9 tips to get the most out of BaseCase Interactive

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I spend much of my time talking about the main features and benefits of BaseCase Interactive - in a nutshell, the fact that it helps market access teams improve value communication while saving time and money.

This remains our core value proposition, but there are also a large number of less talked about features that can really boost productivity by helping you to develop better apps in a more efficient way.

Here are our top nine tips to help you get the most out of BaseCase.

1. Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V - copy and paste objects

If you’re building an app on a Windows machine, use ‘Ctrl+C’ to copy, and ‘Ctrl+V’ to paste. For Mac users, it’s ‘Cmd+C’ and ‘Cmd+V’.

Copy-paste complements the ‘duplicate’ operation (Ctrl+D or Cmd+D), which allows you to quickly duplicate the currently selected control.

2. Shift + click and Ctrl + click - format multiple cells in a table at once

If you have a table with multiple cells that need to be formatted in the same way, you don’t need to format them one-by-one. You can use the shift or ctrl key to select multiple cells and format them together.

Use the shift +click shortcut to select a group of contiguous cells, and the ctrl + click shortcut to select multiple cells from different parts of the table.

3. Showing screenshots in a PDF report

The PDF report function is one of the core features of our product and is used by the vast majority of our customers. It allows key account managers to generate a customizable and client-specific PDF report which summarizes a meeting, based on the content that was discussed and the inputs that were used. This kind of ‘leave-behind’ is further enhanced when you include screenshots of the app itself in the PDF report.

To include a screenshot from the app just use this text in the Documents editor:

«’page name‘»

The correct page from the app will appear automatically in the PDF report, as shown in the above example. The screenshot will display the inputs and outputs that are visible on the page when you generate the report.

4. Align text to objects using a separate text area for each

It helps to remember that different browsers render text differently, with slightly different line heights and spacing. This means that your app will look slightly different on an iPad, compared with, say, a Windows laptop running Internet Explorer.

To make sure the alignment of text to objects is correct, be sure to use a different Text Area for each object. One common example is creating custom bullet points, aligning text with small images. Instead of using a single Text Area with spaces between each sentence, use a different Text Area for each image to avoid the problem.

Align each object with a separate text area

5. Use transparent backgrounds to create a professional design

When we updated our color picker we added the ability to give controls a transparent background. This means you can create a professional look and feel by adding controls with a transparent or semi-transparent background over the top of an image.

Another great use for this is to add a Basic Box control with a gradient sloping from white (or another color) to fully transparent. This lets you create a soft edge, so you can add content to the page without creating a sharp break between the content and the background image.

6. Use dynamic text to save time updating your app

You may have text that appears in multiple locations in your app, that will need to be updated over time. To save time updating these elements, a good tip is to plan ahead by using dynamic text in a Text Area or Label that points to the spreadsheet layer. Then you just need to update that particular cell in your model to change all the text at once.

A good example of this is the current date, or year. To create Text Areas that can easily be updated with the current year, just use double curly brackets around the cell reference - e.g. {{A1}} - and connect that cell in the datafeed of the control to a cell in the underlying spreadsheet. You can then just change the year in the spreadsheet to update all the Text Areas at once.

7. Use a Dropdown to make selections on a Map

The map control is a great tool for comparing results between countries, or selecting a country to input data relevant to your area. To enhance the functionality of this tool, many of our customers choose to add a Dropdown control, giving the user another way to select a country from the map.

To link the Dropdown with the Map, you just enter the name of the Map control - e.g. “EuropeanMap1” - into the Targets field of the Dropdown, which is found under the properties tab. You can then point the text field to the countries listed in the Map, to read the correct country name.

8. The DGET function might be a better alternative to LOOKUP

Our Senior Software Developer Nicolas Hatcher has led a project to radically increase the number of available functions on the BaseCase Editor. As a result, there are now vastly more functions to use, making it more likely than ever that your model can be converted to the native spreadsheet format - which gives you optimal performance and offline availability.

Of all of the new functions - mathematical, logical, statistical and more - it’s not easy to pick the most interesting or useful one. Nicolas’ tip is to consider using the new DGET function as an alternative to LOOKUP. It lets you search a list using a greater range of parameters, including the use of wildcards. It’s particularly useful for cases where you need to find an entry that uniquely matches your search criteria.

9. Use markdown to create well-designed tooltips

If you’ve used the Documents editor to create a PDF report, you’ll be familiar with markdown, the simple formatting language that gives you control over the style and appearance of your text. It’s less well-known that you can also use markdown to create tooltips with a professional look and feel.

Markdown was designed for ‘non-programmers’ to use, so you don’t need to be an expert in HTML to get the benefits. We’ve included a handy example within the tooltip editor (just click Show Example Content in the tooltip box) and you can also get more information from the official website.

Text in the tooltip editor can be formatted in markdown
The tooltip displays the correct formatting

Wondering why we haven’t posted in a while?

Our blog has moved to a different location.
Visit http://blog.basecase.net to check out our latest blog posts.