Using Autocompletes in VTA Backoffice

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Autocomplete is a feature provided in many web based applications to speed up human-computer interactions.  It involves the application predicting what the user is typing in without the user actually typing it in completely.

Autocomplete is available in VTA Backoffice and can be turned on an off in the user profile.  When autocomplete is used for a particular field, the system does not present a drop-down list of all valid selections for that field.  Instead, as you type into the field the system displays the list of items that begin with the text you have typed.  The more characters you type the smaller the list becomes.  Just like a regular drop-down list, you can click on an item in the list to select it or you can use the arrow keys to highlight the desired value and complete the selection by pressing the enter key.  Not only does autocomplete make it easier to find the desired item in a list which will decrease data entry time, but it also makes the application pages load faster on your computer.

Activating the Autocomplete Options in Your User Profile

To access your VTA User Profile, hover over the down arrow to the right of Sign Out and click on Profile.
profile

You will notice a number of autocomplete options.  When turned on or checked, the related fields will use autocompletes, instead of drop-down lists, in data entry screens and also report screens.  Here is a summary of the autocomplete options in the profile and the fields that are controlled by each option.

Autocomplete Option Related Field(s)
Auto-Complete for Courses Area, Subject, Course Code, and Course Title
Auto-Complete for Employees Employee ID and Name
Auto-Complete for Employee-Edit Charge Code and Custom Category fields
Use Autocomplete for Job Titles Job Title
Use Autocomplete for Positions Position
Use Autocomplete for Department Department
Use Autocomplete for Work Areas Work Area

We’ve given you the ability to choose the fields on which you want to use autocomplete.  That’s because you need to know the data in order for autocomplete to be helpful for you.  For example, if you aren’t familiar with the available job titles in your site, then you won’t know what to type into the job title field.

However, here’s a little trick..  If you are not sure what to type into an autocomplete field, type in %.  This will display all available items in the list, just like the old drop-down list. 

If you are not already using autocompletes, go ahead and give them a try.  I think you’ll be glad you did.

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Duncan Welder IV
Mr. Welder holds a Master’s of Education from Texas A&M University in Educational Technology and has more than 15 years experience in implementation of Learning Management Systems, both domestically and abroad. Mr. Welder has been recognized for his application of Learning Management Systems to manage regulatory-compliance in industries ranging from petrochemicals to finance and has provided presentations to professional organizations including the Gulf Coast Process Technology Alliance, the Northwest Process Technology Alliance and the American Society of Training and Development.
Mr. Welder’s career is founded in traditional instructional design and computer-based training development. He is a certified Development Dimensions International facilitator, a Kirkpatrick Certified Evaluator and facilitator of the Ohio State University curriculum development program. In addition to working in industry, Mr. Welder has held adjunct faculty positions at Bowling Green State University, Ohio and the College of the Mainland, Texas. Mr. Welder has been published in both Training Magazine as well as US Business Review.
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