13 Replies Latest reply on Sep 27, 2012 1:31 PM by Mike_Mitchell

    FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects

    larsheise

      I would like to build a report similar to the one enclosed here ( made in Word )

      My problem is the vertical lines combined with sliding up. Obviously in Column 3 we can have different numbers of lines.

       

      Does anyone know if this is possible?

      Any hints or technique files would be very appreciated.

       

      Thanks

      Lars

       

       

       

       

      vertical lines.jpg

        • 1. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
          Mike_Mitchell

          Lars -

           

          One method would be to use field borders instead of lines. Another would be to use HTML and a web viewer (dump your report as an HTML table into a variable, then display).

           

          HTH

           

          Mike

          • 2. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
            larsheise

            Hi Mike,

             

            The borders disappered for me in preview mode, but I just found out of the new:

            Delineate fields on current record only

            Unchecking that and the borders were visible again.

             

            However - the borders are only as high as there is text in the field ( when sliding up) ??

            Skærmbillede 2012-09-25 kl. 18.47.10.png

            • 3. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
              Mike_Mitchell

              Yep, you will have that issue if you just do the borders strictly on the fields. Sorry; forgot about that (been a while since I had to do this). At least three ways to solve it:

               

              1) If your body part is a predictable size (like the height of one page), you can actually size your layout to be that size and draw vertical lines from the header to where they extend into the footer. This will bypass the issue, but it does mean your layout has to be that size. It also means you have to have a header and footer part.

               

              2) The second solution is a little arcane, but I've had success with it. Here's how it works:

               

              a) Figure out which field or fields will likely be the largest vertically. If you have only one, it's easy. More than one, more difficult.

               

              b) Duplicate those fields at the same width they exist on the layout. This is important! The fields must be the same width.

               

              c) Set the text in these new fields to be the same color as the background.

               

              d) Here's where the technique's meat exists: Set field borders on your "real" fields to nothing. Set the field border on one side of your duplicate field to whatever you want your dividing border to be. Line up the border with the correct border on another field, so the border on the duplicate field shows through.

               

              e) Repeat as necessary until you have enough duplicates of the longest field to occupy all the borders.

               

              What you wind up with is a series of "placeholder" fields sitting behind the actual fields. Their only purpose is to slide up and draw borders for you. The reason you use the largest (vertically) field, at the same width, is to guarantee that the lines will match up on all the columns properly. (That's what prevents you from using both borders, in most cases; the largest field likely won't have the same width as all the other fields.)

               

              3) The third solution is to calculate out how many lines of text you have in the longest field, then use calculation fields to add that many extra lines to all the other fields. This is a difficult technique to pull off, though, due to font irregularities. I've never been able to get it to work reliably.

               

              If this doesn't work for you, let me know.

               

              Mike

              • 4. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                larsheise

                Thanks again Mike for your time.

                I see your points and ideas, but I am afraid they will not work. The fields cannot have the same width, it would graphically not be good enough for the customer.

                 

                They are selling long written reports, which are today made in Microsoft Word. I successfully converted one of their report types into a much easier to handle FileMaker solution, that generates and combines pdf files. But until now I have said “not possible” to the other reports because they all contain these types of tables/diagrams on different pages.


                I do not know the height of the table or the height of the individual cells, and one table could span over more than 1 page.


                Maybe the data can be presented in a more FileMaker friendly way, and still look graphically OK – I am sure the customer would be willing to compromise here.

                 

                Lars

                • 5. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                  beverly

                  larsheise, I think you missed Mike's point entirely.

                       1. you have the width the same on the LONGEST field and place border(s) on it. Make the field TEXT match the background color. DUPLICATE this field as many times as you need to make nice "lines" on your layout (do NOT change the width of the field). They can overlap and they can go off the right side of the page. They are strictly for PRINTing the borders/column lines and the text will not show.

                   

                       2. now, overlay all your other fields appropriately (fill none, borders, none).

                   

                       3. all fields are marked as "slideup" (the ones with border and the overlay)

                   

                       4. in preview (and Print) the "borders" on the field in the background will be the SAME height for all "columns", as they will slide up evenly.

                   

                  HTH,

                  Beverly

                  p.s. Yes, your longest field can span more than one page, just remember to duplicate it for the "border/column" effect.

                  • 6. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                    Mike_Mitchell

                    Lars -

                     

                    Perhaps the attached demo will help.

                     

                    Mike

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                      wsvp

                      I can confirm that the method Mike recommended does work,  It was the same way I wound up going a few years ago for a project where the Client needed/wanted vertical lines.  There is one potential pitfall... If there are 2 or more fields that could each wind up being the largest depending on the data, this scenario will not work well.

