10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 26, 2013 1:22 PM by WildeLegard

    How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?

    WildeLegard

      Title

      How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?

      Post

           Is there a way to create a layout that displays rows and columns of photos, with a block of descriptive text beneath each photo?

           A good example would be like a High School Yearbook that shows everyone's photo and name, or a product catalogue that displays images and descriptions in a row-column format, or even the browse window common in many photo editing programs.

           I'm using FileMaker Pro 12 advanced in Windows 7, and each record in my database includes a photo internally stored in a container field (.png format) and a descriptive text field. 

           Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

            

        • 1. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
          philmodjunk

               Rows are easy, columns take some extra work.

               Do you need to see this arrangement in Browse mode or do you only need for printing, saving as PDF and/or previewing the layout?

               If you do not need to see this in Browse Mode, You can go to layout setup to configure a list view layout to display the records in multiple columns when printed. See the "printing" tab in Layout Setup...

               If you need to see this in browse mode, you'll need to set up a pattern of one row portals to get your data into the grid format. Both Container fields and text field with your descriptive text would be located inside the portal row.

               There are several different variations of this trick, depending on how you design the layout and what relationship you set up or the portal. The portals can be filtered or unfiltered depending on what determines which photos will appear on your layout as you could set this up to list all photos or just those that meet some specified criteria.

          • 2. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
            WildeLegard

                 Thanks!  Your suggestion for a printing layout works beautifully.

                 I would like to try a Browse Mode approach as well, using a landscape iPad format that will run on FileMaker Go.

                 Any quick suggestions on how to set up "a pattern of one row portals"?

                 Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
              philmodjunk

                   As I said before: there are options depending one what you want to do.

                   This could be a single form view layout with a grid of one row portals. They can be filtered portals where the filter controls which image appears in each or it can be a grid of portals where the top left portal is set to show "initial row 1", the next is set to show "initial row 2" and so forth... (This trick is often called a "horizontal portal".

                   But it may also work to use a List View layout where each row of photos comes from the same row of portals, but with each row being a different record in your layout's table.

              • 4. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
                WildeLegard

                     Thanks for the horizonal portal suggestion. That sounds like the best approach.

                     I set up my form view layout as you suggested ("initial row 1....initial row 2...") but I can't figure out how to use the portal filters to assign sequential record numbers to each portal. I assume this is pretty basic stuff.

                     I'm methodically searching through this forum for other posts on horizontal portals (most of which you've supplied the 'best answer' to, like http://forums.filemaker.com/posts/51032be3bb), hoping I'll suddenly see the light. 

                     Currently, I feel like a beginning student that has stumbled into a graduate seminar. Certain basics seem to be understood by all the participants in this Developer's Forum, but I don't yet grasp many of those. As a former programmer (Basic, Fortran, Pascal, dBase) and long time MS Access user, I'm familiar with databases and programming. But I often draw a complete blank with FileMaker and my IQ drops another 20 points.

                     Other than "FileMaker Pro 12 the missing manual", "FileMaker 12 Developer Reference" and the official "FileMaker Training Series" book (which I have), are there any particular online or offline references you could recommend?

                     Is there a more efficient way I can learn the basics, before I pester you and the other experts on this forum for specifics?

                     Thanks again.

                • 5. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
                  philmodjunk

                       Feel free to "pester away"! this actually is more of a "newbies" forum, Tech Net and other forums out there are more focused on "expert level" discussions.

                       

                            I set up my form view layout as you suggested ("initial row 1....initial row 2...") but I can't figure out how to use the portal filters to assign sequential record numbers to each portal. I assume this is pretty basic stuff.

                       Why would you need to assign such a number? A filter does not assign any values to anything in the database, Instead, it limits the related records shown in the portal to just those that can "pass through" the filter.

                       Can you provide an example of what you are trying to do?

                       When It comes to books, the only one I've actually owned are the last two editions of the training series and it's definitely a book that's easier to understand if the reader brings some basic knowledge with them when they first start to read. I see the books and tutorials as a good way to acquire "broad based" knowledge of FileMaker while a forum such as this is best suited to answering specific questions like the one you have asked in this thread.

                       I would think that your programming experience would stand you in good stead for working with scripts and calculation expressions, but your prior experience in SQL may prove to be a temporary handicap for you at first. A lot of new developers that are used to thinking in terms of SQL expressions find that they have to struggle a bit at first to get used to the FileMaker Paradigm where SQL cannot be used except in certain limited contexts.

                  • 6. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
                    WildeLegard

                         Thanks for your encouragement. I'll try to remove my SQL-colored glasses.

                         I'm a Botanist for a large park district and I'm responsible for doing wild plant surveys. I also maintain wild plant checklists for 60+ individual parks. Plus I create pdf district-wide and park-specific color photo plant guides (field guides) that are available for free on the district's web site.

                         I created a large Access database for this task. The main PLANT table has 1,850 records (1-per-species) and 70+ fields (name, habitat, etc. including 1-checklist-column-per-park). Photo guide reports were created from a linked table (with paths to each photo).

