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Need help with a report layout!

Question asked by ZacherieWalker on Dec 31, 2014
Latest reply on Dec 31, 2014 by Mark_M


Need help with a report layout!


I just want to start off by saying my experience with FileMaker is relatively limited.  I've been messing around with it, on my own, for about 8 months now and I have to say it has had its rough patches, but overall, it has gone pretty smoothly.

Now, on to my issue.  Currently, we're in the process of moving from FileMaker 12 to FileMaker 13.  With that change, we want to cleanup our current layouts and get some fresh ideas on the table.  I'm working on our "final product," a report designed around this standard (all information has to be included, but it can be changed cosmetically):

Our final product (or Home Assessment) varies with each home.  Some homes are in great shape, have minimal defects while others are riding the line of condemning. The current layout we're using is not dynamic, we are limited by space (fields are small) and our Reviewers have to use minimal wording to fit everything in.

Our goal is to create a dynamic, flowing report that is easy to follow for both our Clients and in-house Reviewers, and provides enough field space for those homes that just have a ton of defects.  We're also looking to incorporate photos into the body of the report.

As it stands right now, I'm creating the report on one layout, with just a Body (layout part) & footer, and creating larger fields that resize/shift if there is empty space within the Body.  I've successfully added Container fields that hide and shift if left empty/not used.  My current problem is the flow of the report, i.e. when a section has a ton of defects in it and a large portion of text fields used, I get fields that move to the next page that get clipped off, missing text or just not showing at all.  

Should I consider breaking each section down into its own layout and then creating scripts to merge all of these layouts in a printable format?  As new as I am, I'm pretty lost as FileMaker does not make it easy to create your own Page Breaks within the Body (but it shows you were all of the page breaks occur).  I also have the goal of making each section that has a Title (i.e. Lots and Grounds) move onto the next page (i.e. Lots and Grounds, cont'd) if it is required.

I'm open to ideas but keep in mind that I am relatively new.