8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2013 8:25 AM by philmodjunk

    Layout annoyances with FM 12

    john9210

      Title

      Layout annoyances with FM 12

      Post

           I have converted many of my FM 11 files to FM 12 with no problems. However, I do experience a large number of annoyances when working with the converted files in the layout mode. I really can’t tell if these are issues with FM 12 or the conversion processes. Here are some of them.

           1.      Quite often, objects “jump” and slighlty change position when clicked with the mouse. I have to re-align mannually. The jump is about a pixel. Even being extremely careful when clicking with the mouse doesn't help.

           2.      Ctrl-Shift-Drag a field does not constrain the duplicate to be line with the original object (as it did in FM 11). It’s off-set is must be positioned manually. This is also true for objects.

           3.      You can’t Alt-drag the lower Body part boundary past an object unless there is a part below the Body (like a Footer).

           4.      Objects don’t always snap to guides. Sometimes they are about a pixle off and need to be manually re-positioned to the guide.

           5.      Major grid lines are hard to see on the layout. They are light gray which is very similar to the gray background.

           6.      Fields created in FM 11 won’t align properly to the grid after conversion to FM 12. Will grid alignement only work with new fields created in the FM 12?

           7.      Snap to Guide doesn’t work when the snap to Grid is on. When Snap to Grid is on, objects snap but the handles only touch Guide lines. They are not centered on the Guide line. When Snap to grid is off, objects snap with handles centered on the Guide as they should be.

           Now here’s a strange one

           If I enclose some fields within a rectangle (I haven’t tried other shapes) and then group the fields and rectangle, everything is ok. However, when I un-group them the fun begins.

           1.      If I drag the rectangle to a new position, some of the fields move with the rectangle! Of course, none of them should.

           2.      If I delete the rectangle, some of the fields are deleted with the rectangle! The other fields remain in their original positions.

           3.      If I make the rectangle smaller by dragging the bottom line up (or top line down) some of the fields disappear when the bottom line crosses them! The other fields stay outside the new smaller rectangle.

            

           Has anyone else experienced these or other annoyances?

        • 1. Re: Layout annoyances with FM 12
          philmodjunk

               1. Recently reported as a bug: The mouse is very touchy in v12

               2. Yep also a reported short coming. My best work around is to use the keyboard short cut for duplicating the object, then drag while using the guides to get it into proper alighment.

               3. Ok, but if there is no part below, how can you have an object down there to drag the boundary past it?

               4. Also previously reported, but I'm not seeing that when I work with a layout. I do see some very subtle shifts however where the object lines by a different object or part of the object--so that may be what you are seeing or I'm just getting lucky here.

               On the last three:

               Ungrouping a set of objects does not deselect them. In FileMaker 12, they will not show the selection handles for individually selected objects though. Instead, there's a faint blue line around them showing that they are selected and this line is very hard to see with some layout background colors. And yes, this was a very poor design choice on the part of the FileMaker programmers in my opinion.

          • 2. Re: Layout annoyances with FM 12
            MikhailEdoshin

                 I agree with most of it and I don't disagree with any :) (I just I didn't experienced all these; I don't use grid, for example). I am going to post them one by one as issues. In addition:

                 - Shift + Drag used to constrain the movement to the horizontal or vertical axis. It still does, it seems, but now it is very difficult to enter this constraining mode. I usually end up with the movement constrained over a different axis.

                 - On Windows Ctrl + Drag creates a copy of the object, but the dragged object is completely invisible until you release the mouse button. How I'm supposed to position it? :)

                 - The new light blue borders are very hard to see and they don't match the object outline; they're thick, blurred, and a few pixels off. This makes it very difficult to position objects without a visible border, e.g. transparent ones or those that have the same color as the background. I have to temporarily add a visible contrast border for just this purpose, but this is inconvenient; besides, adding a border to a tab shifts its contents by this amount and this scares me.

                 - The new selection handlers zoom up with the objects. I select a small object, it gets eight handles and they completely cover the object and each other. So I decide to zoom to 400% and manipulate them there, but as I do this, the handles scale to 400% and still cover the object and each other.

