1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply on Oct 12, 2016 8:20 PM by miserez

    Embossed/Engraved field styles


      In FileMaker 9, I made frequent use of Embossed and Engraved field styles on layouts. I would like to continue doing so in FMP12, but boy it sure ain't easy...


      When I click on a field, and go to Inspector/Appearance, there are no options for Embossed/Engraved unless I'm working with a converted database and the particular field I clicked on was already Embossed/Engraved before I converted it, in which case only that option (not both) appears as a "Line" option. So I have to find such a field and duplicate it to make more, or use the copy/paste style feature.


      And it gets worse: FMP12 doesn't seem to get the colours right when embossing/engraving fields. In FMP9, the line colour would automatically be appropriate to the field's colour. ie if the field was white, the highlight colour of the lines would be grey; if the field was green, it would be a different shade of green. All automatic. In FMP12, the highlight colour seems to be unalterably fixed. So if I change the colour of a field, the embossing/engraving doesn't look good. I have to literally go back to 9, create a sample field in the desired colour, apply engraving/embossing, convert the DB, and copy/paste the field's style.


      Someone please tell me there's an easier way to emboss/engrave in FMP12 than this!

        • 1. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

          This seems to come up a lot on here - its a big complaint about FM 12, along with slow speeds, slow printing, etc, etc. .

          I'm sorry I can't help you. I kind of like the new look. It seems the engraved look is old school. Maybe that's what FM was thinking when they got rid of the options. Isn't it more modern to do away with the embossed engraved?

          I'm not necessarily an advocate for it, but it does appeal to me, at least, to try something different. I really hate some of my layouts that include a lot of embossing on buttons elements


          FM 12 is supposed to be more modern with breakthrough looks (their word, not mine). The states (hover, pressed, etc) the highlighting around a field when active, all seem very modern. Maybe FMI thought embossing/engraving was too old fashioned.


          Just my thoughts

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          • 2. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

            Filemaker's idea of a modern look is a FLAT appearance without any dimensionality to the objects.  Essentially it is an attempt to give the iOS look to its OS X application. 


            Unfortunately, this happens to be an old-style approach to design. It looks a lot like Windows 95. Uggh.


            In regard to the engraved look, I replaced all of the engraved fields with a solid bordered, 1 px top-left appearance which approximates the look of an engraved field. Yes it is missing the greater 3D appearance of the engraved field, but it is close and is acceptable to me as a replacement.

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            • 3. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles



              I was one of the people here being really annoyed of loosing this functionality. In fact, this is one of the reasons why I didn't change to FM 12 now. I wouldn't say it's a matter of fashion. It is a basic graphic effect.


              The point really is (as far as I know): it would be no problem, if we could touch the Stylesheets. We are not supposed to do so by the moment and there probably are good reasons. But it seems clear that we will get some kind of interface for the CSS. In other words: FM 12 is, in this respect, not ready to use. I am waiting for FM 13 now (hoping, they will make me happy with 12.5 or something).


              It makes no sense to me, dropping all the embossed/engraved or building complicated imitations of the former style (like placing two rectangles on top of each other) in every single layout, just to get back the original effect (even better!) next year and start rebuilding every single layout one more time.


              Christian Bredlow

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              • 4. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles



                I too was dissapointed by the removal of embossed/engraved/drop-shadow ( though I always felt the FM drop-shadow looked awful )…


                I think the issue of being "Old School" depends greatly on how it is done.  Basically it is a loss of one easy ( and efficient ) way of distinguishing different solutions.  Keep in mind that without these options "until FM12" …   We had roughly the same design tools as "MacDraw" back in 1988…  So a lot of people relied heavily on these options.


                Regardless of liking or disliking these options… I prefer to have as much of my own control over the creative design as possible.  And when it comes to Graphic Design,  FileMaker is the LAST one I want making these decisions for me.


                While there are ways ( using PNG's sliced into buttons and fields ) that will accomplish this "actually a lot better in now FM12"…  BUT… They do require inserting significant graphics into your solution, which can effect size and performance…  It also requires using other apps to build the graphics,  Which may be fine for those of us with Graphics backgrounds, But may be an issue for the database only developers.  Unfortunately this approach does not work well with Tabs.


                I too hope that we will get "official" access "at the Layout level" to the CSS… And that they improve the efficiency of the re-draw.


                As a side note…  I know there are those who think that FileMaker is a "Database" only and all of the design elements are just Fluff…  I feel FileMaker has gone far beyond that ( they had to ),  And is much closer to being a really powerful interface tool as well.  I suspect that the CSS may be a prelude to the intruduction of something like JAVA into the FM design.  A solution is only a good solution if the end users can opperate it efficiently.  A good interface makes that happen.



