A good question. What is really important is to be sure that any objects, (fields, buttons, graphics...) placed within the portal row are truly "owned" by the enclosing portal. It's possible to use alignment tools, for example, to move a field over so that it looks like it is in the portal row, but really is floating on top of it. It then displays data as though the portal were not there at all. The quick check to do when positioning/sizing fields inside the portal row is to drag the portal a few pixels and note that the objects in the portal row move with it, then press ctrl-z to undo the drag and put the portal back. If the portal moves and the object in the row doesn't, you need to drag it away from the portal and drag it back--and you may have to enlarge the portal row a bit extra first, then resize it back down after you have your objects in pace.
So I suggest that you set up exactly one single row portal and experiment with size and position inside the portal. Don't use the alignment tools in the inspector until you first have all objects involved inside the portal row and "owned" by it. Once you have this single row portal exactly how you like it, make copies of it and just change the portal filter and/or table occurrence references (for both fields and portal) That will give you a row of one row portals that all have exactly the same look.
Thanks, Phil- you are quick! But while I was waiting for your answer, I did a bit of experimenting on my own. I created two windows containing my layout - one in Layout mode, and one in Browse.
Then I zoomed to 400%, and started playing with one of my one field, one row portals. I would move the field inside the portal and then command-S to see the result over in the Browse window. When the value in the field changed from the portal value I expected to the first value in the related table, I knew that i had violated the portal space.
Here's what I discovered, let me know if this is incorrect.
I will note that I made the corner radii 0 for both the field and the portal, so I don’t know what happens if you add corner radius.
1. The Top, Left, and Right point values for the field can be equal and the portal will still work. One point more up, left, or right (respectively) and the portal stops working. In other words, if the Top value of your portal is 14 pts, your field can have a Top value of 14, but not 13.
2. The Bottom point value was different - it requires an offset of 1 pt. If the Bottom value of the portal is 144, your field can have a Bottom value of 143, and no more. Make it 144 (equal to the Portal’s Bottom) and it will break the portal.