More often than not, I hide the status bar (may even lock it) and put my own navigation controls in a horizontal row across the top of the layout. With multiple layouts, I can then copy and paste these to produce a near identical user interface. This works well for form, table and list view layouts. For form view layouts, you can place such controls down the side of your layout, but not for the other two "views".
Minimizing such a set of controls could be simulated if you had two duplicate layouts, one with the controls and one without. Button clicks to pop up or minimize these controls would actually switch layouts to produce the desired change in appearance.
I knew there was an easy answer I was overlooking. Thanks
One more question, is there a way to assign conditional formatting to a button? (This is for a different improvement) Basically, there is an action that I would like to get automated, print out a different layout without switching to that layout, but the option only needs to be there when certain criteria are met. In this case it is when a particular customer's name comes up in the customer field. The record layout is already farily crowded so it would be great if the button could effectively dissapear when any other value is in the customer field. I figure formatting the button so that the text in the button goes white and the outline dissapears would get the job done. But I can't find an option to set conditional formatting for a button. Is it possible to do this or is there another way that would also get the job done?
You can specify conditional formats to buttons just like you can layout text and fields, provided you haven't pasted a graphic object onto your layout and set it up as your button.
Unfortunately, you cannot conditionally format the outlines of a button, field or layout text.
You can, however, hide buttons in other ways. The two layout trick for expanding and contracting controls is the simplest to do, but the biggest pain long term as you have to keep the two layouts exactly the same in all other particulars except for the button.
You can also use invisible portals and invisble tab controls to hide buttons.
With portals, a portal filter or the relationship controls whether or not you see the button. With tab controls, you give two tabs object names and use a script with go to Object to select different tabs to hide/reveal the objects in the tab panels.
Could I use the portal method for the navigation bar as well? That way I can avoid doubling up on so many layouts.
It doesn't work that way, unfortunately. The portal is still an object you have to paste onto every layout and since you have to do that, it's simpler just to paste the button bar unless you have some additional interface issue that works better with a portal (such as hiding buttons).