Default Text as Data Items

Datafile Software

Default Text as Data Items

Occasionally there is a requirement for a text data item to default to a particular character or phrase when adding records but allow occasional overtype. Usually this is achieved by defining a lookup to another database and copying this value in – for example if default text required on a Sales Order Header input then the value could be copied from the Sales Ledger Accounts file. This does mean that this input needs to a) be on every record in the lookup file and b) any new records in the lookup file need this value set also.

This new feature allows for the setting of the default text in the lookup database so that the value is updated for every existing and new record automatically and thus available to copy to the ‘main’ database.


The default text is achieved by a special naming convention of the data item name.

Data item must be a text (X) type field and the data item name must begin with the characters ‘!=’ followed by the actual default text. Item size should be set equal to this default text. The maximum size of the default text is 11 characters.


This option is intended for use in copy items and database extracts. It cannot be used to set default text on the ‘main’ database itself as whilst any default value can be overtyped on save of the record it would revert back to the default text (it also cannot be used in group items etc.)

Custom Fields

Article ID: 314
Created: June 13, 2012
Last Updated: October 22, 2012
Author: Terry Moore

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