7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2013 1:38 PM by Jason_Farnsworth

    Fixed Field Dimensions


      How do you get around a fixed field size when creating an invoice lineitem?


      I have an invoice of which could have (1) lineitem that has 200 characters and (1) that has only 20. In preparing a layout it would seem that you plan for the largest and then have huge gaps between each lineitem if they only have 20 characters, which makes an invoice look fairly poor.


      Is there a simple fix that I am overlooking? The sliding and visibility options do not seem to apply in report building.


      Thanks in advance,


      Jason Farnsworth

      Midland, TX

        • 1. Re: Fixed Field Dimensions

          Hello Jason. Research reports and sliding up. If you have a list view and make the largest field slide up, the report will no have gaps. The sliding only occurs upon printing or preview. Experiment a little, so that you can see how other elements (fields, labels, etc.) work in relation to the placement of the sliding field(s).


          Container fields do not slide up, but other fields and text (labels & merge fields) can.


          -- sent from my iPhone4 --

          Beverly Voth


          • 2. Re: Fixed Field Dimensions

            Jason --


            Following on what Beverly said, you might want to change the context of the report you are trying to make.  Portals do not slide well at all for printing, and the standard recommendation is to switch to a layout based on the line items for reporting them (with sliding), and use the relationship back to the invoice itself to get 'header' information like the customer name and such.


            -- Drew Tenenholz

            • 3. Re: Fixed Field Dimensions



              This layout is a list view layout, with a (also see image)


              Header - Main customer information


              Body - Lineitems - all are aligned to the top of the field, with some fields being numbers, text and calculations.


              Footer - Totals



              It is really a very simple and basic layout. The information that is within the header and footers are both fixed in there locations as I am printing them on a carbon copy printer. The body is the only thing that needs to be adjusted based on the contents, the description field is where all the variance comes in.

              • 4. Re: Fixed Field Dimensions



                First of all, I recommend you turn on View > Show > Sliding Objects and Non-Printing Objects. This will give you some icons on your objects in layout view to help see what's going on.


                Secondly, as Beverly noted, sliding and non-printing is only apparent in Preview and when printed, so you'll have to move past Layout and Browse modes to see results.


                Perhaps most important for what I think you want to do, be sure to turn on "Also resize enclosing part" (Sliding & Visibility section of Position tab of Inspector). This is what gets rid of the gaps between smaller objects. Basically, FileMaker will maintain the spacing between the bottom of one object and the top of the next one, as laid out in Layout mode, but remove the empty space that isn't used by data.


                And, actually, containers CAN be made to slide. However, you need to "Align graphic to the top" in the Data Formatting section for containers (third tab of the Inspector). Unfortunately, vertical lines cannot be resized, so making Excel-like tables with grid-lines is more difficult than one might think.


                Depending on your requirements, you may need to play with the "All objects.. " and "Only objects directly above" settings for sliding. Sometimes I've used horizontal lines (conditionally formatted as white to make them "disappear") and grouping of objects to make the layout suit my needs better.




                Debi Rubel
                FullCity Consulting

                • 5. Re: Fixed Field Dimensions



                  Ha, it appears to be working now, the magic of a little pointed direction seems to do the trick in most cases.


                  Thanks for the tips,


                  Jason Farnsworth

                  • 6. Re: Fixed Field Dimensions

                    Jason --


                    So, if I read the picture correctly, you want to allow up to 11 lines of description text for each item on the invoice?  If you set all of those fields in the body to slide up and reduce the size of the enclosing part, that should work in Preview mode....


                    -- Drew Tenenholz

                    • 7. Re: Fixed Field Dimensions



                      It is working at the moment, however I am getting an interesting result. I will try and explain what is happening


                      If I have more than (2) lineitems it is rolling to a second page rather than sliding them all up until the first page is full. There is room on the first page to roll them into it.


                      It would appear that it is using the full size of the field for page defination. I guess on that matter it does not know how big the page is.


                      Thanks for your comments,


                      Jason Farnsworth