                       

                      This is one example of a "workaround" that we unfortunately have to deal with.  In my opinion it is absolutely shameful that FileMaker has not dealt with this.  Anchors based on Parts would have solved this elegantly... This should have been dealt with "20 YEARS AGO"...

                       

                      Another workaround that "may" work (FM12 only)...  Would be to insert a PNG file with vertical lines into the Part itself as an image.  The Slicing approach in FM12 should allow the lines to scale accordingly.  It is just a theory, I have not tested it yet.  It will probably require some experimentation.

                      • 8. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                        datastride

                        Folks,

                         

                         

                         

                        I was using the trick of drawing a vertical line that started (just barely) in the “header” part, extended thru the “body” part, and ended (just barely) in the “footer” part. On FM 11, this drew a continuous vertical line, no matter what size my “body” part ended up being (after all sliding, etc.).

                         

                         

                         

                        This doesn’t work in FM 12. But at DevCon, a friendly FM person (sorry I didn’t record his name) suggested this workaround:

                         

                         

                         

                        Create a graphic image one pixel tall and exactly the width of the body part … with a single black pixel where each vertical line should be. Then specify this graphic as a background image for the body part, specifying “Scale to Fill” (if I remember correctly) so the blackened pixels will be drawn down the height of the layout part, effectively creating vertical lines

                         

                         

                         

                        I haven’t had a chance to test this approach, as I am still finding FM 12 was too slow for converted solutions (and thus I don’t yet need the workaround). But it sounds like it would work … so I thought I would pass this tip along in case anyone else wanted to give it a try.

                         

                         

                         

                        Peace, love & brown rice,

                         

                        Morgan Jones

                         

                         

                         

                        FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

                         

                        Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10, 11 & 12

                         

                        Member: FileMaker Business Alliance

                         

                        One Part Harmony <http://www.onepartharmony.com/>  

                         

                        Austin, Texas • USA

                         

                        512-422-0611

                        • 9. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                          beverly

                          I have tested. How do you "adjust" the columns? Make a new graphic (sigh)! I tried all the options on the "fill" graphic on the body. I think it would be a problem. YMMV

                          Beverly

                          • 10. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                            Tom_Droz

                            Morgan

                            On a seperate issue I have struggled with the slow issue for months.  I found a resolution that worked for me, after conversion I change all themes from "classic" to another theme and suddely my solution was as fast or faster than it was in 11

                             

                            Tom

                            • 11. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                              datastride

                              Tom,

                               

                               

                               

                              Thanks for the tip. I was already convinced that the slow-down was related to my old layouts and how much CSS had to be generated to simulate these in FM 12.

                               

                               

                               

                              Unfortunately I’ve designed a few hundred screens to be pixel-perfect on FM 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Changing the theme in FM 12 just messes up everything (design-wise, that is) …

                               

                               

                               

                              I’m guessing my only practical choice is to redesign each screen from scratch in FM 12. I’ll need some serious time to do that!

                               

                               

                               

                              Peace, love & brown rice,

                               

                              Morgan Jones

                               

                               

                               

                              FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

                               

                              Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10, 11 & 12

                               

                              Member: FileMaker Business Alliance

                               

                              One Part Harmony <http://www.onepartharmony.com/>  

                               

                              Austin, Texas • USA

                               

                              512-422-0611

                              • 12. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                                larsheise

                                Thanks for all the help.

                                Now I can also confirm that Mikes solution works. Also in 12.

                                Yes Beverly I missed the point of: Set the field border on one side of your duplicate

                                1 strange thing though – in preview mode it looks fine, but on my Xerox Phaser printer I get thin stripes from some field borders – not on my Brother printer.


                                Have enclosed my test file, where I did a little with indents and rounded corners to make it look a little better.


                                BUT I think there are a lot of struggle and limitations with this workaround. What if we want different diagrams on the same page, which my customer does a lot in some of their Word-reports. We only have one body part ! Have others had similar jobs ? Found a solution ?

                                 

                                Any solution I can think of is

                                putting the diagrams at the end of the report, as separate pages generated from different layouts in FileMaker.

                                do all the text job with phrases in FileMaker - copy paste to Word and finish the job here.

                                 

                                Lars

                                • 13. Re: FM 12 vertical lines with sliding objects
                                  Mike_Mitchell

                                  Lars -

                                   

                                  For a "mashup" sort of situation such as the one you describe, yes, you can do it over multiple layouts. Another option is to use subsummary parts that contain the bits you need (or a trailing grand summary, if you need only one). Or, if push comes to shove, there's the option of an HTML page displayed through a web viewer (though that can sometimes present a printing challenge).

                                   

                                  Good luck!

                                   

                                  Mike