We start my Christmas series with my favourite new thing I found in the past few weeks, Enhanced Groups. This post does a quick overview of a great new feature in PowerApps, Enhanced Groups. This feature is currently set to “Experimental”, so might well vanish at any moment. For now, it can help hugely in your PowerApps layout. Enhanced Groups gives us positions based on the group position, groups within groups and you can also add items to an existing group. For anyone who has worked with grouping controls before, you will be aware of some of the struggles with existing groups.
Turning on the Enhanced Groups Feature
As this feature is experimental you will need to turn on the feature in the apps you want to try it in.
- Click on File and App Settings
- Select Advanced Settings and scroll down to find Experimental features.
- Toggle Enhanced Groups to On
- Save and close your app and reopen for the feature to be available.
Adding Groups and Items to Groups
On a screen in your app, you can now group existing items, add an empty group and add items to a group.
- From the Insert ribbon select Controls and Group to add a group to your app.
- With the group selected, insert another control, e.g. a label.
- Move the group and not the X and Y of the nested label remains the same. They are relative to the group’s position.
- You can base the dimensions of the control of the group’s dimensions using Parent.Width or Parent.Height
- With a group selected you can paste in controls.
Groups that existed before you turned on the feature are old style groups and will not behave in an enhanced way. It’s probably a good idea to re-create the groups.
A group can have a background colour and a border. It also has a visible property. All of these can be based on calculations just like any other control.
The enhanced groups make laying out of complex screens easier but they are still an experimental feature so should only be used in small projects and not used commercially until they become standard (hopefully).