What version of FileMaker are you using? There are default "padding" values specified for each theme in FileMaker 12 and 13. Using FileMaker 13, you can change those settings to reduce or increase the padding
how to make the text sit in the middle of a text box.
There are vertical and horizontal alignment settings that can be specified, but again, as you resize your filed to make it smaller, you can reach a point where the "padding" prevents any visible change to the text's position within the field.
Might be time to upgrade to 13.0. Will my 12.0 clients see the correctly shrunken results if I fix this with v13?
Hmm. Just went to 13 Advanced. It's still a disaster (padding is set to 0 all round) and now FM13 has limited my font list! I'm going to make a little video showing the problem.
It's as though FileMaker never wants you to "miss out" on any text that you can't see in a field. But this is exactly what I need. If I have a body for list that's 20pts, I cannot have a single line of text go beyond those vertical borders, otherwise I end up with a list that is no longer the height I specified. Know what I mean?
In FileMaker 12, there's a control that removes all formatting from a selected object. You might try that in FMP 12 and see if you can then get the results that you want.
I've been able to adjust the padding on buttons and fields in FileMaker 13, windows with very good and predictable results so I'm a bit puzzled as to why this would be a "disaster" on a Mac system.
If I have a body for list that's 20pts, I cannot have a single line of text go beyond those vertical borders, otherwise I end up with a list that is no longer the height I specified. Know what I mean?
No, I do not know what you mean. What kind of "list" are you talking about? A return separated list of values? Why would you want such a list to "go beyond those vertical borders"? Are you trying to place multiple rows of text in a field, but only show the first field--vertically centered between the top and bottom borders of the field? That sounds dangerous, but is quite possible to do if you use padding instead of vertical centering to get the needed results.