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About UI Property Values

The value you assign to a UI property name for an item can be text, HTML commands, or JavaScript commands. If the value includes HTML or JavaScript commands, it is important to test them for correctness before entering them in the User Interface Property Designer.

If you do not test the commands and they have errors, this can prevent display of the selection pages. If the value is a text string that does not include commands, you do not need to test it.

You test the commands included in the value of the UI property name by inserting them in an HTML file and checking that they display correctly in a Web browser. Observe the following guidelines for including HTML commands or JavaScript in a UI property name value:

  • Avoid using tags or tag attributes common only to Internet Explorer or to Netscape.
  • Use DHTML commands with caution. Thoroughly test them before using them as the value of a UI property name.
  • HTML statements should be self-contained and complete. Use opening and closing tags.
  • Use table tags very carefully. Make sure the table you define is sized correctly for the space it will occupy.
  • If you insert JavaScript using the <Script> tag, avoid statements that manipulate the document. Also avoid routines that rely on specific page content. If the content is not present, the script may fail and the page may not display.
  • Do not use animated images or animated text.

HTML Text Formatting Commands

You can use HTML text formatting commands to enhance the way an item name displays. Here are several examples:

  • You can define a UI property value that adds formatting to the item name. For example, you want the item name Lamp to display in boldface. You would assign the following UI property value to the item Lamp: <b>Lamp</b>.
  • You can add a message next to an item. If the message is lengthy consider creating a small, two-cell table. Put the item name in the first cell, and put the explanation in the adjacent cell. The value of the UI property name for the item would then be the HTML table commands, including the item name and message. The base theme and product theme Web templates use tables to layout the Web pages. This means the table you create for the item will be located within a cell of the table that contains the whole Web page. Carefully review the table structure of the base theme and product theme Web templates before creating tables for UI properties.

The following HTML tag types can be used as values for UI property names:

  • Text markup tags (<b>, <em>, and so on)
  • Table tags
  • Content presentation and flow tags (<address>, <nobr>, <plaintext>, and so on)
  • Formatted list tags
  • Rule, image, and multimedia tags (<img>, <map>, <marquee>)
  • Forms tags (<button>, <input type> and so on.). You can use these tags to pass user input to JavaScript routines that are part of the UI property name value.
  • Hyperlinks. You must include Target = ""in the link tag (<a>) definition. This causes the link to load in a new browser window. If the link loads in the session browser window, the user will have to click the Back button to return to the session. This can cause the session to lose its context and can cause Web Engine problems.

Do not use the following tag types in UI property name values:

  • Header tags (<base>, <basefont>, and so on)
  • Skeletal/Layout tags (<frameset>, <body>, and so on)


Use the HTML <img> tag as the UI property value when you want to retrieve and display images. You can shorten the path specification for the src attribute by storing the images in the same directory as other images used by the Web Engine.

The Web Engine stores its images in the following installation subdirectory (Windows path syntax):


The <language> variable is the three-letter language identifier for the language selected during installation. For example, if you selected English during the install, the Web Engine image files are located in the PUBLIC\enu\IMAGES subdirectory.

When you specify the src path in the <img> tag, you only need to specify the IMAGES directory and the file name. For example, you want to retrieve red.gif from the IMAGES directory and use it to replace the attribute name Red. In the User Interface Property Designer, you would assign a UI property name to the Red attribute and specify the following value (Windows path syntax):

<img src="IMAGES\red.gif">

Before validating the UI design, you should test this value to make sure it behaves as expected in the browser. Here is an example of an HTML file for testing image retrieval (English language installation, Windows path syntax):

<base href="C:\installdir\PUBLIC\enu\">
<img src="IMAGES\red.gif">

Add HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes to the <IMG> tag to make the image the correct size. Consider making the image somewhat smaller than needed and then increasing its size when you validate the UI design. This prevents the image from causing page layout problems when you first validate it.

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