1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on Mar 22, 2016 1:04 PM by rgordon

    split Text field across body part


      Hi There,


      What is the best way to split a text field across multiple pages in the body part. I have a text field that could be either 2 lines of text, or up to 4 pages of text. It is going to be used as a summary of work to be done. I normally just drag the text field to cover about 10 pages and then select the sliding option. The only issue I really have, and maybe its just been petty, but the minute the text field is bigger than one page, the text box is broken between the pages and it looks messy. Sometimes the spacing is a little off and then there is half of the last line on page 1, and half of the next line on page 2?


      How do I make it so that it looks neat all the time? Is there a way of having FileMaker only print X number of lines per page? The reason I say lines is because my client wants to type out the summary of works in point form, for example, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and so on. Each point can be anything between 1 or 2 words, up to a paragraph of 4 or 5 lines of text. I was thinking of using a portal, because then I could say portal A is for records 1 -10, portal 2 is for records 11-20 and so on, but even that would be tricky as the size of the text field varies. Due to the unknown text sizes, my clients rather wants to use one text field and do the numbering manually.


      If there is an easy way to make this look good, that would be a great help.

        • 1. Re: split Text field across body part

          Don't use the portal idea!  If every point is a record, go to layout for the point table and print the report in list view. i would also recommend setting the body to not allow the body to cross a page break. This will keep a point from splitting across a page. Lastly use pts instead of lines for field sizes. This will give you better control of the printed page.

          • 2. Re: split Text field across body part

            I have been trying that, but the end result is not working. I have been playing around with the part settings for the body to not cross page breaks, but im not getting it right as the next text block is moving up to the bottom of the last text block and not the top of the page.


            For example, if I have 2 text blocks on the page, and I have stretched both of them to cover up to 4 pages, then I set in the Inspector, Remove blank spaces - sliding up based on all objects above or even only object directly above, the 2nd text block does not start on the next page, it slides right up to the bottom of the previous text block.


            I am considering creating multiple layouts for the different text blocks, and then via scripts, create the PDF and just cycle through the layouts and append to the PDF. The only issue I can see there is the numbering will be tricky to work out. I am thinking of creating a global field to store the last page number, and then another global field to add that global to the current page number and have that as my Page number. I haven't tried this yet, so I don't know if it will work as intended when I run the various layouts.

            • 3. Re: split Text field across body part

              Instead of placing both text blocks in the body, put the first text block in a leading grand summary and the second one in the body. This will allow you to control each text block separately.  The way you were doing it didn't work because the combination of the two fields in the body were probably bigger than a page.  You might also have better luck using merge fields.

              • 4. Re: split Text field across body part

                I have some similar requirements.  I typically only work with one record at a time so your needs may be different. I did have a quick look at how mine works with multiple records and with page breaks etc this could work for you. If you need only 1 title header and 1 consistent header this could work but if you need multiple different headers I'm not so sure. Perhaps using a sub summary might also help split the info properly. I haven't had the need so haven't explored that although I do remeber a recent 1 hour free webinar that explored sub summary reporting.


                What I have done is to create a text box that will span the most text that I will likely need (based on past experience) then added an extra couple of pages just in case. I had to work with the text field to figure out where the printing problems would be and put in some guides to remind me of what to do. Since I am the only one using it it is not a big issue. I've attached some pics. The red lines delinate the pages which will be based on title header/footer and regular header/footer heights.

                • 5. Re: split Text field across body part

                  I don't think that is going to work in my case, as I have a feeling that my client hasn't given me all the info and I have the sneaky feeling that the 2 fields we have discussed are not the only fields he wants on the layout.


                  Also with the merge field that still wont help with having the text block split over multiple pages, and then the following text block starting at the top of the next page and not below the bottom of the last text block.

                  • 8. Re: split Text field across body part

                    My first reply was posted as blank, hopefully this one works,


                    A technique that I saw a while back (might have been from Kevin Frank) for printing large amounts of text was to have a temporary table that is used for printing.


                    Take the block of text and split each paragraph into separate records and put each individual paragraph into a new record in the temp table. This way, when printing, you're dealing with smaller blocks of text and the page breaks generally work a little better. Not perfect, but better. You'd also be working in a list view layout vs. a form view. That may be a deal breaker for your implementation.

                    • 9. Re: split Text field across body part

                      After reading MaxEh's comment, I am sorry but I think I might not have given a proper description of my issue. Each record has what I thought was 2 text fields but looks like it is going to be about 5 text fields and they can have anything from 1 word to a few pages worth of text. Then they must all print into a PDF.


                      The text fields are the different sections my client wants for example, text block one is for "Issue", text block 2-4 I think are going to be for Proposals, and the last text block is the "Solution". Im not to sure about block 2 - 4 as my client hasn't mentioned anything, but going over the brief, I have a feeling that is going to be a requested. I have had clients do this to me before, so I am trying to cover all my bases.

                      • 10. Re: split Text field across body part

                        If you split your data across multiple parts (sub-summaries, grand summaries, and body), you can get your report to do exactly what you want. 

                        • 11. Re: split Text field across body part

                          This is essentially the same as the Virtual List technique, but without the need for a temporary table (which can be stepped on by other users if you're not careful).

                          • 12. Re: split Text field across body part

                            Yes & if I recall, the font size and line heights may factor into what "breaks" and where. I think the smaller chunks (one paragraph per record) help with that as well.

                            Thanks, DZ (yes you had a blank post above)


                            • 13. Re: split Text field across body part

                              If I understand correctly what you want this file should accomplish your printing needs.  BTW, FileMaker is never perfect in its printing ability of reports that cross page breaks. I spend tens of hours tweaking printed/pdf reports. So far I've always been able to print what I want but it takes a lot of time.  Breaking things into sub-summaries seems to work very well.

                              • 14. Re: split Text field across body part

                                Thank-you for the file, I do need to ask thou, and maybe I am doing something wrong, but when I print the PDF, I still can't get it to break where I need. How would I get it so that section 2 would be on a new page, not right below section 1?


                                That is what I need. I am busy looking at Virtual Lists. I think a combo of the two might do the trick.

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