<<*Options/Optional*>> Text Blocks: Nesting:
Nesting of <<*Options/Optional*>> text block is allowed. As a practical matter it is not advisable to nest beyond two or three levels. This is not because the system itself is limited. Rather this limit is suggested because it gets confusing to the eye to have nestings too deep.
Here is one example of nesting based on the examples used in prior pages. The nest appears in the last option. (Coloring has been added to the elements of the text block for emphasis. You can also add coloring to your source documents to make editing easier. See Color Markers):
<<*Options(radio)*Ship FedEx/Ship Standard Ground/Hold for Pickup/Out of Stock*As per your request, the widgets will be shipped by Federal Express and we will bill you for the extra cost of shipping./As per your request, we will send the widgets by standard ground transport. This may take 3 to 5 additional days./As per your request, we will hold the widgets for pickup by your courier./The widgets you have ordered are not currently in stock. We will ship them as soon as possible. If we have not shipped within 5 days of this date, you will have the option to cancel the order. When available, the widgets will be shipped by: <<*Options(radio)*Federal Express./Standard ground transport./Per your request, we will hold the widgets for pickup by your courier.>>>>
As you are designing <<*Options/Optional*>> text blocks, please note that the text need not be a solid block (as the above examples were). <<*Options/Optional*>> text blocks can be multi-dimensional, just like Word documents can be. You can have single or multiple, paragraphs, add ‘character’ to the text (color, emphasis, even pictures). You can add any dimension to make the block meet your specific need. (Just a reminder. The various elements of the text block in the below illustration are ‘painted’ red and blue. These colors are for emphasis only. Colors are not required See Color Markers.)
<<*Optional*My favorite foods are:
My favorite vegetable is <<*Options(radio)*tomatoes/potatoes/squash/beans/none of the above>>./
My favorite fruit is <<*Options(radio)*peaches/<<*options(radio)*Macintosh apples/Golden Delicious apples/Granny Smith apples/plain ole apples>>/plums/bananas>>./
My favorite grain is <<*Options(radio)*whole wheat/barley/oats/beer>>.
Note: Pathagoras always works on <<*Options/Optional*>> text blocks from the outside in.
Diversion: Copy and paste the above example into a standard Word document. Trigger the processing by pressing <Alt-G> at the very end of the document. Note the actions of the various elements and option styles used, including the use of non-radio options for the top-most question, and radio options for the others.
You can nest Options questions to as many levels as you choose. But just because you can doesn't mean that you should. We suggest no more that two levels of nesting. The problem with nesting is that, the 'deeper' you go, the more difficult the resulting text is to read. Everything in Pathagoras is on-screen, not in hidden fields. This is a plus when you nest once or twice -- the end user doesn't have much trouble seeing a predicting what will happen if a certain choice is made. But when it gets deeper that, it can be difficult to read. Concentrate on properly constructed questions. That way, you will not have to go very deep at all.
As stated immediately above, there is no 'legal limit' to the number of nests you can create, but Pathagoras needs a cap to tell it when to stop looking for closing brackets. An arbitrary number of 5 nestings was selected. (An error message reporting "Hopeless Imbalance" will appear when the cap is reached. (By 'nesting', we refer both to 'deep' nesting -- where every new nest is a 'grand child' of the previous parent, and sibling nests, where all nestings are child of a single parent, on the same level as each other.)
If you receive the message, and know the structure is correct, you will need to increase the cap. To do so, go to the <<Options/Optional Settings>> tab in the All Settings screen and increase the count to 10 (or more, if needed). (See image below.)