                         Last year, I started the switch to FileMaker Pro, so that I could do field surveys digitally (using FileMaker Go and an iPad), more easily incorporate photos, and setup a more traditional standardized relational database to log individual surveys.

                         With your previous help (last March), I set up three main linked tables (PLANT, RESULT, SURVEY) for this database, and I've been successfully using FileMaker Go for my field surveys, complete with imbedded photos and live web links to an online plant identification key. (I use a simple list layout. A "quick find" narrows the choices, and buttons allow me to add plants to the RESULT table or switch to a species-specific form).

                         My next goal:  Set up a photo grid version of the list layout, one that displays about 3 rows x 7 columns at a time on the iPad. Then I could use hidden buttons to finger-tap a photo to add that plant to the RESULT table or tap the name too see more info on that species.

                         On a previous posting (2010), you described the horizontal portal setup this way:

                    Add another pair of fields and make this a "filtered" horizontal portal.

                    In your images table, add a number field (call it Group) for this example.
                    Add a matching number field (this can be local or global depending on the effect you want) to your parent table.
                    Now add this pair of match fields to your relationship:
                    Parent::ID = Images::ID (your current pair of fields) AND
                    Parent::Group = Images::Group
                    Now number your image records in groups of nine. (first 9 are group 1, next 9 are group 2, etc.)
                    Now on your parent layout with the horizontal portal, change the value in Parent::Group to move forward or backward one group of images at a time. (I've used two buttons for this with Set Field [Parent::Group; Parent::Group + 1] and Set Field [Parent::Group; Parent::Group - 1] to do this.)

                          

                         I've attached a screen-capture of my 3 main tables (PLANT, RESULT, SURVEY). PLANT would be the "image" table in the above description. But I'm confused how to apply the rest of the advice to my database. Plus, I would be limiting the grid display to just the 800 or so records that currently include photos.

                         Your first tip taught me how to create the color photo guide reports using FileMaker Pro. I hope your next ones will help me through this.

                         Thanks again.

                          

                          

                    • 7. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
                      philmodjunk

                           I see it's a matter of language here. As I stated previously a "filter" doesn't modify data in your tables. In fact, what you quote my on here doesn't use a filter expression at all as the "filter" is build into the underlying relationship.

                           Are the photos stored in container fields in the Plant table?

                           The tricky part is assigning a 'group' number to each N records in the table of Photos. As you add/remove photos, you'll have to renumber them if the order of the photos is significant.

                           If you find all records in your table of photos, sort them into the desired order, then Replace Field contents can give each record a "group" number:

                           Replace Field Contents [Group ; Ceiling ( Get ( RecordNumber ) / 21 ) ]

                           This can be done manually or in a script. My example numbers the records in groups of 21 ( 3 x 7 ).

                           You can then create a Table for displaying your photo grid where each record is numbered  in sequence: 1, 2, 3 ... to match to that group field.

                           And then you can pull up successive groups of 21 photos just by clicking through the records in this table. (Your script may need to automatically create additional records in this display table if you reach the last record and there are more Photo records yet to display.)

                      • 8. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
                        WildeLegard

                             Thanks for the quick reply.

                             To answer your question: The  photos are stored in a container field (image_360x480_png) in the PLANT table.

                             I'd just like to be able to display the results of a "quickfind" on the PLANT table (ie. common name "oak" or flower color "red") as a grid of photos with names.

                             But with a single form view layout, it sounds like a very complicated task that's well beyond my current skillset. 

                             You earlier mentioned: 

                        But it may also work to use a List View layout where each row of photos comes from the same row of portals, but with each row being a different record in your layout's table.

                        I'm confused (no surprise). Would this approach be any easier? 

                              

                        • 9. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
                          philmodjunk

                               It's a slightly more involved variation of the first method. In some cases, the photos fall into categories and you can set up one such record for each category and scroll through them but would not appear to be the case here.

                               A single column list of images displayed in small format (thumbnails?) where a single tab on the field or a button next to it opens that image in larger format would be simpler to implement though less convenient to the user.

                               It might, however, be possible to select a keyword (such as a color or common plant name) from a drop down list in a global field and have only images from records that contain that keywork appear in the portals. That get's you to the first page or screen full of photos, but then methods for displaying the next set of photos (which is possible to do), get a bit tricky...

                          • 10. Re: How to create a layout with rows and columns of photos?
                            WildeLegard

                                 Thanks.

                                 I guess I'll postpone the grid until FileMaker includes a native horizontal portal (if they ever do). It sounds like an interesting puzzle to solve.

                                 Currently, I feel like I'm capable of a beginner's crossword with a pencil and big eraser,  while this grid project is the NY Times Crossword with a pen. Perhaps sometime in the future...

                                 Meanwhile, I've been using a single column list of thumbnails, names, and couple other "quickfind" fields with one button that adds a plant to the result list and then changes color, and a second button that goes to a single-record form with detailed information, web links, and a large photo. 

                                 Thanks again for your patience and insight, and helping me solve the printing problem. I'm sure I'll be posting more questions in the future.