Working with forms that have a flowable layout

A form that has a flowable layout contains subforms and other elements that adjust to accommodate the amount of data available to fill the form. The form can be interactive, which means that users can fill the form, or non-interactive, where a server-based process merges data into the form. (See Form design layouts.)

Master pages, content areas, and subforms are the elements that control how Designer places objects in the form and adjusts to display varying amounts of data.

Differences at design time and run time

In a flowable layout, keep in mind that what you see at design time is not what users see when the form is rendered. For example, a form design may contain one item row to enter data in. However, when the form is rendered on the client, the form may contain several item rows and users may be able to insert additional item rows. The number of rows that appear at design time depends on whether you wrapped the objects in the item row in a subform that uses the Min Count or Max options. Setting up the subform Min Count or Max options controls the number of rows that are initially available for users to fill and the number of additional rows that users can later add.

Because a form that has a flowable layout adjusts automatically to accommodate data, you do not have to set the size of objects or the number of item lines that the form requires. For example, by selecting options such as Allow Multiple Lines, Allow Page Breaks Within Content, and Expand To Fit, you can design flowable interactive forms that adjust to an undetermined amount of data.

For an example of the differences between the design and run-time views of non-interactive forms, see How non-interactive forms that have a flowable layout work.

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