Dbase table problem adding TFields and setting alias default location

Hello everyone!

   I have a problem that it seems should be simple modifying the Field
list on a TTable component using dBase tables.  I can add numeric
fields but when I try to add a Character field it adds it as a String
but I get an invalid field message and bomb at runtime. If I let it
automatically create a data form, it creates the Character field
objects as String and they work fine, but I can't delete and recreate,
make changes, etc.  What am I doing wrong?

Another issue is I would like my application to look for local dBase
tables in the current directory regardless of where it is installed,
and can't figure out how to allow this without requiring my end user
to program the IDAPI alias location.  Any help would be greatly