7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 8, 2013 2:22 PM by fmp

    FMP 12 (from 8.5)... Nav. panel -- WTF?


      Just bought a copy of latest Filemaker Pro. Previously using v8.5, easily converted existing files.


      BUT: How on earth to I get back the vertical navigation panel on the left?


      FMP 12 seems to want to use this clodding great tool bar full wasted space right where I don't want it -- ie, at the top of the screen. We seem mostly to be using 'wide' screens now, so vertical space is at a premium, and all my previous files' layouts were sized to fit a given amount of data in the available real estate at a given window size. In the default state, that's all screwed.


      I just cannot find the preference setting to restore the familiar panel -- nothing about it in the Help either, and it's driving me berserk. It actually feels a bit like a mid-90s version of Word, which is no compliment.


      Sorry to seem stupid, but can someone tell me the secret?


      Thanks in advance;



        • 1. Re: FMP 12 (from 8.5)... Nav. panel -- WTF?

          Sorry but the toolbar is on top now and no option to change it.  :-/

          • 2. Re: FMP 12 (from 8.5)... Nav. panel -- WTF?

            Hi Mark




            WTF indeed. I have found the Horizontal absolute pain since it was introduced. Try teach your users to look 2 feet to the right to find the Continue button in a paused script. On slower machines it can take an age for the status area to drop down by which time you have clicked in the wrong place.




            No secrets unfortunately. A completely stupid system on shallow wide monitors.




            You are in for some more surprises. Spend some time learning about Script triggers. They  are the greatest enhancement made to Filemaker  in the last few years. I cannot recall when scripted variables were introduced but they open a whole new way of doing things.




            Treat the new layout tools in FM12 with caution.  They have the ability to completely wreck a carefully crafted layout in milliseconds.  Items often  jump a few points when you touch them with the mouse.  Selecting multiple objects is the opposite of how it used to work, and seems to be very hit and miss to me. Only ever apply a theme to a copy of a layout.




            Hope the  upgrade goes well for you.




            Best Wishes




            Jim Brear


            COAMAS Services


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            email: jbrear@coamas.com.au <mailto:jbrear@coamas.com.au>


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            • 3. Re: FMP 12 (from 8.5)... Nav. panel -- WTF?

              It's gone and it's not coming back it left a while ago in v10 so if you sized your screens based on that then you havea  large redesign project  in front of you along with a number of other big changes that have happened since 8.5.  Good luck!

              • 4. Re: FMP 12 (from 8.5)... Nav. panel -- WTF?

                Thanks to everyone for taking the time to acknowledge my state of bereaved bewilderment. Particularly thanks for all the cautionary notes, which I will keep strongly in mind.


                I suppose this is the sort of thing that happens when you don't swallow the bait and instantly upgrade every time a new version is offered, in that (I presume) most of the ranting and raving over the arbitrary withdrawal of a superbly functional developer interface (in favour of the adoption of something based purely on fashion and flim-flam) took place on the release of v10, and thus I missed it. This is of course my choice, but there are benefits.


                I was an avid user of FileMaker II (two) just after it was acquired by Claris in 1989, and I have boxed copies of FileMaker Pro 1, FileMaker Pro 3, FileMaker Pro 7 and FileMaker Pro 8.5. My latest upgrade (v12) was a half-price download. Over the past 23 years, my spend on FileMaker software for my own use has accordlingly been under 1000 GBP (about USD 500-600). It would have been over 3 times as much had I slavishly ordered every upgrade, and I would have been left in precisely the same situation now -- so picking and choosing which upgrades to pay for is clearly a good idea.


                I've looked around, and carefully considered all the points commonly made in favour of the new interface. There are very few of them, and the most-quoted one boils down to "it's the way most users expect software to work, because that's the way MS Office works". This is, of course, a complete crock. Why would we expect good software to start to resemble bad software? Whatever happened to leadership, standing out and "thinking different (tm)"? And even if one somehow considers it logical that software should hog more non-functional and static vertical screen real estate during a time when screens are relatively wider and shorter than in former years, what on earth is wrong with giving users a choice? Does it not occur to them that some users may want to run other applications alongside a FileMaker solution, and more compact a FileMaker window can be without compromising functionality, the better?


                Loosing that panel, once it happens, feels rather like having a government truck turn up one day and tow away one's car, because "...we just don't think you should have it. You've paid for it, but now we're taking it away. And we're not interested in what you think".


                Quite frankly, it is more cost-effective for the moment (for me) to spend time scripting v8.5 solutions so that they can print properly under 10.6 to 10.8.2 (seeminly pretty simple) than to carry out a much more fundamental re-design and move to v12. Nobody in their right mind will want to keep the current 'status area' visible for end users, so I'll be looking to home-brew a replacement 'vertical' alternative. Clearly, there are other advances in v12 which are very much worth having -- it's not all bad news -- but the sheer bull-headed thoughtlessness revealed in the way this change appears to have been imposed on users (who pay money to use this stuff, don't forget) just beggars belief.


                Rant over. No apologies, though!

                • 5. Re: FMP 12 (from 8.5)... Nav. panel -- WTF?

                  I do was at first disappointed at the relocation of the status bar but I never used it in the old location for users and to rather like all the functions on the top of the screen rather to the left but I can understand your dismay at its new location. For most of us on this board this is old news so we are used to where the status bar is now but it does reinforce the idea to not relie on the built in GUI as you never know when it will change.

                  • 6. Re: FMP 12 (from 8.5)... Nav. panel -- WTF?

                    I'm disappointed with this change too, and stuck with FMP9 for years just for that reason. (Monitors in my office are wide, not tall, so having the panel on the side makes much more sense than putting it on top.) Unfortunately I doubt FMP will ever return to its senses on this...


                    For use in browse mode, you can sort of recreate some of the sidebar as layout elements, but of course you're still stuck with it in layout mode.

                    • 7. Re: FMP 12 (from 8.5)... Nav. panel -- WTF?

                      > I'm disappointed with this change too, and stuck with FMP9 for years just for that reason.




                      > Unfortunately I doubt FMP will ever return to its senses on this...


                      I agree, and think they've become very unresponsive to common sense, abandoning extremely useful meat-and-potatoes features and general quality control while forcing half-baked new whizbang features on everyone and giving no choice in their adoption.