No such luck. However, if it makes you feel any better:
a) Not having it is probably better than a half-baked attempt at it. For example, you can scroll through a Pop-up menu (on a Mac), but there is a constant battle between where the scrolling is highlighting, and where your mouse pointer is, making the feature unusable.
Granted, this should be less of a problem on a drop-down, as it's already appearing as a mini-window with a scroll bar.
Speaking of the scroll bar, make sure that your users know that they don't have to use the arrows. They can grab the slider and slide it down. You'd be amazed how many users don't know this. Many also don't know that clicking in the empty space of the scroll bar will jump them by exactly one screen.
b) In a drop-down, you *can* begin typing the response, and those items that begin with those letters will begin floating to the top. This should make your 100+ list not so bad, unless your users don't know what they're looking for and want to browse through them all.
Hope that helps a little. :)
I generally use the page up/down keys rather than arrow up/down, since it travels farther. Typing the first few letters is unfortunately not usually helpful, because the field in question is actually for product part #s and there are a lot of similar item codes. I usually do type the first few letters, but then have to fish for the specific item. This is where scrolling would come in helpful. It would also be nice if I could display a second field next to the dropdown info to get a product name next to the number.
Thanks for replying though.
Actually - I just figured out how to display two fields in the dropdown, so that's one bonus feature for me :)
Note that you can also have them sort by the second field, if that makes more sense to your end users.
Boy: a 100+ menu is a long list...
- You could pop a global field ('Search-g') on the layout, say above where the pop-down list is now.
- Replace the pop-down list with a (scrollable) portal.
- Have the portal show records that link the letters entered in the 'Search_g' field with the values in your list. You can do that by parsing out the first few letters of each value and combining them in a return-separated list.
- Eg: Enter 'st' in the Search_g and the portal might show:
Add an a 'sta' and it looks like:
- Then you can make the name field in the portal a button that inserts that value into the field proper.
It's only another way to achieve what jsalzer suggests - typing the first few letters will pop you down to the region of the list you're looking for.
Only benefits are that it can be made to find matches of letters in the middle of the word, and depending on how you want the UI to look it might make it look more user-friendly, especially if your list gets even longer.
Just an idea,
A portal is a good idea. I don't use the dropdown that much anymore, because I automated a lot of data migration from my website and other sources - most of it is imported into filemaker from a file that is compiled from my website. But I still do need to perform manual entry and I'd like to do that as quickly as possible. I'll give the portal a shot and let you know how it comes out.
I'm still trying to get out of the filemaker 6 limited mindset (EDIT: or should I say v.3/4) and into the 10 slightly more unrestricted one ;)
Thanks for all the advice.
Just a variation on your method - rather than creating a listing of first letter, first two letters, first three letters, etc., I've had luck creating the portal with a relationship that:
gFilter <= Matchfield
gFilter & "zzzzzz" > Matchfield
Of course, that only catches the beginning of the word, but it works great. Unless, of course, I run into someone whose last name has 6 consecutive z's in it. ;)
Plonk a button ('Use me') beside the 'Search-g' field for when it is quicker to type the whole intended data to enter?
It took me a bit, but I figured it out. I added two new fields -- one for the actual search and one to hold the search + "zzzzzz". I built a new relationship with my inventory file and wrote a script to update the item field. Pretty simple when you know how, but it took me a while to figure out how to build the new relationship, since I haven't really done any serious behind-the-scenes stuff in a while.
Also, the portal scrollbar looks like it's running on Mac OS 6. I started to feel like I was working on my old Mac SE. ;)
Much appreciated, everyone!