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Way to create a dynamic form that changes as data is entered?

Question asked by g@briellelevenson on Jul 19, 2012
Latest reply on Jul 24, 2012 by jmrusch

Hi FM Devs!

 

I have been tasked with creating a form where the user will start filling it out, and the form will shift dynamically based on what answers they are providing.

 

For example, if the form asks "What is your profession?":

 

If they enter "Doctor", then the form would shift into questions like "What is your specialty?" and "How long have you been in practice?".

If they enter "Student", then it might ask them questions like "What school are you currently attending?" and "What year will you graduate?".

 

Some responses might trigger only 1 question, while other responses might trigger 5 more.

 

The problem is, I could make this work using conditional formatting and calculation fields, except there are going to be blank gaps all over the form where the hidden content lives, and it's going to look disjointed. I wish Filemaker could slide content up/over when things are hidden, but I don't think that's possible. Or if I had a way to collapse/expand sections of the layout, that would work too. The best solution I've come up with so far is to actually create several layouts that look identical up until the branching field, and use script triggers on the data fields to seamlessly send the user to a different layout without them knowing. The problem is, if there are several of these branching fields that can send in different directions, that is multiplying how many layouts I'd need to make. I also thought about using portals to change the data that appears, but can't seem to approach it in a way that makes sense.

 

Has anybody had to tackle a similar issue? If so, are there any layout tricks you've come across, or any wisdom you can impart? I don't want to tell my employer that it isn't possible to do what they are visualizing, but I'm really questioning whether I can do it cleanly.

 

Thanks in advance,

Gabrielle

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