I have forms which tend to become always larger in size because of a multitude of fields. In some cases a form relates to a previously created entity and showing the fields of this entity as non-editable fields is needed. However these extra non editable fields need not to distract people who don't want to check the previous entity.

What I opted is for auto-hide panels so that only interested people can un-hide the panel and check these fields while others will simply use the form.

I have no name for this type of hideable panel but I have an example below:

auto hide panel

The example below seems to be HTML while I'm developing forms in a Desktop (Java Swing) environment, so nomenclature might be different.

What is the name of such drop down panels? Any platform using these as default GUI objects?

1 Answer 1


The idea of using hidden fields is actually nothing new. I have used this approach many times over the past decade. I've used them for the same purpose as you're doing, but also for doing what they are most commonly used for (passing data without the user being aware of it - not for any sinister purpose, but usually to avoid confusion or to provide a cleaner interface).

As far as what they're called, well, I've always just called them 'hidden fields'. Here are some examples of this term being used by others:

In terms of your specific example, I suppose it's not so much that the fields are hidden as it is that the entire panel is hidden. I too have taken this approach, usually with repeating fields, but not always. I just call them either hidden or collapsible panels because that's how I've always heard/read them described as.

Hope this helps and good luck with your forms.

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