If it's a one to one relationship, no portal is needed. You can simply place fields from a related table occurrence directly on your layout. From your screen shot, that appears to be what you have done in the above screen shot as I see fields with ::at the start, but no portal visible.
If it's a one to many relationship and you need to see all the related records, use a portal. Portals are not limited to a table like format of multiple narrow rows. You can resize the height of the row and reduce the number of rows displayed to get a "form view" of the related records
You can also base the above layout on the detail table and place the fields from the related Master table in the header. This way, you could scroll (list view) or flip (form view) through a series of detail records in the body while still viewing the same data in the header. With this approach you need to perform a find to create a found set (think access recordset) of all the detail records for a given master record.
Thank you for your quick reply. It's definitely a one to many relationship. You note the following: Portals are not limited to a table like format of multiple narrow rows. You can resize the height of the row and reduce the number of rows displayed to get a "form view" of the related records. I think I understand what you're saying, except that, even if you reduce the number of displayed rows to (1), you're still going to be scrolling through the related records....vertically, right? There is no option for a "next record" style scroll on Filemaker's tab form control--or, maybe I can add a button to the tab control that moves to the next record? Is that the way I'd need to implement it?
Your last suggestion is the way I'll probably implement this. That's essentially what I need to do. I have a list of customers/franchisees that we need to keep detailed project information about. Each customer/franchisee can have multiple locations and multiple vendors, notes, etc. associated with them. It's a lot of detail information that needs to be kept in as compact and easy to read an area as possible.
With scripting and either a filtered portal relationship or a filtered portal, you can set up buttons that display related records in the portal in sequence. The list view approach is simpler to set up so I'd use that method if it works for you the way you want.