Form Design - Text

This section describes how the text that is displayed within boxes is constructed. For details on the appearance of text (the font face, size etc.) see Form Design - Text Style.

All boxes can display a text string. Some boxes - but not all - can also include field codes in the text that are placeholders for data taken from the animal records. You can do this with the boxes for the pedigree Title, Details, Photo and for the cells within the ancestors panel. All the cover sheet boxes support field codes, as does the trial mating Details box and ancestor cells. All other boxes - such as the Logo, Right Logo and the form background - do not support field codes.

E.g. if you set the text for the Title box of a pedigree to:

Pedigree Of [#Name]

then the [#Name] part will be replaced with the animal's actual name. So, if you had entered a record for an animal called 'Fred', then the pedigree Title box will contain 'Pedigree of Fred'.

Generally, the text string does not control the formatting such as font face, size and color. However there are some exceptions to this - see Formatting Codes (below).

It is possible to change all the text within the boxes of all forms. Just right-click (Mac: use Control + Click) over the relevant box and select the appropriate 'Settings' entry from the popup menu.

Anything that is enclosed in square brackets, such as [#Name] in the above example, represents one or more data fields and will be replaced with data taken or deduced from the current record. Anything that is enclosed in curly brackets (braces), such as {S 120}, represents a formatting code, which will affect the appearance of the following text but not the text itself. Field and Formatting Codes are described below.

Embedded HTML

It is possible to use some HTML tags within the text. To have these work as expected you need to check the HTML option that is beneath the text box in the settings window.

The following HTML tags are supported: <b>, <big>, <br>, <em>, <font>, <i>, <li>, <ol>, <p>, <s>, <small>, <span>, <strong>, <sub>, <sup>, <u>, <ul>. Some CSS styling is available by setting a 'style' attribute e.g. in conjunction with the <span> tag. The following CSS properties can be used: background-color, color, font-family, font-size, font-style, font-weight, text-decoration, font.

Field Codes

Field codes act as placeholders for data taken from the animal records. They are always enclosed in square brackets and can take one of 2 formats:


The first and simpler format is used when a single field value is required, as in the above example. The FIELD-NAME parameter is simply that: a valid field name (see below).

The second format is used to expand a list of field values. It takes 4 parameters although only the first is actually required; the others are optional. The parameters are separated by spaces.

Parameter Description

Used to specify whether the list of field names are to be labeled or not, and whether or not upper/lower case conversion is to be carried out.

Use $ for a labeled field list, or @ for an unlabelled list. If you want to force the list to be in lower case, add the letter L. Or add U to force to upper case.

E.g. $L would generate a list of lower cased, labeled, field values.


This specifies which fields are to be included.

In its simplest form it just consists of * - i.e. an asterisk - which causes it to default to an automatically determined list of fields deemed appropriate for the context in which the text box appears. This is the most commonly used setting for the selector.

Alternatively, to have a specific list of field values, the selector can be given as a comma-separated list of field names. There should be no spaces in the list; if you cannot avoid this because there are fields whose names include spaces, then you must place the whole list in single quotes. E.g. 'Breed,Eye Color'.

Finally, the selector may use the syntax !FIELD-LIST, which acts like * except that the fields named in the list are excluded. E.g. if you wanted to have a field list that included all fields deemed appropriate for the given context, but not the 'Breed' or 'Color' fields, you could use !Breed,Color.

You can control which fields PedPro deems appropriate to be used in any given form context with the * or !FIELD-LIST forms of selector by setting the 'Default Field Usage' options within the File Settings window. See Customization - Data Fields. E.g. you might want the 'Color' field to appear in the cells of the ancestors box for the parent and grand-parent generations but not beyond.

Note that you can also adjust the order in which fields are displayed - see below for details.

The FIELDS-SELECTOR defaults to * if not given.


This controls how the fields are separated.

  • COMMA (or just ,) outputs the fields as a comma separated list.
  • UL outputs the fields as a bullet list, with each field on a separate line.
  • OL outputs the fields as a numbered list, with each field on a separate line.
  • L outputs the fields as a simple list (without bullet or number prefix), with each field on a separate line.
  • T outputs the fields as a table without borders.
  • TB outputs the fields as a table with borders.

The LIST-STYLE defaults to , if not given.


This is an optional percentage value, by which the text size will be scaled. It defaults to 100 (i.e., unscaled).


[$ * L] A labeled list of field values, without case conversion, with each field on a separate line.
[@ * , 70] A comma-separated list of unlabelled field values, scaled to 70% text size.
[@ !Breed BL] A bulleted list of unlabelled field values, excluding the 'Breed' field.
[$ * TB] A bordered table of labeled field values, without case conversion.

Field Names

Field names are managed separately for user-defined and system fields.

User-defined fields - i.e. ones that you can add and remove to your data file - have names that you set yourself using the User Fields tab of the File Settings window. For further information see Customization - Data Fields.

System fields - i.e. those that are built-in by PedPro - have both a hard-coded internal name and also a name derived from the current terminology settings. To alter these names, use the Terminology tab of the Preferences window. Hard-coded names always begin with the # symbol. E.g. the sex field has the hard-coded internal name #Sex but also a terminology-derived name which, unless you change it, is simply Sex. For further information see Customization.

When PedPro creates a new data file, any system fields that are explicitly used in all the standard forms are deliberately named using the hard-coded internal names, such as #Sex, so that they will work correctly irrespective of how you might change the terminology settings.

Field Ordering

You can configure the order in which fields are output when a field code expands to 2 or more fields. To do this, use the Form Field Order tab of the File Settings window. For further information see Customization - Data Fields.

Formatting Codes

Formatting codes are a means of altering the visual appearance of the text but not the text itself.

Currently there are only 2 formatting codes but more may be added in future releases.

Formatting Code Description
{S percent}...{/S}

Scales the enclosed text by the given percentage size.

E.g. Apple {S 75}Pear{/S} would output 'Apple Pear' but the 'Pear' would be in a smaller font.

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