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ZIM Object Dictionary

Field DataMask

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The masking pattern used to display the form field’s data value.

Valid Values

The applicable masking pattern characters depend on the data type (DT) of the form field (e.g., non-digit, alphanumeric, numeric, and date)


Currently, DataMask is used only for entry fields.

In text-class windows, the DataMask acts as both a display and an input mask.

In graphic windows, the DataMask acts solely as a display mask.

The data entered by the end-user should conform to the data type assigned to the form field (e.g., if the field is date, the entry is a number of the form YYYYMMDD). When the form field loses focus, the data is formatted according to the DataMask.

For a more detailed explanation of mask patterns and their relation to data types, see Masking.

Behavior of the DataMask attribute in Text and Graphich Windows

Display-Masked Form Fields in Text-Class Windows

Display-masked form fields are shown with the display mask in place only when:

  • the form field is unprotected (e.g., awaiting input), or
  • there is data in the form field (e.g., browsing records).

At all other times, the display mask is suppressed.

If an unprotected numeric form field has a display mask consisting entirely of floating $s or Zs, the appearance of the mask in an empty form field varies depending on the AN (allow nulls) attribute as follows:

Masking Pattern Nulls Allowed (AN=”Y”) Nulls Not Allowed (AN=”N”)
ZZZ.ZZ (field fill characters) 0
$$$.$$ (field fill characters) $0
  • If the same form field also has the VR (value required) attribute set to Y and is empty, the form field is displayed as shown in the Nulls Allowed (“Y”) column, above.
  • In a form field with AN (allow nulls) set to Y and a floating $ mask, the dollar sign appears as soon as a digit is typed into the form field.
  • If a form field with a floating mask is erased, or if all the digits in the form field are deleted, the mask disappears. (Only fill characters are displayed.)

Display-Masked Form Fields in Graphic Windows

A display-masked form field is shown with its mask in place whenever:

  • the field does not have focus; or
  • the field has focus, but is not available (i.e., is guarded, protected, or unavailable).

See Also

AN, CM, DT, FieldLen, WdgInputMask


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