One of my new invoice template layout - Design #2

William Lancee

Active Member
Licensed User
Here is an interesting CVL. Each item is a BBCodeView. It is cross platform and very simple to implement. The statistical summary reports are based on the data shown in #11.
CVL and BBC.png

William Lancee

Active Member
Licensed User
You ask about button and textfield styles. I will tell you my preferences, but note I am not even sure how create the 3D effect.

1. text on buttons should be centered, no colon

2.3D, rounded buttons should be raised and angular text fields should be sunken, they should be close but not touching.

3. Button left, text field right. But, not if you need to read the text before pressing button. If you are righthanded your finger will be in the way.
If your written language is right to left then this should be reversed.

4. All buttons should be the same size, no matter the caption, all text fields should be the same size , no matter the text length - at least in the same section. Variations are distractions.

5. Color: I like my text field to be White waiting for content. Button colors should not be garish, if dark the text should be white, if light the text should be black or other
dark color, but I do like dark blue on very light gray. Also note that some named colors are not too useful, pure red and pure green are jarring to me.
I use "Crimson" = ARG((220,20,60) and "Forest Green" = ARG(34,139,34) respectively.

I believe that there are many different and many successful approaches to the GUI.
So my preferences don't really matter very much, and I deviate from them all the time.
Since this the Chit Chat forum, this is a good opportunity for others to share their preferences.

Peter Simpson

Licensed User
Hello @William Lancee,
For years I've only used bright colours sparingly, especially in my main software packing which I've sold a large amount of copies. My colour selection comes from years of customer feedback. I usually leave all the buttons, text boxes, drop down boxes etc as default, but now I fancy trying to change things up a little bit, but not by too much.

In B4J I've actually created a dark theme CSS file, but even though I personally use dark theme as much as possible on my machines, I just don't like my own attempts at integrating dark themes into my projects, so I just leave them standard. I will get there sooner rather than later, but when is the question???

In my long selling windows invoice software (created many years ago in .NET), when creating invoices the selected lines might change colour. If the line does change colour customers can click on a legends button so see what the colours mean.

Windows screenshot of invoice/quote selected item line colour legend.

When I create bespoke software for clients, on Stock Management screens when viewing the entire stock list I always have a check box option that shows the following criteria, I also always have separate filter systems.
  • All stock items
  • In stock
  • Out of stock
  • Needs re-ordering
B4J Screenshot of stock management screen. Option to visually highlighted in stock levels.

When clients check a checkbox only the stock items quantities (of the displayed list) backgrounds change colours (Red, Green and Orange) to quickly and easily allow for visually seeing stock levels.

I always leave input text boxes background colours white, I only change the background colors in Quote and Invoice screens and only when selecting customers that reach particular criterias, if a customer is over their credit limit (Orange), if a customer is banned (Red).

I create a lot of bespoke software for clients and have done so for years. By default if possible I always automatically add all of the above into bespoke packages. My clients like all the extra features that I include as once they start using their bespoke package, that's when they realise how useful these features can be.

Colour wise the above colours are the default colours that I always include but obviously only if the package is capable of using them. I also create manufacturing software for clients that links to machinery via Bluetooth/Serial/USB, scales etc so all of the above then becomes irrelevant. My general interfaces layouts and their designs don't really change that much not unless they really have to, sometimes (like last year) I have have clients that need software designing and they already have all their screen designs layout and designed (usually in MS Paint) ready for a developer like ourselves to make their bespoke software into reality.

Sadly last year I had to turn down a potentially new client as their company (that I had already heard of as they are large in their industry) contacted me as they wanted software developed that had well in excess of 30 different screen (all already designed by themselves). What they wanted wasn't difficult but their time scale was absolutely ridiculous. I made it to the last three developers that they chose but they needed the software developed in 3 months (which was impossible). I said 8-10 months, the other 2 developers said 12 months and 18 months receptivity. I then dropped out by choice as this company just kept adding more features then the timeline dropped to 2 months from their original three months as they kept messing around lol, so I dropped out. They contacted me 5 month later wondering if I could still take on the project but in 6 months, but sadly by that time I was always doing other work.

By the way I also have a default layout where the buttons are on the left hand side of the screen and not the top of the screen as some of my clients like that design when I shows it to them.

William Lancee

Active Member
Licensed User
Your experience is formable. I had a career as a scientist, and most of the time my only "client' was me. If stand in the Sun, that would be a song.
I agree with everything you say, and based on your past postings, that would be all the time!