2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2014 10:53 AM by philmodjunk

    Getting a simple "Read-only" scrollable field is now possible

    philmodjunk

      Title

      Getting a simple "Read-only" scrollable field is now possible

      Post

           When I first started creating FileMaker GO friendly layouts for my solutions, I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't use a calculation field with a scroll bar to produce a field where the user can scroll through the data in the field without an unwanted data entry keyboard popping up and covering most of the screen.

           In FileMaker Pro, this is a very simple and handy way to get a field that the user can scroll in order to read without letting them edit the data, but that keyboard makes it an awful option in FileMaker GO. In my Known Bugs List Database in FileMaker 12, I ended up splitting layout text into pieces, and setting up a system where tapping the field cycled the reader through the chunks of text in order to fit it all in the limited space available. Figuring out exactly where to split the text into smaller pieces was a very time consuming and "fiddly" process.

           Now, by making careful use of a PopOver button in FileMaker 13, you can get this result and with no unwanted keyboard popping up.

           Here's how I did it.

           On my computer, I added a popover button near the bottom of the layout. Since it was on the bottom, I specified that the Pop Over frame appear above the button. I then used the selection handles on the frame to resize the popover to be very tall and selected all four auto-resize anchors to resize it to fit the current screen. (As you increase the size of the panel in layout mode, it switches to appearing below the button. This is normal and won't be  problem on your iPhone.)

           I then placed a merge field on the panel (But a read only text field where the "Browse" check box has been cleared in the Inspector's behavior settings should also work), sized it to fill the frame and also selected all four auto-resize handles for it.

           I then opened the database on my iPhone and tested the layout. The popover popped up and covered most of the screen. and filled the screen up to the upper limit that I had set when designing the layout  (I pulled the upper resize handle up to cover all but the top half inch of the screen first, then pulled the bottom handle down to get my "very large pop over frame".) I found that I could I use my finger to drag the pop over contents up to "scroll" the text in the pop over frame a bit at a time in order to read the text in the field.

      [Edit Note: See follow on post for a description of what controls whether the PopOver will cover the entire screen or all but the header.]

           This method has some significant details to keep in mind:

           1) There's an upper limit to how much content you can see set by the maximum size you set for the popover frame while in layout mode. I had to resize the panel several times until it was big enough to not be likely to clip data due to lack of room in the pop over frame.

           2) With a very large Popover frame set this way, you can scroll the contents until all you see is empty space having scrolled past the end of the data found in the field for your current record.

           3) Since this is a popover that is likely covering most of your screen, you'll have to put it away before interacting with other parts of your layout.

           But even with those limitations, this makes for a markedly better user interface than previously possible when you need to add this type of feature to your solution..

      IMG_0710.PNG

        • 2. Re: Getting a simple "Read-only" scrollable field is now possible
          philmodjunk

               Yet I must post a correction of one detail for what I originally posted. When I went to set up a new "Welcome" screen for iPhone for the Known Bugs List that used this method, I found that what controlled the size of my pop over was not what I thought. There's a key difference in now it expands depending on whether the view is set to "list" or "form".

               In form view, the PopOver will expand to cover nearly the entire window. It can actually be tricky tapping the tiny space not covered to get the PopOver to close. But in List view, the PopOver will not expand to cover the header--leaving the header exposed and giving you a place to tap to dismiss the PopOver. I figured out a way to get this to work in Form View by turning my read only field into a button that closes the PopOver with the new Close PopOver step. I include text at the top of the PopOver--->(Drag text up to scroll or tap text to close) to help the user know what to do.

               The next wrinkle for this idea might be to add buttons at the top and bottom of the pop over that update values used in a calculation that returns the text shown in the PopOver. Tapping them might, for example, add or remove one paragraph to/from the text at the top of the field--making this a scrollable text display that can now display more text than is visible in the PopOVer at one time--which removes one of the limitations for I posted at the start.