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                • 5. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

                  I can understand using PNG or other graphics as buttons. I don't understand the "sliced" part though.


                  "While there are ways ( using PNG's sliced into buttons and fields ) "


                  Can you explain that?

                  • 6. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

                    Since each object now has four states to calculate, the more objects in a layout you use, the slower FM12 draws the layout, slowing everything down. Thus, the loss of previous graphic effects can't simply be replaced by emulating them by adding more objects.

                    • 7. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

                      "It seems the engraved look is old school. Maybe that's what FM was thinking when they got rid of the options. Isn't it more modern to do away with the embossed engraved?"


                      Personally, I use the engraved option on fields which are available to the use for data entry and embossed for fields which are non enterable.

                      I'd like to continue do so and the users seem to appreciate the easy distinction.


                      So whatever the FMI thinking was - please give it back.

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                      • 8. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

                        Hi Bruce...


                        When you select the sliced option it will fix the corners and "sort of" stretch the body of the button... Thus it allows you to re-size that button without any edge distortion.  You do NOT need to pre-slice the graphics... As I think FM uses its own slice parameters.  This will only work well with buttons designed to scale this way.



                        • 9. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

                          See if this helps, Bruce. Check out the CSS property 'border-image'.





                          the slicing allows you have an image and the corners and sides are sliced to be used for the border. That allows the side (left, right, top & bottom) borders to "grow" as needed for different sized boxes. VERY COOL


                          Some of the examples I've seen have used images that just don't "grow" as well as others. If you have an image that has the "embossed" (and another with "engraved") just the way you like it, the slicing should expand these correctly.





                          • 10. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

                            Is there a way to have the top & left borders one colour and the bottom & right ones a different colour? The inspector's interface doesn't seem to allow for that. Creating borders on two sides is really only half the job... but if I do that and then draw two lines, place them on the borders of the field, and group the three objects together, then I get something that looks like engraved. I just have to change the line colours manually if I change the field's colour.

                            • 11. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles


                              Is there a way to have the top & left borders one colour and the bottom & right ones a different colour?


                              This would probably be the best solution. Can it be so complicated for FMI? It's a common feature in programs and FMI is using css-definitions like border-top in the themes anyway. Just we can not touch it.


                              Christian Bredlow

                              • 12. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

                                I've seen Engraved / Embossed styles used very nicely and look great.  I've also seen them used in a way that makes the solution look old and out-dated.  Much like Access looks.  And the same with a more flat looking layout.


                                I have started looking to other solutions ( be it web or other-wise ) to see what people are used to seeing and using.  Looking at just 3 examples here ( attached ), I've tried to focus more on making the UI intuitive and appealing to this customer and less on the actual styles I'm using.  These example use a flat look, but still looks modern and fresh, and is easy to see what fields you need to enter data into.  And to add appeal and dimension to the layout, I am a fan of gradients. Just my thoughts.


                                I also fully understand that many customers still desire, and sometimes demand, the use of that type of style.  Everyone hates change, often even when we ask for it.  I've found, if I can show the customer something that is intuitive and easy to look at...and if necessary, force them to try it for a couple weeks before they decide...they often come to love it.  It's my job as the developer/designer to sell them on the idea.  ( and trust me, I do recognize that is not always possible.  Some people just will not accept change, no matter how good. )

                                • 13. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles

                                  Hello Mr. Ormond and everybody else,


                                  I don't think fashion and taste is a good point here. I've seen magazins from the 19th century -- they used embossing/engraving too. It's just a common thing. Preventing the user from using it for fashion-reasons is like saying "Please understand, our design-software will produce no pink colours anymore because pink is so old-fashioned and looks ugly anyway."


                                  I cannot imagine that fashion is the reason for this FMI-decision. They probably just wanted to keep things simple for the beginning. But this may have been a bit to simple: Many developers have to change every single layout they are using. And many of them might have to do the same thing once again in the near future, when embossing will be available again (be it via css or maybe they change the layout-tool to give each border different formats, even excel can do this and probably some playtoy-programs of my daughters).




                                  Christian Bredlow

                                  • 14. Re: Embossed/Engraved field styles
                                    Stephen Huston

                                    I have to agree with Christian. I think this is a matter of style and personal taste.


                                    I myself am looking forward to getting great 3D embossing effects from the gradient options for buttons, and am pleased with the results.


                                    I am also pleased that some (though not all) of the embossing effects carry over from 11 to 12, at least until you start editing them again. (Conditional fills on objects set as embossed but with no fill color do not retain their embossed effect when converted, so I can't keep my old conditional embossed buttons.)


                                    However, as pleased as I am overall with how this will work in my case, I don't think embossing is obsolete as a style choice. Taking away something we previously had always raises a few tempers.

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