appearance.


When you use a view as a named element, four check boxes appear in the Frame properties box under the View or Folder Appearance heading. All but the Basic Simple Appearance check box are new to Notes and Domino 6. Show Action Bar and Show Header are checked by default and display the view's action bar and column header. Selection tracks mouse movement and selects the documents in the view as the mouse moves over them. The Basic Simple Appearance check box enables the following settings when checked:

  • Uses strikethrough text for deleted documents
  • Uses a simple grid for a calendar view
  • Defaults calendar views to a single day
  • Keeps the scrollbar visible
  • Stops the mouse from extending document selections in the view selection margin

You might recall that you can specify a target for some design elements, such as pages and forms. When you do this and you open the element, it opens to the frameset in which the frame exists. In other words, the target frame for the design element takes precedence over the target frames in a frameset. If you experience unexpected results in your framesets, check the target frames of the elements.

Controlling Frame Size, Scrolling, Resizing, and Focus

When you've mastered setting content and links for frames, you can move on to setting the properties for frame size and scrolling. You can do a lot by dragging the borders of frames in the Frameset Designer, but for really precise control, you can turn to the Frame Size tab of the Frame properties box (see Figure 10.11).

Figure 10.11. The Frame Size tab of the properties box for this frame uses percent to calculate the size of the frame.


For Width and Height, you can choose from Relative, Percent, or Pixels. When you initially set up a frameset, Domino Designer uses percentages to split the frameset into frames. For example, in the original three-paned frameset, the leftmost frame had a width of 20% and the frame on the rightmost frame had a width of 80%. Similarly, the top frame had a height of 20% and the lower frames had a height of 80%. Using Percent is handy because you can't control the display resolution of clients. Sometimes you need more control, however. In that case, you can switch to Relative or Pixels.

You can use Relative to set either the width or the height relative to an adjacent frame. For example, if you set the left and top frames to a specific width and height using pixels, you can set the width and height of the lower-right frame to Relative. When you do this, the value in the Percent spinner has no effect on the size of the frame. As a case in point, R6TextLogo.gif, which is used in the EX1Logo frame via a page, doesn't fit into the 80%/20% scheme very well. If you open the GIF itself in a good graphics program, you can find the dimensions of the image. In this case, it's 140 pixels wide by 61 pixels high. You can set the width and height to these dimensions in the Frame Size tab.

Notice that when you do this, the other frames don't exactly line up. First, go to the EX1Nav frame and set the width to 140 pixels. Set the height to Relative. Next, go to the EX1Banner frame. Set the height to 61 pixels and set the width to Relative. In EX1Content, set both the width and height to Relative. When you're finished, you'll notice that the borders of all four frames again line up. However, when you preview the frameset, you'll see scrollbars, both vertical and horizontal, in the EX1Logo frame. This is not quite what you want, and you can remove them easily. From the properties box for the EX1Logo frame, set Scrolling to Off and set Allow Resizing to No, as shown in Figure 10.12. The finished product is visible in Figure 10.13.

Figure 10.12. The Frame Size tab for the EX1Logo frame has scrolling and resizing turned off.


Figure 10.13. The completed Example 1 frameset neatly displays the Notes and Domino 6 logo without scrollbars.


Scrollbars can be set to On, Off, Auto, or Default. Auto is the default; when set, scrollbars appear only when needed. On sets the scrollbars permanently on, and Off sets them permanently off. Resizing can be turned off or on. When you set Allow Resizing to Yes, either a Web or a Notes user can resize the frames by clicking and dragging the borders.

Working with Borders and Margins

The Frame Border tab lets you manipulate the border style for individual frames or the entire frameset. You can turn 3D borders on and off; if you want to apply the change to all frames in the frameset, click the Apply to All Frames button.

The settings for the second Border Style section, which includes border color and width, apply to the entire frameset (see Figure 10.14).

Figure 10.14. Settings in the Frame Border tab control the border style, color, and width.


If you uncheck Default, you can change the width of the border by clicking the spinner to the desired number of pixels. You can even turn the border off by reducing the number of pixels to 0. You can also choose a border color.