                 - In layout mode undo over WAN is very slow; it seems to send data to the server, which doesn't seem necessary: since I'm editing the layout, I have all the objects downloaded and should be able to freely manipulate them and only hit the network when I finally save the layout. And now with that new touchy mouse I need to undo much more often than I used to.

                 - Similarly, if I click a field to see what it is and then press "Cancel", it enters the same long pause. Strangely, if I press "OK", there's no pause.

                 - Buttons that do nothing still show the button mark; they didn't in v11.

                 - The new resize behavior for text labels became much worse. They either never resize or you have no idea whether they resize or not. And we do need an easy way to resize a text label to its natural size. Ideally this should be a feature, like "resize the field to conveniently hold the longest defined value", but the old way was a good substitute; now it has gone.

                 - There's no way to move ungrouped objects by numbers; it moves each object independently. I really fail to see where this might be necessary.

                 - The portal now shows the overall height; but it would be more convenient to show the height of the row or, at least, there must be a way to do this.

            • 3. Re: Layout annoyances with FM 12
              john9210

                   Here's another one!

                   Adding a field on the left side of a portal is a real pain. You can’t drag the left handles to the left to widen the portal for the new field. You have to drag the right handles to the right to increase the portal width and then drag all the existing portal fields and field names to the right. Of course, since the dragged fields won’t stay in alignment, you have to realign them manually!

              • 4. Re: Layout annoyances with FM 12
                john9210

                     With regard to annoyance 3. What I mean is suppose a layout has a body and there is no part below it ( subsummary, footer, etc.). If you have fields in the body, you cannot drag the bottom boundry of the body up past any of the fields. If you have a part below (subsummary, footer, etc.) you can.

                • 5. Re: Layout annoyances with FM 12
                  tomasd

                       I must say, that the worst annoyance for me is slower layout drawing (on all our PCs). 

                       Secondly, all patterns in FM11 are converted automatically to image fills in FM12. I haven't yet found the easy way, how to change them all (without selecting each field and check it or change theme). Some option before conversion would be great.

                  • 6. Re: Layout annoyances with FM 12
                    MikhailEdoshin

                         By the way, I think in v11 one could paste objects so that they extended below the bottom of a layout. Normally FileMaker pastes objects so their center is at the point of the last mouse click, so it could've happen you paste something relatively small, but since the last time you've clicked near the bottom, there's no space. In v11 FileMaker would ask whether you wanted to resize the layout; but if you disagreed, it simply pasted them and you could move them to the correct position later. In v12 if you disagree, no pasting is done. And I think most developers do not know how FileMaker chooses where to paste :)

                    • 7. Re: Layout annoyances with FM 12
                      MikhailEdoshin
                           

                      Adding a field on the left side of a portal is a real pain. You can’t drag the left handles to the left to widen the portal for the new field. You have to drag the right handles to the right to increase the portal width and then drag all the existing portal fields and field names to the right. Of course, since the dragged fields won’t stay in alignment, you have to realign them manually!

                           By the way I've just realized why dragged fields won't stay in alignment. I have noticed, as probably many others, that Shift-dragging became practically useless in v12. First I thought this is because of the overly sensitive mouse and because once you've started dragging in one direction, you cannot switch to another (in v11 you could). But there's even more fundamental flaw: when you drag and then press the Shift key (and you have do this in this order, because otherwise you'll simply select or deselect the object), it enters the constraining mode using the current position as the reference, not the original position. I.e. you have to move the object out of the correct position, so when you enter the constraining mode, you'll always be using a wrong reference. It might work, but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than it used to be.

                      • 8. Re: Layout annoyances with FM 12
                        philmodjunk
                             

                                  With regard to annoyance 3. What I mean is suppose a layout has a body and there is no part below it ( subsummary, footer, etc.). If you have fields in the body, you cannot drag the bottom boundry of the body up past any of the fields. If you have a part below (subsummary, footer, etc.) you can.

                             Ok, but you can't do that in FileMaker 11 either so this is nothing new in terms of what you can or can't do with a FileMaker layout. wink