App Building Two Cents’ Worth: Use List Screens to Repeat a Section of your App or Add Line Items

By Jason Good on May 7, 2013

App Building Two Cents' Worth

App Building Two Cents' Worth: Use List Screens to Repeat a Section of your App

We frequently get questions here at GoCanvas that sound something like this…

  • Can I copy and paste fields and screens?
  • How do I repeat a section of my GoCanvas app?
  • How does my mobile worker enter multiple line items on my work order/invoice/service ticket?
  • What is a “list” screen?

So I thought I would answer all of these questions in one fell swoop and add a powerful tool to your GoCanvas app building toolkit!  List Screens allow you to repeat a single screen (Simple List) or multiple screens (Advanced List) giving your mobile workers the flexibility they need in the field to account for the fact that all jobs are different.

Simple List

The most common use of a Simple List screen is to create the “grid” experience you're so used to when using paper forms.  Paper forms are filled with these grids allowing you to enter multiple line-items. 

Materials Section

Here is a common pricing grid for a “Materials” section of a Work Order. You enter a quantity, the name of the material, the price and then you enter the full amount (Quantity x Price).  What do you do when you have more than 7 materials??  Probably pull out another paper form, right?  A Simple List in GoCanvas allows the user to add as many line items as necessary!  PLUS, GoCanvas can automatically enter your price information and do the calculation for you. 

Simple List

Here is what it looks like in the GoCanvas App Builder. Notice the “Calculation” field at the end that multiplies the Quantity field by the Price field.

List Screen


Another common use is for an inspection.  Inspection apps are very common with GoCanvas!  But inspections are very repetitive in nature.  Here is an example of an inspection where a List Screen allows you to build a single screen to handle an inspection of over 15 items.  You don't need a screen for each item (This is why folks ask for “copy/paste” functionality!).  You just need one List Screen and you repeat it for each item. In the example below you would make the Kitchen items a Value List (Drop-Down) for your user to select.

List Screen

Here is what it looks like in the GoCanvas App Builder.  We created an electronic version of the above paper form in minutes using a Simple List screen.

List Screen

Advanced List

The Advanced List is used for two main reasons.  Functionally it behaves the same way on your mobile device as a Simple List, however.

  1. Create a “list within a list”: Perhaps in the home inspection above you had multiple components that make-up each item.  So under Cabinetry perhaps you also had different types of cabinets to inspect.
  2. Conditional Screens: In GoCanvas there is a feature called “Conditional Branching” that allows you to assign conditions to a screen.  Maybe in the inspection example above you wanted your user to take a picture of any item that earns a “Poor” rating. So each time you flag something as “Poor” you get a special screen that asks for a more detailed description and 3 pictures of the item.  You would need to use an Advanced List instead of a Simple List.  A Simple List will not allow you to use Conditional Branching with data collected on the Simple List.

There is a HELP topic on Advanced Lists that go into much greater detail. 

And we are here to help, too!  Try the “LIVE CHAT” button and talk to one of our Mobile App Consultants.  Or email us at  We'll help you go paperless and save your organization a ton of time lost to managing and using paper forms!