5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2016 5:58 PM by dburnham

    Peculiar behavior of popup menus in FileMaker 15

    dburnham

      When you select Popup Menu as the control style for a field on a layout and the value list is defined to use values from a first field and a second field, where the option is chosen to show only the values from the second field the desired result is that the selection of one of the values results in the second field appearing the popup menu, even though the actual value in the field is that of the first field in the value list.

       

      For example, if you have a value list vegetables, where the first and second field are like this;

      1     Beans

      2     Peas

      3     Carrots

       

      Then, choosing Carrots in the popup menu will result in the value "3" being in the field while the word "Carrots" appears in the user interface to indicate to the user that they have selected Carrots.

       

      This is not the case with drop-down menus, where the field value displays the first field in the value list, not the second.

       

      Now, here's the problem and the workaround in FileMaker 15.

       

      If you first specify the field as a Popup menu, you will find that the user interface displays the first field, not the second field, when a selection is made.   That is, if you choose Carrots, the popup menu will display the number 3.

       

      But if you change it to a Dropdown List and choose the option to include the arrow, and then change it back again to a Popup menu, then you get the desired result.

       

      I can't figure out what is making it behave this way, and I don't mind using the workaround now that I know what to do, but it's a flaw.

        • 1. Re: Peculiar behavior of popup menus in FileMaker 15
          Jade

          There's  a new checkbox in the inspector:

          "Override data formatting with value list"

           

          Check this box to show "Carrots" instead of "3" on the pop-up menu.

          • 2. Re: Peculiar behavior of popup menus in FileMaker 15
            keywords

            Yes, this is one of those changes that seems back to front. The quality of popup menus to actually show the second value in a list while holding the first value always struck me as pure genius—it saved the traditional workaround of stacking a second field over the top. To me the more sensible change would have been to allow this option in dropdown lists as well, but instead FM engineers went the other way. It seemed a backward step to make popup menu behaviour match dropdown list behaviour, rather than the other way around. Still, at least they left the better functionality in, it's just that now you have to choose it.

            • 3. Re: Peculiar behavior of popup menus in FileMaker 15
              dburnham

              My experience differs from what you recommend.  Using the checkbox doesn't produce the desired result.

               

              Moreover, it is hard to imagine what someone had in mind with the "override formatting "  instruction.  What formatting gets overridden by a pop up menu?  The field to which the control style is assigned can be formatted normally, conditionally, and/or assigned a style and this checkbox does nothing to defeat any of those.

              • 4. Re: Peculiar behavior of popup menus in FileMaker 15
                keywords

                dburnham wrote:

                What formatting gets overridden by a pop up menu?

                I agree that the wording is a little odd, but as I understand it it means the value entered into the field is overridden by the value which shows in the value list—or to put it another way, the user sees what they chose from the list (the meaningful second field value), not what they actually entered (the primary key value from the first value list field).

                • 5. Re: Peculiar behavior of popup menus in FileMaker 15
                  dburnham

                  That makes more sense.  Maybe it should be "value overridden " instead of format?