14 Replies Latest reply on Apr 22, 2010 5:54 PM by 5104919325FTN

    No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11

    tcmeyers

      Summary

      No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11

      Description of the issue

      Under FileMaker 10 and before we were able to make more than one selection in a field configured as a pop-up menu by holding down the shift key while selecting an additional value. This is a good feature for our application. Our databases are still hosted by FMS10, but on the client machines running FMP 11 it is now not possible to select any additional values, nor are multiple values actually displayed if they are already set. That is, under FMP 10 if you click on the popup and there are multiple values selected you see a checkmark next to each, but under FMP 11 the same field only shows one item checked.

        • 1. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
          tcmeyers

          I neglected to report that the FMP 11 client software is running on G4, G5, Intel Duo and Quad core Macs, Leopard 10.5.8 and Snow Leopard 10.6.2.  The description of the behavior is the same for all.

          • 2. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
            TSGal

            Troy Meyers:

             

            Thank you for your post.

             

            I am able to replicate the problem, and this has been previously reported to our Development and Software Quality Assurance (Testing) departments.  Since FileMaker Pro 11 is now a Cocoa application, this appears to be a design limitation as there appears to be no behavior for this in a Cocoa pop-up.

             

            Interestingly, I do show the check marks next to the values selected EXCEPT the first item in the value list.  For example, in FileMaker Pro 10, if I have ten items in the value list, and I check all ten items (in any order), when I move the file to FileMaker Pro 11 and select the field, I will see check marks next to all value list items except the first item.  That is, nine check marks will be displayed next to the values, but no check mark next to the first entry.

             

            If more information becomes available, I will let you know.

             

            TSGal

            FileMaker, Inc.

            • 3. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
              LaRetta_1

              Is it really a bug?  Or is it finally fixed to proper standards?  A pop-up menu and radio button should only allow ONE entry (verdict is still out on drop-down lists).  If more than one entry is desired, we should use checkbox (or portal).  Radio buttons allow multiple selections as well (which is wrong). 

               

              We should design based upon standards throughout the software industry.  A User expects a radio button to accept one entry, same as pop-up.  They need to feel comfortable with consistency and they will learn your system faster if they trust the Controls provided just as Users are familiar with ability to click on blue underlined text to open links. It is nice to see Cocoa now follows the same rules since it is Apple … see the Apple Human Interface Guidelines ...

               

              http://developer.apple.com/mac/library/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/AppleHIGuidelines/XHIGIntro/XHIGIntro.html

               

              ... and the section on Controls about pop-up menus which says:

               

               

              Use a pop-up menu to present up to 12 mutually exclusive choices. When more than one simultaneous selection is appropriate, such as in a list of text styles (from which users might choose both bold and italic). In this situation, you should instead use checkboxes or a pull-down menu in which checkmarks appear.

               

              When you use a pop-up menu for multiple selections, it can bite you.  For instance, a User looks at a pop-up and sees only one entry.  They expect only one entry because it is a pop-up.  However, a different User has entered 3 values which don’t show.  This current User forgets (or was never told to be careful) and they don’t hold down shift (or their finger slips off shift) and they enter their value.  They have now just deleted all the prior entries in that field made by other Users.  FMI should remove the ability to make multiple selections. 

               

              FMI should also fix the other bug regarding these Controls ... pop-up menus and radio buttons restricts entries to only values within the value list.  However, it does NOT stop a User from pasting an invalid selection.  We should not have to trap and correct for this garbage when we use the proper Control.  :smileyhappy:

               

              UPDATE:  BTW, vs. 11 for Windows still allows multiple sections in pop-up and displays the check next to the first one.

              • 4. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                tcmeyers

                I don't know if it's properly called a bug or not, just an unfortunate change in behavior. We use pop-up menus on layouts where 95% of the time a single selection is appropriate, but to be able to make an additional one is helpful under certain circumstances, but not often enough to allocate window real estate for a long list of checkboxes.

                 

                Interestingly, while playing with this, under Mac FMP 11.0v1 I've noticed that increasing the vertical height of the pop-up field to where 2 or 3 values could be displayed does actually display them above each other on the not-selected popup face itself, and when the menu is selected, multiple checkmarks can be seen. A pixel's worth of height reduction can disable that.

                 

                If the interface needs to be changed I'd rather not have the ability to do this taken away, but if it's more proper to make some indication that a multiple selection exists, a symbol (perhaps an ellipsis) suggesting a multiple selection would be nice. In my case I've just used a conditional field format to check for ValueCount ( self ) > 1 and bold+colorize the text to make it an obvious indicator for those in the know.

                 

                But that's all philosophical, mostly I just wanted switching to FMP 11 to be a seamless process.

                 

                Anyway, TSGal, thank you very much for making sure this issue is known.

                • 5. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                  LaRetta_1

                  I recognize that changing the behavior on pop-up menus and radio buttons to properly restrict to one entry might break some existing solutions which depend upon this behavior but it has not stopped FMI from making such changes in the past.  One simple example was removing ability for yes/no/t/f/true/false to indicate boolean in number fields and there are many more examples, many of which were not in the upgrade documents or Knowledge Base and people were caught totally by surprise at the behavior changes, breaking their solutions.  These types of planned (but not documented in upgrade ) behavior changes happen every version.

