Label Cannot Be Rendered error in Universal Theme

The Universal Theme, which was introduced in APEX 5.0, has some really nice features. One of the coolest is that it’s responsive–no matter what size window you’re using, the pages should look decent and be fully functional. (Side note: back when I was in college, many websites proudly bore banners declaring that they were designed to be viewed at specific resolutions; if you were using some other size window, they often didn’t look very good. I’ve never understand why anyone ever thought that was a good idea.)

The way this works is through what’s called the “grid” system, where (basically) the page is divided into twelve more-or-less equal columns. If the window is too narrow, some of the columns will automatically stack on top of each other. There’s a fair amount of behind-the-scenes magic, but the vast majority of the time, you won’t need to worry about it.

Of course, that phrase–“the vast majority of the time”–does mean that there will be some times where you do, in fact, need to worry about it. If you decide to have multiple items on the same row, you’re likely to run into an error that says something like:

Label of Page Item P1_TEXT_1 cannot be rendered as the label column span grid setting for this page item is invalid. It is set to be displayed with a Label Column Span of 3. This is not supported as the page item itself only has 3 Column(s)available.

Contact your application administrator.

Let me be honest: I don’t like this error, or this error message. I don’t think it’s very friendly or clear. There’s nothing in Page Designer or Component View to indicate that you have a problem, and the message doesn’t really tell you what the problem is–or how to fix it.

Remember how I said that the Universal Theme uses a twelve column grid? That’s what causes this error. Every page item uses a certain number of columns for its label and for the item itself; by default, the Universal Theme uses three columns for the label, and one for the item. So if you have three items in a row, you’re fine (the labels use a total of nine columns, and the items another three, for a total of 12), but if you try to put a fourth item on the row, you get the error. (Side note: Hidden labels still take up columns, which helps ensure that items line up properly.)

Once you run into the error, there are several ways to fix it:

  • The easiest, of course, is to just not put so many items on the same row, but sometimes that’s just not an option.
  • You can put the item labels above their respective items by using the Optional – Above or Required – Above label templates; this gets rid of the three columns reserved for the label. Alternatively, you may be able to set your region’s template options to have the Label Position as Show Form Labels Above; this will, of course, affect all items in the region, but if that works for you, it’s easier than editing each item individually.
  • You can also manually adjust how many columns the label and/or item uses by adjusting the Label Column Span and Column Span attributes (respectively); these are in the Grid section of the Page Designer.
  • It’s also possible to change the number of columns used by default by changing the page template, but this won’t work if you’re using the Universal Theme subscribed to the Theme Repository, which I recommend (since you’ll automatically get any fixes we release in new versions of APEX). And, of course, this would impact all of the page items throughout your application, and is likely to cause issues on pages you’re not intending to change.

Depending on your situation, I’d suggest that the second or third options are likely to be best.

Ironhand

I don’t post about it very often, but my wife is a self-published author. She focuses mainly on “speculative fiction”–fantasy mixed with sci-fi (in varying quantities). Here’s a list of her published works.

Full disclaimer: she has expressly forbidden me from posting reviews of her works on sites like Amazon and Goodreads.com, since I am (naturally) biased. However, this is my site, so I can say what I want! That said, I’ll try to keep this more or less impartial. I hate sales pitches, and I’m sure you do, too.

Anyhow, about two years ago, she published a novella called Mourning Cloak. Being a novella (shorter than a full novel, but longer than a short story) meant that she had to focus very tightly on the story she wanted to tell; longer works are able to take more time to build up the world, show you all the action, and then wrap everything up nicely at the end. Mourning Cloak had a very rich, detailed world, but the reader only really saw parts of it as the story carried them along–one reviewer complained that, even after reading, they didn’t have a good idea of what a cobble cruncher looked like–and there were some things left hanging at the end, because the story ended before they could be resolved. Most obviously, the main characters were stranded in a desert far from home. The story of Mourning Cloak was complete, but there was clearly more to tell about the world, and Rabia pretty quickly got lots of feedback asking for a sequel.

She’d never written a sequel before. Hadn’t even considered it, really.

But she agreed that there was more to tell, and so she wrote Ironhand, which continues the story and tries to wrap up some of the loose strands from Mourning Cloak. It’s available now in e-book format through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo; we’ll be publishing a paperback version (through Amazon) soon.

If you’ve read & enjoyed Mourning Cloak, I highly recommend Ironhand. If you haven’t, feel free to try Ironhand, but I’d suggest that you’ll get the most out of reading both together–that’s kind of the nature of sequels, after all.