4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2017 9:14 AM by philmodjunk

    Using multiple layouts to create a single dynamic layout

    TurtleKoala

      Title

      Using multiple layouts to create a single dynamic layout

      Post

      I want to create an employee report, but the fields that I want to include in the report will vary depending on the employee. I can make a report that is somewhat dynamic by using sliding parts and conditional formatting, but this is not ideal as it is causing issues such as page break problems. What I think I am going to do is create a number of layouts to generate different versions of the report and then have the script which generates the report determine which report is appropriate. However, I have a few reservations.

      First, I am not the only person who works with this database, and I don't want to confuse other people who work with it, but I don't think that this is a big problem. I'll just make sure that the layouts are hidden from the layout menu so that other users don't get frustrated looking through a long list of layouts whenever they want to go to a new layout.

      Second, this will probably require around 10 layouts. I am worried that my boss will start requesting changes to the report, and then I will have to make each change on each version of the report.

      I have two questions.

      Is there any way to link sections of layouts so that a change to one layout will also change others, and if not, is there some way to create fields and portals in a layout whose presence is conditional upon their contents?

      If you want more information about the report, it is the same report that I discussed in

      http://forums.filemaker.com/posts/0d9517d548

        • 1. Re: Using multiple layouts to create a single dynamic layout
          philmodjunk

          Your thoughts on the multiple layout approach drawbacks are right on the money. And unfortunately, there's no way to use the same Layout section in more than one layout--I do, however, think that would make for a great new feature in FileMaker: http://www.filemaker.com/company/contact/feature_request.html

          What you can do is edit it in one layout and then copy and paste the new version into the other layouts--still a pain but a bit less of one. Wink

          This is an approach, quite honestly, that I would make every effort to avoid and/or minimize as this does mutliply the time/effort needed to maintain your reports--but given the issues of your original report and the current limitations of FileMaker, it may be unavoidable.

          Hmmm, wonder if you could generage a PDF with each report section on different pages of the same PDF file and then use Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader), to delete the page breaks? Bit of a kludge I suppose, but may have some limited use in some cases...

           

          PS. Notice how my link is "live" and yours isn't? If you paste your link text into Post A Answer, select the pasted text, click the chain icon in the upper left corner and then paste the link text again, you can get a live clickable hyperlink into your post. Wink

          • 2. Re: Using multiple layouts to create a single dynamic layout
            TurtleKoala

            Thanks for the response. It seems like I may have to go with this approach in this instance and just use sliding parts to minimize the number of different layouts I need. I thought about cutting the page breaks out after generating the PDF, but I don't think that I could automate the process, and the people who are going to be needing these reports won't want to remove page breaks themselves. Hopefully the FileMaker developers have plans to make layout design more dynamic in the future.

            Thanks for the help.

            • 3. Re: Using multiple layouts to create a single dynamic layout
              vm1

              Hi Phil,

               

              When filtering through discussion re. reports I came across this one so am writing to you specifically in case you can help!

               

              I too am wanting to generate a report using different fields within a layout and depending on the reports, may need to alternate the fields. I am fairly new to filemaker and have recently purchased FM 15. Perhaps this newer version now allows for reports to be created from a few different fields on a layout, and if so, how would I accomplish this?

               

              In addition, is it possible to customize reports with my company's personal header, footer, border etc?

               

              Thanks in advance, Any help is much appreciated.

               

              Vinaya

              • 4. Re: Using multiple layouts to create a single dynamic layout
                philmodjunk

                Thank you for paying attention to the date of when this thread was created. But no, we have not gained any such capability in later releases so far.

                 

                But many times, people who want to do this type of thing are using a set of fields in one record when they really need a set of individual records in a related table so it's possible that you don't actually need such a capability. You'd have to describe your design in more detail to pursue that option and I'd recommend starting a new question for that purpose.

                 

                In addition, is it possible to customize reports with my company's personal header, footer, border etc?

                Not sure what you have in mind for a "border", but data can certainly be entered into global fields--including images for things like a company logo and then they can be placed in the header and the footer.