10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 19, 2013 3:02 AM by AlastairMcInnes

    Growing and shrinking fields on a layout

    AlastairMcInnes

      Title

      Growing and shrinking fields on a layout

      Post

           Hello,

           I have a layout which will contain a couple of text fields and up to 4 images. There is also a single line of text which must appear at the bottom of the page.

           The text fields will contain various amounts of text from a single line to several paragraphs (though usually very short).

           There may be fewer than 4 images.

           I've tried ordinary fields for the text and for the images with each field set to slide up as required. I've also tried Merge fields for the text with ordinary fields for the images underneath, again set to slide up as required.

           However, it seems that I have to set the text fields (or merge fields) to be as big as they can possibly be in layout mode, which means that the images are on the second page of the layout. Now, in reality there will almost always be room for the text and images on a single page and I don't want there to be lots of blank pages being created which is what seems to be happening now.

           The help files suggest that merge fields will grow or shrink as required but I can't figure out how to allow them to grow - the text is just being cut off at the end of the field as defined on the layout.

           I'm sure I'm doing something wrong - perhaps so wrong that this isn't even a sensible question, but I'd be grateful for any help that could be offered.

           Thanks,
      Alastair

        • 1. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
          philmodjunk

               Fields in FileMaker--both merge and regular, cannot grow only shrink.

               But if you correctly set the sliding objects and all objects in the same part located along side or beneath them to also slide up and to "resize enclosing part", you should not get a bunch of blank pages.

               The only case where you might see a limited ability to "grow" is for merge fields that are part of the same text block.

               In layout mode, select the text tool and draw a rectangle on your layout. With the cursor inside this new text object, use the Insert menu to insert two merge fields into this single text block. You can press the return key to put the second field on the line below the first.

               Now, both in browse mode and in preview/print mode the two fields will grow and shrink with in the limits of the text box rectangle that you drew on the layout. The combined contents of these two fields won't be able to expand past the limits of the text object.

               You can then set the text object to slide up and to resize the enclosing part to eliminate unused space when printing, previewing or saving as PDF.

               Key facts about sliding layout objects:

                 
          1.           It's only visible in preview mode and when you print/save as PDF...
          2.      
          3.           Sliding fields will shrink but not expand.
          4.      
          5.           All layout objects below and in the same layout part as the slide/resize field need to also be set to slide up and resize.
          6.      
          7.           Objects in headers and footers will not slide.
          8.      
          9.           Portals will shrink/slide to fit the number of rows of records, but fields within the portal row will not shrink/slide.
          10.      
          11.           Fields will slide up only if Top alignment is specified for it and will slide left only if Left alignment is specified.
          12.      
          13.           Consistent side borders are difficult to achieve with sliding fields.
          • 2. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
            AlastairMcInnes

                 Thanks, Phil.

                 I've done my best to follow your instructions, but I'm getting a blank page between every "real" page when I preview the results. It's as if the fact that there's a second page on the layout view means that there's one in preview as well.

                 It would be nice if the layout could look good in Browse mode as well as Preview and as a PDF. Am I wishing for the moon here?

                 Alastair

            • 3. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
              philmodjunk

                   Resize enclosing part is the setting that should remove that blank page, but you have to be careful to set this on every object on your layout for which its position may change due to sliding so this can be a simple case of not setting this on a single object--even a horizontal line drawn below the last sliding object has to have this setting.

                   Also, you'll get a new blank line if the resulting body (after everything has slide up and resized) is even one pixel more than will fit in the printable area of your printed page. Look for any blank space below the lowest objects on your layout and see if removing it, by dragging the boundary between footer and body (or the bottom edge of the layout if you don't have a part below the body), up as far as it will go changes the results that you get.

              • 4. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
                AlastairMcInnes

                     As far as I can see all the objects that are set to slide are also set to resize their enclosing parts. There's a blank page between every real page regardless of how short the text is or whether there's any images or not.

                     I'm wondering if the sidebar is a problem. The layout has a section on the side containing information that doesn't move - the two text fields and the image fields are set to slide up based on objects immediately above them, so I was hoping it would ignore the stuff in the side bar, but perhaps not.

                • 5. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
                  philmodjunk

                       You'll need to describe that "side bar". A screen shot of your layout taken while the layout is in layout mode could help with that. I am assuming from your description that the fields are correctly sliding but that  empty space remains at the bottom of the page.

                       

                            As far as I can see all the objects that are set to slide are also set to resize their enclosing parts.

                       But are all the objects below your sliding objects and that are still part of the body layout part also set to slide/resize?

                        

                  • 6. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
                    philmodjunk

                         And are your container fields actually sliding for you? They usually do not slide up at first due to a default setting of a "center vertical alignment". And unlike other fields, this setting has to be changed in the Data format section at the bottom of the Data tab in the Inspector instead of on the Appearance tab.

                    • 7. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
                      AlastairMcInnes

                           I changed the alignment of the container fields, but it hasn't helped.

                           I've attached a screen shot of the top half of the layout - it's too tall to include in a single screen grab, even reduced to 75% size - and will post the bottom half in another posting.

                           The sidebar is made up of several text fields, all set to slide up as required - this bit does seem to be working in terms of moving things about.

                           Hope this makes sense...

                      • 8. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
                        AlastairMcInnes

                             Bottom half of the layout:

                        • 9. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
                          philmodjunk

                               It Looks like you will get at least a two page per record result even if all fields were empty. Is the "side bar" set to slide or is it always the same size?

                               Click on the boundary between the Body and the footer and drag it up to be as close as possible to the bottom row of fields.

                               Do you still get the extra pages?

                               The grey check boxes in the inspector indicate that not all selected objects are set to slide or resize.

                               BTW, an easy way to see what objects are set to slide is to select View | Show | Sliding Objects while in layout mode.

                          • 10. Re: Growing and shrinking fields on a layout
                            AlastairMcInnes

                                 It was that extra space above the footer boundary that did it - kinda obvious I guess...

                                 Anyway, many thanks, again, for the help.

                                 Alastair