4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 23, 2017 5:28 PM by ernieder

    Creating written reports - merge to insert text?




      I'm new to filemaker and would appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction for the issue below.

      I'm trying to create several different written reports from one job record, let's call them report A, report B, and report C.  A, B, and C will all have the same reference information at the top of the page (which I have figured out how to do by referencing fields) but the different reports will have different blocks of text of varying lengths below the top information. 

      -What is the best way to insert these blocks of text?  I have experimented a little with merging and found one problem is that I don't know how long or short the text blocks will be so I can't make the field just one size.  Perhaps it's best to just type directly into a text box in the report?  Then I won't be able to use the report layout for more than 1 report, which leads to my second question...

      -Is there a way to do this by making only 1 report layout or would it be better if I had report layouts for A, B, and C separately?


      I've attached a sketch of what a report would be like, I hope it helps.


        • 1. Re: Creating written reports - merge to insert text?

          It seems you're on the right track.  I would use a Merge field to insert the field contents in a text box.  You then make that text box and the layout part that contains it as large as you think it will ever need to be.  The "trick" is you then go into Inspector > Position and set that object to Slide up and Also resize enclosing part.

          In the above figure, the Display_Staff field is a list with name and title that can be anywhere from one to five people.  So I've left enough room in the text box to expand for the list.  However, if there are fewer than five everything slides up and you don't have a blank area at the bottom.


          It does seem like you'll want to use a different layout for each.  However, if it is simply a matter of using different fields, once you have it working for one you just duplicate the layout and change the appropriate fields.  You then handle navigation to the correct layout in your scripting.


          Hope this helps.



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          • 3. Re: Creating written reports - merge to insert text?

            Unless you are combining data from a field with either layout text or data from other fields such that it flows into a single block of text, you don't need a merge field. It works, but you don't need to just to get variable sizing. A regular edit box field can also be set to slide up and resize the enclosing part just as you can slide/resize a text object that includes merge fields or variables.

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