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Ability to turn off "preview" mode in form designer

The PowerApps designer needs a way to turn off preview mode when designing, so that we can see everything that's in our form, without having to change dependent controls/properties to make changes.

 

Scenario:

Simple "Purchase Orders" custom list in SharePoint, with two columns added:

  • Cost Center (Choice Field)
  • Purchase Items (Multiple Lines of Text, plain text)

That is on top of the stock standard columns that SharePoint already adds: Title, Modified, Created, Created By, Modified By

 

 

Rules for customized form:

  • The Modified, Created, Created By, and Modified By fields must be hidden when a new item is being created (as they are irrelevant until the user hits the "Save" button)
  • The Cost Center field must be hidden when an existing item is being edited (i.e. the form is in edit mode)

 

Designer Steps: 

  • Choose to customize the form for this list via PowerApps.
  • Change "SharePointForm1" Default Mode to "New"
  • On the "Modified", "Created", "Created By", "Modified By" and "ID" data cards, set Visible to be the following:
    If(SharePointForm1.Mode = FormMode.New, false, true)
    The data cards will disappear from the designer one by one as you apply this rule
  • Change "SharePointForm1" Default Mode to "Edit" - the "Modified", "Created", "Created By", and "Modified By" data cards come back
  • On the "Cost Center" data card, set Visible to be the following
    If(SharePointForm1.Mode = FormMode.New, true, false)
    The Cost Center data card will disappear from the designer one by one as you apply this rule

 

To now make any changes to the any of the Modified", "Created", "Created By", "Modified By", "ID", or "Cost Center" data cards, you have to change the SharePointForm1's Default Mode to either "New" or "Edit":

 

DesignerNewMode.PNGDesigner with SharePointForm1 DefaultMode = "New"DesignerEditMode.PNGDesigner with SharePointForm1 DefaultMode = "Edit"

While for this form this is not a big imposition, for larger forms with much more intricate rules, such as lots of fields that show or hide based on selection made in other fields (like a from I had to work on recently), it slows the whole build process down.  To make matters worse, depending on how big the form is, the designer will arbitrarily change the "Y" value of datacards, which is especially annoying when you have rules about which order they should appear in based on other selections made (see my post here on this, and an idea posted asking to stop this happening).

 

 

Proposed Function to be added to the PowerApps designer:

An ability to turn off preview mode when building a form, using a toggle button or something similar.  So in the above scenario, all of the datacards would be made visible, and none of the control values can be set.

 

E.g on the "Home" tab on the ribbon, a "Preview Mode" toggle switch that would show all data cards, and the controls within them wouldn't have any values shown, or rules run: they're just there, allowing us to see everything and set properties, without anything actually running.  Mockup:

 

DesignerNoPreviewMode.PNGDesigner with preview mode switched "off"

Can't emphasize enough how build much time that would save when building a complex form with lots of "show/hide/reposition" rules in it!

 

Status: New