4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 19, 2009 2:19 PM by TSGal

    What determines Length of drop-down lists?



      What determines Length of drop-down lists?


      I have several drop-down lists set up on the same layout.  They are setup in an identical manner as far as I can tell, but some are expanding widthwise to accomodate all of the text in them and others are cutting off text on the list.  Why would this be happening & how can I fix it?

      I'm working in V9 Advanced.

        • 1. Re: What determines Length of drop-down lists?

          My first thought is that you get the width of the widest item in the menu that shows in the first batch before you do any scrolling.


          If you're unfortunate enough to have short names/titles/whatever for your first several list values, you'll experience the cut-offs.


          I haven't really experimented with this, but off the top of my head, I think that that's what's happening.  Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.



          • 2. Re: What determines Length of drop-down lists?

            Thanks jsalzer,

            I believe you're right.  I wonder if adding blank spaces after some of the shorter items on the list will help.  Of course I'll have to trim those later for printing purposes.  It would be nice if Filemaker would just fix it so it will always accomodate the longest items, not just the imediately visible longest items in the drop-down.

            Thanks again!

            • 3. Re: What determines Length of drop-down lists?

              Depending on how this would affect the data you're drawing from to create the list, you may be better off creating a "dummy" record, where the displaying value is:  "----------------------".  That should float to the top of any text field, and it would force a desired length.  At the expense of having a dummy record muddying your system, but that's probably better than adding extra spaces after a name.




              (I've never tried this, but it sounds like it should work.) 

              • 4. Re: What determines Length of drop-down lists?



                After some discussion here, the value list will show a set of values, and the contents will display either the width of the field or the length of the longest entry in the initial set, whichever is greater.  As you have discovered, for those entries which are longer farther down the list, they will be cut off.  This is as designed.


                Please... I'm only the messenger here.  To submit this as a feature request, please enter this at:




                I can easily copy and paste the information for you, but there are questions asked that only you can answer.  Please include why you want this changed.  Please don't just say, "Include this suggestion."  From past experience, more attention seems to be given to those suggestions where real-life examples are involved.  That is, "I'm doing x and y, and I've encountered this.  Customers seem confused and this will enhance the product and give me more business."  I think you get the idea.





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