AnsweredAssumed Answered

Unwanted Resizing of Text Objects

Question asked by richardsrussell on Jul 17, 2012
Latest reply on May 23, 2014 by rrrichie

I thot this involuntary resizing I'm about to describe was a bug but, here at DevCon, have learned from your tech-support consultants that you guys think of it as a "feature". You are wrong. Dead wrong! Furthermore, to my additional dismay, I learned that the same design philosophy applies to the text on buttons. I WANT TO CONTROL THE WIDTH OF LAYOUT OBJECTS MYSELF!!


Let me cite some examples.


I've got any number of layouts that are modeled on spreadsheets — each record on a single line with lots of columns. Many users like to see it displayed this way, and some even prefer it for data entry (not me, but I'm not the one who has to use it). Needless to say, in order to figure out what datum appears in any given column, I need a column heading, which is a text object.


In FMP 11, I formatted each column heading to be exactly the width of the column it heads. On one typical layout, I had fields (a) from that layout's table, (b) from a related "Customers" table, and (c) from a related "Coupons" table. Since the background color of the header part (in this table) was red, I set the text color to white, which provided a nice contrast. Furthermore, each SET of fields (a, b, and c) had an over-arching text object that spanned their entire width, naming the table where it was from, and it had a background color that was a pastel version of the "theme color" for that table; for example, all native fields were pink, all "Customers" fields aqua, etc.

Browse Mode.jpg


I was able to work with this setup just fine in FMP 11. Then I converted the file to FMP 12 and went into Layout mode to do the same kind of work I'd always been able to do. Surprise, surprise! Outside the right margin, I could no longer see the red header-part background, which meant that the white type (against a super-pale background) was essentially invisible. (For example, can you see the word "Address" that the cursor is pointing to?) Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Layout Mode.jpg


OK, I figured, maybe what I should do is convert the background color of those field headings to the same pastel background color that I use for the "which table are these from" wide-span heading above them. So I did that, only now the white type BARELY showed up against the pastel shading.

Headings Pastelled.jpg


Time to darken the font. I went with black. Let me emphasize this: ALL *I* CHANGED WAS THE FONT COLOR.

Font Changed.jpg


Immediately, all my carefully sized fields shrank down to their minimum width! WTF!!??I did an "undo" and tried it 3 more times, once each with the option, control, and command keys held down. Same destructive results each time. Oh, the COLOR changed, just as I expected it to, but so did the object width, which I most emphatically did NOT want.


So I ended up having to tediously select each column heading plus the field beneath it and use the position command "Resize to largest width" — 3 TOTALLY UNNECESSARY mouse clicks to restore the status quo ante — for EACH of the fields in that batch. That was for the fields (and headings) which were left-aligned. For the ones that were centered (such as "St" and "Zip" in the above illo), there was a 4th TOTALLY UNNECESSARY mouse click needed for "Align left edges". All just to bring me back to where I had been several minutes earlier, except with the font color now changed to something legible.


Does the phrase "PITA" mean anything to you? This is going to make many hours of useless work for me, and will be especially irritating when I'll be working on something new, where stuff gets changed more frequently than this relatively sedate older file. In all honesty, I have WAY better things to do with my time than repeat tedious fine-tuning work I've already done years earlier, and this alone will cause me to recommend to my several dozen clients that they hold off on upgrading to FMP 12 until you guys get this fixed.


Think about how other programs work. If you were in a word-processing program, what would you think of having your font changed from Helvetica to Times just because the software engineers figured that's what you SHOULD want when you switch from bold to italic? If you were in a graphics program, what would you think of having the corners changed from rounded to square just because that's what the manufacturer figured you SHOULD want when you switch from a border 1 pixel wide to one 3 pixels wide?


THESE ARE INDEPENDENT ATTRIBUTES, AND THE USERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO CONTROL THEM INDEPENDENTLY. FMI has always followed this eminently sensible design philosophy heretofore, and I cannot imagine why you would inflict this idiocy upon us now. And, giving you the benefit of the doubt (which you have amply earned thru the years), all along I figured it was me, that I was doing something wrong, or failed to read the documentation properly, or that this was just some kind of bug that would be fixed with the v2 release. Then I get here to DevCon and talk to your tech-support gurus and find out that IT WAS INTENTIONAL! To repeat, YOU may think of this as a "feature", but out here where the rubber meets the road, it is clearly a "BUG"!


Humph, garrump!


I'm dead serious about not wanting to waste my time on this shit. As soon as you guys get it cleaned up, I'll revoke my "do not upgrade" recommendation to my clients.