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Newbie question - Upon "Create New" how to use picklist to get a different layout?

I'm fairly new to this but trying to learn using the available documentation.  Hopefully this question is not too "large" to be answered on here.

My question:  After creating a custom object (let's call it "Asset" in this example), how can I make it so that when creating a new item (as in using the "Create New..." drop-down on the left pane of Salesforce), only a picklist is given...which then gives a layout depending on the option chosen from the picklist?

A walkthrough of what I'm trying to do:

1. User clicks on Create New... drop-down on left side

2. Choose "Asset"

3.  A picklist pops up with options for Asset Types (PC, monitor, printer)

4.  User chooses printer

5.  A layout is automatically given with fields specific for creating/tracking a printer

Any pointers/advice on how to do this?  Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.  Thanks!!

What you need will be accomplished by adding record types to your custom object.  It's quite simple really -- check out the docs on record types for information on how to set it up.
Thanks Hardhat!  Will give this a go.  I appreciate the reply.
After creating record types , you can use workflow to change the page layout. You can read more on workflow field updates.
Very helpful - thank you.