no, you are quite correct, it IS called the Format Painter ;-) And the "Style Painter" (for transferring formatting between styles) are the little Up and Down Arrow buttons on the Appearance tab of the inspector.
I don't really care if FileMaker calls it a bug or a feature or an "unripeness" - so long as the continued development of the Format Painter occurs à toute vitesse in a way that makes it possible to use and apply mixtures of styles and formatting.
The truth is that using the format painter to copy styles + formatting to further objects has several negative effects, which undermine FileMaker's aims and purposes:
- Above all Theme-updating is broken: all objects that have acquired their formatting via the format painter will not change their appearance when their style is updated by reimporting the theme: because the old appearance has been anchored by the presence of formatting changes, which 100% completely hide the style.
- The problem is, is that users may not notice / be aware that this is a problem - until they later try to update their themes, whereupon they shall get a nasty surprise!
- Correcting the formatting back to the original style + extra formatting IS MORE EFFORT than just using styles and applying the extra formatting in the first place!
In short, the Format Painter, with its current behavior, is incompatible with Themes and Styles.
And because we all want to use Themes and Styles as much as FileMaker wants us to, the Format Painter is in all regards USELESS.
When a software development makes a very useful function useless, there is only one word for it:
It's not a Feature.
It's not a "Design Limitation".
It's a Bug.
And it needs treating with utmost priority .... BECAUSE ... without it Themes and Styles will not find the success that they deserve!
Your ball FMI.
Greetings + 'til Monday
P.S. I'm not being pig-headed - I'm doing this for all of us!
P.P.S. To help you understand WHY this is so important to us, why WE are the ones banging on about this: According to Cross Check our database has 264251 layout objects (!). We cannot afford to mess around, we need the tools to do their job correctly, so that we can embrace the NEXT generation of FileMaker and restyle our image in a future-risk-free way!
Thank you for your posts.
"PhilModJunk" is correct. Currently, the Format Painter is separate from the "Style Painter". I recommend you enter your suggestion into the Feature Requests web form at:
This form populates a database file that is monitored by Product Management and Development; the individuals that decide what goes into future products. Although I could copy your posts and paste them into the web form, but there are a couple of questions asked on the form that only you can answer.
I would be grateful if you could ask Product Management and Development to check their mail/DB
Hello TSGal & FMI,
I would like to reiterate that this bug still exists in FileMaker 14.
Applying formats from a styled object to another object of the same kind applies not only the style name, but adds a bunch of formatting changes that appear in the LocalCSS.
This breaks the purposes of using styles and themes, as documented in design_performance_fm13_en.pdf:
Themes can lead to faster layout refreshes
Theme Styles – These are styles that come with the theme or were saved to the theme by the developer. These styles form the foundation of the stack, and are the most efficient place to define a style when styling for performance. When these styles are updated, they are updated across all layouts that use the same theme in the same FileMaker file.
This bug means, however:
- layouts will NOT be efficient, rather they will be slow, because they are full of duplicated, unnecessary LocalCSS
- that after using the format painter on an object it's appearance WILL NOT BE UPDATED!
Please can you give this issue (bug, feature, whatever you wish to call it) a high priority!
i would like to ‘bump’ this issue - the useless functionality of the format painter is a severe hinderance to creating layouts.
We are going through a process of adopting themes for ~4000 Layouts and the lack of a functioning format painter to copy + paste STYLE AND FORMATS is costing us several man-months of work - and an unknown quantity of errors.
PLEASE could you raise attention to the importance of this bug!
It's sad to say:
As long as YOU are spending the extra cost of doing all the layout stuff without a properly functioning toolset, there is little to no incentive for FMI to even answer your questions.
I definitely agree that "Copy Style" and "Paste Style" should do precisely that (provided that you're pasting inside the same theme of course), and not do what it currently does, as Mr. Watson pointed out, which is setting the style and on top of that, a huge chunk of LocalCSS that only reproduces the exact same appearance as what the object already gets through the style.
That being said, I would ask why Mr. Watson isn't simply the Styles tab to select the right Style, since that's what I think you actually want to do? As you know better than most, copy-paste is something of a beast when it comes to object appearance - and cross-theme copy/paste makes that necessary to some extent.
I'm guessing that the answer to my question is, that it's so slow since you need to move the mouse back and forth like crazy? If so, what we really need is perhaps a way to attribute keyboard shortcuts to styles? Or at the very least, if you're on the Styles tab of the inspector, have keyboard strokes and/or arrow keys jump down to the first object?
Cannot access this thread. Access is not authorised.
I checked the FTS training material on this matter. The format painter is designated as a tool for copying and pasting styles (see screenshot).
It is stated that the object holding the style should be copied to the target layout and only after doing so, the style can be copy-pasted to the target object. Advise is given that if source and target object reside on different layouts or are objects of different type, everything goes local on the target (CSS).
I'm pretty sure that in Mr. Watson's case, the object he's copying from is already on the target layout.
In any case, the odd thing is that it is precisely in that case where you get Style+LocalCSS when you would expect to only get a Style.
Copying Styles (appearance) between layouts based on different themes works the way you would expect it to (though it would sort of be nice to have an option to paste only the LocalCSS if there is a Style for the target object type that matches by name).
What I have built in FM11 is a Format Painter working well for Text fields. Just to be mentioned as well.
I like to share such small Tools. Only problem: this Forum encourages to chat and to exchange information. But it doesn't encourage working together for the good of the FileMaker community by sharing real things like FileMaker mini modules and good documentation. Sometimes it looks like FileMaker would like to have everybody buying FileMaker but have lost track of what phantastic possibilieties ist offers to use such database tools themselfs.
Interested ? maybe write to crmatg (at) gmail.com
TorstenBernhard - I’m not quite sure what you are getting at.
Filemaker developers have to use workarounds to get their job done - until a bug is removed. The alternative is to leave the ship.
The incentive for FileMaker to correct bugs is when the ‘disfunction’ of a bug is weighed in at a greater cost than the cost of repairing it.
I am thus trying to argue the case that the SCALE OF DAMAGE caused by this bug, requires that it should be fixed - if possible in the NEXT version of FileMaker.