10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2013 3:09 PM by DaleLong

    Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list

    DaleLong

      Is there a convincing way to make a popup menu look like a dropdown list, i.e. with the arrow icon on the right side? I'm trying to make something like this work; I've created a separate field formatted as a dropdown list, shrunk it to just the arrow icon, set it to the right of the popup menu, and attached a script to it as a button saying to Go To Object ( the popup menu ), but it seems to only select that object, and not actually drop the menu. Is there a way to make this happen?

        • 1. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
          Vaughan

          Are you on Mac or Windows? Which version of FMP?

          • 2. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
            DaleLong

            Primarily Mac. Fmp 12. We have a small amount of cross platform action so something that is platform independent would be ideal. Though we are 95% Mac so I would settle for a Mac only solution if that's all that's available.

            • 3. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
              Vaughan

              Try the Go to Field step instead of Go to Object.

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              • 4. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
                LyndsayHowarth

                I really don't think you are going to achieve this as described... so here are some alternative ideas.

                 

                You can float a down-arrow image-button on top of the field which will disappear into the background once the field is clicked.

                 

                You might also consider if the "From Index" menu item is appropriate and do away with either popup or dropdown menus. It is useful as it prevents accidental changes and it allows you to have a scrollable list of values to ponder.

                 

                Depending on your system design, there are circumstances where you could also use portals or even web viewer to generate such a menu.

                 

                - Lyndsay

                • 5. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
                  DaleLong

                  While this could work, I have multiple instances of the same field on the layout sometimes, so this may be less than ideal.

                  • 6. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
                    DaleLong

                    Placing the arrow image on top of the right hand side of the popup and then making sure it was not selectable in Find or Browse, I've managed to conjure up the desired behavior.  Thanks for the tip!  Now if only I could get rid of that pesky drop-shadow.  It's there even when you turn off all lines.  grrr...

                     

                    In this case there's a foreign key being populated, but I don't want to show the key value to users, so the popup is ideal for this particular field methinks.  I have popup portal selection items for more appropriate places in the database, such as large numbers of foreign records that need filtering, but the popup is really the best choice for this particular field, as they are selecting from around 8 items in the list and this list isn't likely to increase to more than 10 ever.  Too much overhead I think to do much else in this instance.

                     

                    I am however curious what a "From Index" menu item is; I haven't heard of this.

                    • 7. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
                      Vaughan

                      "...the popup is really the best choice for this particular field, as they are selecting from around 8 items in the list and this list isn't likely to increase to more than 10 ever."

                       

                      Ah. You've de-normalized your data here: the same problem as a check box.

                       

                      A picker-portal solution that creates related records would be best.

                      • 8. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
                        DaleLong

                        I don't think it's so much that the solution is de-normalized in this regard.  I'm just using this technique I learned over at FileMaker Hacks to layer two popup menus over top of each other, one clickable in browse and the other clickable in find, to allow for a filtered popup menu to show all options in find mode and the filtered version in browse mode (http://www.filemakerhacks.com/?p=6133).  Perhaps this is considered denormalized for FileMaker, but I have found this technique pretty handy for a few simple foreign key populating scenarios in our database.

                         

                        It's possible the go to field step would work anyway due to the mode limitations of each field object; but the notion of just putting the arrow icon actually on top of the popup menu instead of beside it as suggested by Lyndsay seemed to accomplish what I was looking for, without the added overhead of attaching a script or button functionality to the arrow icon.  So that's the direction I went.

                        • 9. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
                          Vaughan

                          If there are multiple values in a field then it's de-normalised. There are very vew cases where this is an optimal design choice.

                           

                          I usually create separate layouts for browse and find modes, each being optimised for the task.

                          • 10. Re: Making a popup menu look like a dropdown list
                            DaleLong

                            Oh I see, I think there was a misunderstanding.  There aren't multiple values in the field in question, there are just multiple field objects pointing to the same field.