7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2009 5:55 AM by Jens Teich

    Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.



      Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.


      Brand new beginner on Filemaker (or ANY database program for that matter).


      I have created a proposal-estimate form for my company. This form has three sections - all identically the same. Each section has a place for Part Number, Description, Qty, Cost, Total, Comments, and a couple of container fields for pictures.


      I know how to hide fields and/or drop down lists on each section until I need them. No problem there.


      But if I use just the top section of the form, I would like to be able to hide the other two sections if they are not needed for the estimate to cut down on the confusion.


      Is there an easy way to do this? Again - I'm at the very beginning stages of using Filemaker, so talk to me like you are talking to a rock and give simple step-by-step directions if you can.



        • 1. Re: Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.
          Jens Teich
             There are techniques to achieve this but they will be a bit tricky for you. So in your situtation the appropriate answer is: there is no way (yet). Ask again when you left the stone age :)

          • 2. Re: Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.

            Gee . . . thanks for your awesome input there jensteich. . . .




            You know jensteich - the more I thought about your reply the more irriated I became. . . . let me ask you - are all Germans as nice and considerate as you?


            I did not realize I was "in the stone age" . . . I am simply just starting to learn FileMaker. Don't we have to start somewhere? Being a beginner doesn't mean I cannot learn and listen to instructions. Your rude and inconsiderate remark - "the appropriate answer is: there is no way" . . . is in itself, not appropriate, nor was your comment "ask again when you left the stone age". (I believe you meant to say, when you LEAVE the stone age). I did not realize you needed to be an expert in Filemaker to post on this forum.


            So tell you what. Unless you have something of value to add . . . . :smileytongue:

            • 3. Re: Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.

              For a quick 'fix', I would just have 1 layout, but use the a tab control tool to ad a tabbed based panel to your layout (nothing to do with type, this is a tabbed navigation tool for your layout)

              I would make 3 or more tabs to contain your info.

              Clean and effective way to start.


              OTOH - look at some of the sample databases that are included with FM to get some ideas, file-->new database. there are a couple pre-built that should spark some ideas.

              • 4. Re: Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.

                I appreciate that MWC. I'll take a look at that and see if I can use it.


                I'm going through a Lynda.com training on Filemaker right now and I'm thinking I can group the second section into one group and give it an object name of "secondSection". Then I can group the third section and give it an object name of "thirdSection". Then maybe (I havent' gotten this far yet) its possible that I can "show/hide" each section until a cursor is placed into a field in that section?


                Maybe I can leave, for example, the "Part Number" field out of the grouping, and when a cursor is placed in it, the section will become visible?  I don't know. Again - just learning. . . .

                • 5. Re: Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.
                  Jens Teich
                     Let me apologize. My intention was not to insult anybody. Everybody starts as a beginner.

                  The term 'stone age' should be a funny answer to your term 'rock'. I'm very sorry.


                  • 6. Re: Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.

                    jensteich - perhaps I was too harsh. I was "under the gun" yesterday from my boss to get this estimate form out and I needed some kind of direction fast. The stress level was building and I may have overreacted. Your apologies my friend is accepted. Please accept my apologies as well.


                    Found the solution - (which may not be the "perfect solution) - but it works for what I want it to do. I'll post it here in case someone needs to do the same thing in the future:


                    My estimate form/proposal has three identical sections on the first page. We'll call them "section one, section two and section three". Contained in these sections are text fields, drop down menus and container fields which are called, "Part number, Description, Qty, Cost, Total, Comments, Photos & Diagrams, etc". If I get a estimate request and I only have to fill in section one, then I don't want section two and section three to show up, unless I need them. To solve this I did the following:


                    1. I grouped section one together and gave it an object name of "sectionOne".

                    2. I grouped section two together - except the "Part Number" field, and gave it an object name of "sectionTwo". I did like wise for section three and gave it an object name of "sectionThree".

                    3. Off the side of the layout I created a new text object by clicking off to the side of the layout and typed a single space (Filemaker will delete the object if you don't make the space).

                    4. I then clicked outside the text field so its no longer expecting input, and then dragged this text box over top of sectionTwo (which is what I wanted to hide). I resized the text box so it covered section two entirely. I then went under Arrange > Bring to Front to make sure it was in front of everything in section two EXCEPT the Part Number field - which I then brought it to the front. So the blank text field is now in front of section two and the Part Number field is in front of the blank text field.

                    5. I chose Format > Conditional and clicked Add.

                    6. I clicked Specify and entered this calculation: IsEmpty (estimate_form::capPartNumber2) in the Specify Calculation window.

                    7. Click OK

                    8. Under Format I checked Fill Color and gave it a color of white to match my page background.

                    9. I repeated the above steps for section three.


                    That's it. When you click Browse, section two and section three are covered until I place my curor in the Part Number field and PRESTO! The section appears.


                    Kudos to Geoff Coffey (http://sixfriedrice.com/wp/filemaker-9-tip1-hiding-something-on-the-layout/)


                    In reality I probably did not have to group the sections together, but in my mind it made it neater. My initial thought was that I could just select the grouped sections and do a conditional statement on them, but I could not find a way to do so. If anyone knows of a simpler way, I'm all ears.



                    • 7. Re: Hiding Sections Of A Form Until Needed.
                      Jens Teich
                         Your apologies are accepted as well.

                      When I read your first post I thought of two techniques which I thougt might be a bit tough for a beginner.

                      First is the hidden portal trick see here.

                      And secondly there is a new thing possible in FM 10 where you can use different sort orders to show or hide subsummary parts which are now also available in browse mode.