To all the system customizers out there – have you ever received the following error when you try to remove a required or locked column from a form?…because I have, and it drives me nuts.
While the conventional workaround is to create a hidden section that contains all of your required columns, this leads to confusion when reviewing the form in the form editor (especially if you have multiple people involved with your form design). Another option would be to update the required status on the column itself, but that has you bouncing around within the form editor to the point where you forget what you are actually trying to do.
There must be an easier way, right? If you would truly like to rid yourself of those clingy columns once and for all, look no further!
My Layout Hack
The trick is to increase the number of layout columns on a tab.
- Within the form designer, select the tab that contains the required column using either the tree view or the form preview.
- You should see the tab’s display name and properties in the property pane.
- Expand the Formatting property group. There you’ll see the Layout dropdown.
- Select the Layout property and increase the number of layout columns by one.
- For example, if your tab has one layout column, change it to two layout columns.
- Click and drag the required form column into the newly created section in the new layout column.
- Select the tab and change the Layout property back to the original number of layout columns. The section and required form column disappear!
That’s all there is to it.
What if the tab layout is three columns?
If you can’t add an extra column to the current tab, all you need to do is create a temporary new tab. You can drag the required form column over to the new tab and proceed from there. Once you have removed the required column, simply delete the empty tab.
But wait, there's more!
The layout hack is great at getting rid of individual columns, but it also works for entire sections. Say you’ve created a new main form, and you want to start from scratch. Here’s how to quickly delete every section on a tab with required and locked columns. For this example, I want to remove all sections and form columns from the Case form’s summary tab.
- Select the tab as before, using either the tree view or the form preview.
- In the property pane, reduce the number of layout columns to one. Everything except the leftmost column vanishes!
- Bump the number of layout columns up to two.
- Drag each section from the left layout column to the right layout column.
- Once you’ve moved all sections to the right column and the left side of the form is empty, select the tab one more time.
- In the property pane, change the layout property back to one column.
You should now have a completely blank tab – all required and locked form columns removed without a complaint!
While this isn’t exactly an earth-shattering technical advancement, it is something that I have started doing that really saves me time (…and frustration). Happy configuring!