7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 4, 2010 2:49 PM by user13607

    Popup menu multiple selection



      Popup menu multiple selection


      FileMaker Pro



      Operating system version

      Mac OS 10.6.3

      Description of the issue

      Popup menus no longer allow you to select multiple entries by holding the shift key.

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      A field with popup menu entry method selected and a value list to populate it.
      Select one entry, then hold shift to select or deselect additional entries.
      Works in every version I can remember, and now does not work in 11.0v2

      Expected result

      Selection of multiple value list entries.

      Actual result

      Only one selection allowed

      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      no error messages

      Configuration information

      Mac OS 10.6.3
      FileMaker Pro Advanced 11.0v2


      no workarounds other than the obvious check box data entry, and in the case of long
      value lists would render the layout that uses a popup to be reconfigured to use a check
      box that would be too large to manage, and therefore render the layout useless

        • 1. Re: Popup menu multiple selection

          Cannot replicate this in Windows XP. Can anyone confirm on a Mac system?

          (Personally, I'd rather one couldn't make multiple selections from pop-up menus and radio buttons or at least have the option to turn it off.)

          • 2. Re: Popup menu multiple selection

            This is known issue on Mac, although not a bug.  It's an OS-level cocoa decision and there was a thread about it not that long ago where it was explained.  I STILL cannot find things in this forum and I don't have the time now.  As is, I spent 15 minutes trying to find the pop-up bug which prohibits Windows users from typing first letter and jumping (to assist someone on another forum).

            Anyway, it was explained that one shouldn't make multiple selections (by me and others).  I consider it a bug that it is allowed at all.

            I found the link: http://forums.filemaker.com/posts/e73f58e6f2

            Why can't I get the ability to attach and format a link any more?  Am I blind?

            • 3. Re: Popup menu multiple selection

              1) No.  At least not in the eyes of FMI.  The problem began when cocoa changed recently and no longer allowed it.

              2) It is matter of choosing the proper tool for the job.

              3) Of course not.  Please see point number 2.

              *I* feel it has been a bug forever even allowing pop-ups to select multiple just as it is a bug to allow multiple radio selections - it goes against standard software practice.  I can certainly understand your frustration (and all developers who have used this technique for years) and I would want my 'bug back' as well but, this time at least, it wasn't FMI who changed the behavior.

              If you are selecting multiple staff (which inserts into a multi-line), it sounds more like you should be using a related table (probably a join table) but we wouldn't know for sure without more information.  Again, proper tool for the job is the key.

              BTW, you couldn't find anyone more frustrated with FMI than myself so I'm truly on your side here.

              • 4. Re: Popup menu multiple selection

                This issue can be resolved under MAC OSX.6 by using a drop down list which allows muliple selection (under FM11) by holding the "CMD" key, selecting as many items as required and hitting "Return" The default of using multi selections to build a list is very useful and faster in many cases than creating a new table and adding related records and is as valid as any other "Allowable" behaviour in Filemaker. I would say that the more robust and easier reporting sytem is the latter but on many occasions a multi value list is just what is needed. IMHO

                • 5. Re: Popup menu multiple selection

                  The problem with allowing (or even telling) users about holding down shift (or CMD) is that, if they forget, they lose the other values in the field (usually placed there by other users) 

                  There are many other techniques which are better suited for the purpose.  It also goes against Apple User Interface guildelines and most web-design guidelines; it isn't expected behavior.  Also, the multiple selections are not seen by the user.  In addition, drop-down lists allow free text (without additional triggered or field validation protections) AND drop-down lists are not designed to hold the ID and display the second field value after leaving the field.

                  Each control has its purpose.

                  • 6. Re: Popup menu multiple selection

                    I agree with your first comment LaRetta but from there on I can't.

                    If Multi selection is going to be used for whatever reason if done properly i.e. having the selected field displayed below the list being selected from, using a variable to store the values so the user can "undo" there inadvertant actions should they make a mistake, signposting the fact that holding a modifyer key is "Expected" to enter multiple values and validation based on values in the list then what is the problem? I use all sorts of programs on multiple platforms (MAC, Linux, Windows) that have to be learned to get the best out of them and to be honest just following guidlines never produced innovative programs or interfaces. Having said all that, as a solution becomes more complex and requires in depth reporting the use of multiple values in a single field becomes less useful and can become a hinderance, so I would say use it if it makes sense in the context of the program and avoid it if not.

                    • 7. Re: Popup menu multiple selection

                      [erased what I had before because it was confusing and not a good solution]

                      Ok, this appears to be the best I can figure out for allowing multiple selections with a pop-up menu using the command key (or the option if you want, not shift or control though).  It seems to work well for me after having tested.

                      STEP 1 create a script with the following steps:

                      Freeze Window 

                      Set Variable [ $any_field; Value:Get ( ActiveFieldTableName ) & "::" & Get ( ActiveFieldName ) ] 

                      Set Variable [ $selected; Value:Evaluate ( $any_field ) ] 

                      Undo/Redo [ Undo ] 

                      Set Variable [ $before; Value:Evaluate ( $any_field ) ] 

                      Set Field By Name [ $any_field; ]


                      $selected = "(hold ⌘ for multiple)" ; $before ;  //see note 1

                      Get ( ActiveModifierKeys )  ≠  16; $selected  ;   //see note 2

                      Length( FilterValues(  $before ; $selected  ) ) > 0 ; 

                      Substitute( "#S#"  & $before & "#S#"  ; [ "¶" ; "#S#¶#S#"  ] ; [ "#S#"  & $selected  & "#S#¶" ; "" ] ; [ "#S#"  & $selected  & "#S#" ; "" ] ;  //see note 3

                      ["#S#" ; "" ] ) ; 

                      $selected & "¶" & $before 

                      Commit Records/Requests [ Skip data entry validation; No dialog ]  //I prefer the commit, not essential though

                      STEP 2 Set a script trigger on the field, type OnObjectModify, for the above script, no parameters needed.

                      Thats it, you don't have to change anything in the script or do anything else, works with as many fields as you want.


                      1 I add the "(hold ⌘ for multiple)" to the bottom of my value list, if the user happens to select it then it just gets ignored.

                      2 You can change the 16 to an 8 for option/alt, but setting it to the control key will just right click and the shift key will NOT work in FM 11 even with this calc.  You can remove this line all together and it will always do multiple selections without holding any keys, similar to a font style pull down menu.

                      3 The line with the substitute function will uncheck a checked item.

                      I suggest using conditional formating to set the field red or italics, etc., if there are multiple selections, ( valuecount(field_name) > 1)

                      I hope this helps, any suggestions are welcome.