                   

                  The majority of people realize pop-up should take only one value (as with radio buttons) and they script and plan accordingly.  If a person accidently holds shift and selects a second value (or discovers it can take more than one value), and if the developer is scripting to use that singular value in find script), it will break.  Many are totally surprised that it will accept more than one value (nothing is said in FM Help about it).  And pasting erroneous data into those fields should not be allowed either.  If these behaviors are truly okay then they should be properly documented in FM Help.

                   

                  But FileMaker should adhere to standard software practice when using Controls. 

                  • 6. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                    TSGal

                    All:

                     

                    The initial report from Development and Testing infer that since FileMaker Pro has moved to a fully Cocoa application, Cocoa pop-up menus do not support multiple selections.  There is some ongoing discussion because this is currently supported on Windows but not on Mac OS.  I will continue to keep you posted.

                     

                    Until this is ironed out, you may want to consider changing your field format to Checkbox to allow multiple selections/entries, or possibly a portal.  I am well aware this takes up more real estate than a single field.

                     

                    TSGal

                    FileMaker, Inc.

                    • 7. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                      mrvodka

                      Hoefully this will be adapted to Windows for consistency.

                      • 8. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                        tcmeyers

                        TSGal,

                         

                        Thank you very much.

                         

                        I wonder if they'd consider making a new kind of field to cover this situation, a pull-down menu. This was mentioned by LaRetta where Apple guidelines were quoted:

                         

                        Use a pop-up menu to present up to 12 mutually exclusive choices. When more than one simultaneous selection is appropriate, such as in a list of text styles (from which users might choose both bold and italic). In this situation, you should instead use checkboxes or a pull-down menu in which checkmarks appear.


                        Troy

                        • 9. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                          timcimbura

                          This behavior was documented in the following tech note. I also relied on in in several situations.

                          I guess I'll need to go to check boxes for now.


                          Selecting More Than One Item from a Pop-Up Menu 

                          Answer ID 5147

                          It is possible to select several items from a pop-up menu in FileMaker Pro. To do so, select the first item, then hold down the shift key to select the next choice. In the pop-up menu, you'll see a dot in front of each previously selected item. Each item selected will be entered on a new line as a new paragraph. 

                           

                          To view all of the selected items, go to the Layout mode and format the field box to be several lines tall. 


                          • 10. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                            tcmeyers

                            timcimbura,

                             

                            I'm hoping they will restore the original behavior. Surely it can't be impossible even in the Cocoa environment. Since it was a documented feature I'm sure that many more people than just you and I have relied on this. It is still working in the Windows version of FMP11, for what it's worth. I'm not changing to checkboxes until I know it's hopeless.

                             

                            Yes, it's worth mentioning about the formatting of the field box to be several lines high in order to see several selections. I don't think anyone mentioned that above.

                             

                            -Troy

                            • 11. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                              LaRetta_1

                              Knowledge Base Answer 5147: "To view all of the selected items, go to the Layout mode and format the field box to be several lines tall. "

                               

                              Geez.  And to LOSE all of the selected items, let ONE user forget and not hold down shift while selecting.  If one needs to make the field taller, then keep in mind that EVERY entry within the field will expand.  So if it currently holds 15 names (one line high), it will only display 7 (at 2 lines high) AND ... the field

                               

                              Wrong answer provided, FileMaker ... instead of suggesting proper behavior (use the right tool for the job), you teach those who didn't know how to misuse the tool, exactly how to mess it up.

                               

                              Two steps forward; one step back. :smileyvery-happy:

                               

                              Honestly l... I can't resist ...

                               

                              Did the person writing that article actually TRY their suggestion?  I think not.  If you resize the pop-up then every time it pops, all entries have increased by that amount as well - it is nightmare.  Okay, so then stack fields ... put a standard text field next to the pop-up.  Heck, that takes as much space as doing it right to begin with.   Use the right tool.  People brighter than us have spent thousands of hours studying UI design and we think we know best?  HA!!  Go to the library, people (that's an old joke only a few will get but that's okay). 

                              • 12. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                                5104919325FTN

                                LaRetta wrote:
                                HA!!  Go to the library, people (that's an old joke only a few will get but that's okay). 

                                You mean, to buy a book? And ... Read it? But there is neither back- nor scroll-button on it!

                                 

                                By the way, I really wonder too, who is writing the KB-notes. The few I was reading were really bad written.

                                1) Didn't expose the problem.

                                2) Didn't explain the problem.

                                3) Didn't show the right solution.

                                 

                                Maybe FileMaker Inc should look for a real technical writer (it's a job, not every one can do)?

                                • 13. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                                  TSGal

                                  All:

                                   

                                  Thank you for your comments.  Knowledge Base Article #5147 has been updated for FileMaker Pro 10 and FileMaker Pro 11.

                                   

                                  The articles are written by members of Technical Support.  If you see other articles that need updating, please let me know.  I'll make sure the appropriate people are notified.

                                   

                                  TSGal

                                  FileMaker, Inc.

                                   

                                   

                                  • 14. Re: No longer able to make or see multiple selections in Pop-up Menu fields in FMP 11
                                    5104919325FTN

                                     


                                    TSGal wrote:

                                    The articles are written by members of Technical Support.  If you see other articles that need updating, please let me know.  I'll make sure the appropriate people are notified.


                                    Okay. Having good technical knowledge is one thing ... Writing is an other !