If you change colors from the system color and want to return to the system color, open the color picker. Look just to the left of the RGB color button (a colored circle in the upper right), and you'll see another button that looks like a monitor. This button returns you to the system color.


The Border Caption section is new to Notes and Domino 6 and is for Notes clients only. In this section, you create collapsible sections. You can create a border caption in the Caption Formula window; this can be text enclosed in quotes or a formula written using the Formula language. The Show list contains four settings: None, Caption Only, Arrows Only, and Both. If you choose Arrows Only or Both, clicking the arrows displays the frame. Changing the values of the Show field toggles the display of additional fields.

  • Caption Only ” Displays the Align and Justify fields. The Align settings are Top and Bottom. The Justify settings are Left, Right, and Center.
  • Arrows Only ” Displays the Align, Justify, and Open fields. The settings for Align are Left, Right, Top, and Bottom. The Justify settings are the same as the Caption Only setting. The Open field is a spinner that can be set to either Pixels or Percent. This field defines the size of the frame when the frameset is opened.
  • Both ” Displays the same settings as for Arrows Only. The only difference is that both the arrow and the caption will appear in the frame border.

The font face, size, style, text color, and background are standard and won't be discussed here.

An example of a collapsible frame can be found in the welcome page of the Bookmarks database and in the inbox of your mail. It is relatively easy to set up a preview frame. Let's return to the Example 1 frameset and add a preview frame. First, split the EX1Content frame into two rows by selecting the frame and clicking the Split into Rows button. Set the default target for links to EX1Preview (which you'll create in a moment). Change focus to the new frame, name it EX1Preview, and leave the other settings on the Basics tab alone. Open the Frame properties box to the Frame Border tab, and enter "Preview" with quotation marks in the Border Caption window. Change Show to Both, and set Open to 0 pixels. You can leave the remaining settings alone. When you preview the modified frameset, the new frame appears at the bottom with the word Preview next to an arrow. Clicking the arrow opens or closes the frame, depending on its state. When opened, the document selected in the EX1Content frame appears in the preview frame. See Figure 10.15.

Figure 10.15. This properties box contains settings for a collapsible frame. Note the caption text, the preview, and the arrow in the Caption Title bar.



If you don't set a background color for the caption, and there are scrollbars for the frame's content, a gap appears between the scrollbars and the caption title bar.



Collapsible frames are not currently supported on the Web. The frame will appear in a Web browser and can be resized, but there is no caption or arrow.


The Advanced tab has the settings Frame Spacing, Margin Height, and Margin Width. These are all checked as Default. To access the spinner, uncheck the Default setting, and you can then change the property (see Figure 10.16). Frame Spacing affects all frames in the frameset and has the same effect as setting the border width on the Frame Borders tab. The Margin Height and Margin Width settings affect specific frames.

Figure 10.16. The Advanced tab lets you change the frame spacing, the margin height, and the margin width.


Part I. Introduction to Release 6

Whats New in Release 6?

The Release 6 Object Store

The Integrated Development Environment

Part II. Foundations of Application Design

Forms Design

Advanced Form Design

Designing Views

Using Shared Resources in Domino Applications

Using the Page Designer

Creating Outlines

Adding Framesets to Domino Applications

Automating Your Application with Agents

Part III. Programming Domino Applications

Using the Formula Language

Real-World Examples Using the Formula Language

Writing LotusScript for Domino Applications

Real-World LotusScript Examples

Writing JavaScript for Domino Applications

Real-World JavaScript Examples

Writing Java for Domino Applications

Real-World Java Examples

Enhancing Domino Applications for the Web

Part IV. Advanced Design Topics

Accessing Data with XML

Accessing Data with DECS and DCRs

Security and Domino Applications

Creating Workflow Applications

Analyzing Domino Applications

Part V. Appendices

Appendix A. HTML Reference

Appendix B. Domino URL Reference

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Lotus Notes and Domino 6 Development
Lotus Notes and Domino 6 Development (2nd Edition)
ISBN: 0672325020
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 288
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