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Create dynamic keyword fields

Make keyword fields dynamic so the list can change based on the values selected in other documents.

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It is often important to make keyword fields dynamic so the list can change based on the values selected in other documents. To get the list of existing values, you create a lookup view sorted by that column and use @DBColumn to get the list. In Notes client, you can set the keyword option, "Allow values not in list" to let the user enter a new value. However, on the Web that setting causes the browser to change the field to a plain text field because it does not have that capability.

Many developers work around this by putting a text field next to the dialog list field, where the user can enter a new value. To do so you have to either always show the field, or refresh the form and use hide formulas to display the text field.

There is a better way. If you add an option to the list called "<New Value>" (or something similar), you can use JavaScript to do the following:

  1. Check whether "<New Value>" is selected.
  2. Prompt the user for a new value.
  3. Add that choice to the dialog list.
  4. Automatically select the new choice.

Here is how:

Add this function to the form's JavaScript header:

function NewDialogListOption (objField) {

strLabel =;

// Check whether the user is 
choosing to enter a new value 
== "<New 
  // Prompt for new value
  var strNewValue = prompt ("Enter new " 
+ strLabel + ": ", "");
  if (strNewValue != null)
   // Create a new option object
   var NewOption = document.
   NewOption.text = strNewValue;
   // Add the new option to the list
   // Select the new option
   objField.selectedIndex = 
(objField.options.length - 1);

Put this code in the field's onChange event:

NewDialogListOption (this);


The field type needs to be a listbox, not a dialog list, for it to work.

—Elizabeth F.

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