1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 7, 2013 2:18 AM by pantarhei

    Field height: changing in bulk

    pantarhei

      My first-ever client using FMP on Windows…

       

      After several months of development (on and off, very slowly) and testing, the client now tells that text is slightly clipped in fields, obviously due to difference of font metrics of Arial between OSs. (Good job, Microsoft: a truly ugly font with bad behaviour!)

      ”””

      Is there a way to make fields higher in bulk with a script? External function? Plug-in?

       

      Better still: is there a built-in font with same metrics on Mac & Windows?

       

      FPM 11.

        • 1. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
          PeterWindle

          I'm not aware of any script that will change layout objects, not aware on any global way of changing field heights either....

           

          however there may be something you can do on each layout - you can select a field in layout mode, then hold down Option/Alt key when choosing the "Select All" option, this will select all other fields within the current layout, then you can set the height of each field using the inspector.

          Of course, if you have some fields that are designed for more than one line of text, then you might want to de-select those field on the layout before changing the height on all fields.

           

          Tahoma 11 is a good cross platform font, not sure what other people recommend?

          • 2. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
            pantarhei

            Thanks, Peter. This is what I thought to be the case, but was hoping for a Secret of the FMP Masters. The Inspector gives and sets the total height of the selection, so it can’t be used.

             

            The ”design functions” are not really design functions, are they? There should be a function to set field bounds: I can’t see what use the current FieldBounds has.

             

            We’ll test Tahoma, thanks for the tip!

            • 3. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
              BowdenData

              Hi,

               

              Arial, Tahoma and Verdana are all 3 fairly close in cross-platform appearance. I personally use Verdana and Tahoma as I feel they look better and are closer in rendering size between Windows and Mac. A note of caution if using Verdana. It is a "wide" font as compared to Tahoma. I like the readability of this, but I will sometimes mix in Tahoma when needed.There is no font that I am aware of that will appear exactly the same on Windows and Mac. They render larger on Windows.

               

              I assume you develop on a Mac in which case, you need to compensate for how things will look on Windows. You will need to make your fields and text objects a little bigger (not in font size, but in the dimensions of the field or text object). Best way in my mind is to frequently check appearance on Windows as you develop. With a little practice, you will get to know how much extra to size objects without thinking about it too much.

               

              HTH.

               

              Doug

              • 4. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                pantarhei

                Thanks, Doug.

                 

                Can’t test as I don’t have FMP for Windows. 

                 

                Fortunately the client was a FM-user a long time ago so he can either adjust the layouts (lots of them) or define the required height. Most of the fields are one-liners.

                 

                Had he raised the issue in July this would not be such a problem! He did not complain of too small font either until a few days ago: he has a 17" laptop with a very high resolution. I have a 13" MacBook Pro and a 24" display, so simulating his experience is impossible.

                • 5. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                  wsvp

                  The inspector also has a set of tools to set all selected objects to the largest or smallest value.  This can be height, width, or both.

                   

                  It is always a good idea to leave some extra space both vertically and horizontally in anything that will display text.  Every platform has it's own way of handling font metrics,  Mac, Windows or iOS.  This approach will not only deal with cropped text problems, but will look more profesional in general.

                   

                  There have been lots of improvements in FM12 regarding layout design,... However... FileMaker also changed the way multiple objects resize (not for the better.. "In my opinion".)

                  • 6. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                    pantarhei

                    Can’t see such options in Inspector.

                     

                    FMP 12’s layout design concept is so dreadful that I’ll stick with FMP 11 as long as technically possible. I hope I don’t get new FMP-clients who have only that!

                    • 7. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                      wsvp

                      At the bottom of this inspector window.  Image attached.

                      • 8. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                        LyndsayHowarth

                        Just do a Select all then resize the lot... or shift-deselect those which you don't want to change before resizing.. It actually does a good job at retaining relative positions.

                         

                        Always allow a few points more for windows layouts and text fields. Windows steals lots of Mac-usable space at the window level thru to the fields... It is advisable not to cram your layouts but rather be generous with your spaces...

                         

                        Fonts will always be problematic on Windows. The Mac started with printer's measures and round dots... where as windows emerged from a square peg trying to fit in the round dot world 

                         

                        - Lyndsay

                        • 9. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                          wsvp

                          Lyndsay Howarth wrote:

                           

                          Just do a Select all then resize the lot... or shift-deselect those which you don't want to change before resizing.. It actually does a good job at retaining relative positions.

                          While this will resize the data in proportion overall, and it may work "ok" on the simplest of layouts... It has a few negative side effects... If fields or objects are children of parent objects..ie.. Portals, Tabs, Layout Parts... etc, this can be very problematic.  Additionally it will place objects at sub-thousandths size and positional coordinates.  This can cause awful appearance issues if there are any field borders and can cause sub-point mis-alignment with other objects on the layout.

                           

                          There has never been any time when I personally thought the result was acceptable.  However I am very picky about graphic design in my interfaces.

                           

                          Always allow a few points more for windows layouts and text fields. Windows steals lots of Mac-usable space at the window level thru to the fields... It is advisable not to cram your layouts but rather be generous with your spaces...

                          I agree completely... I have seen some really awful looking crammed in designs built by FileMaker "programmers" that make their products look highly un-professional. Tabs that barely fit the text, fields that cut of the data entered, fields un-aligned, radio and check box fields that cut of the text... I could go on and on about this.  The reason I used the word "programmers" is that, in my opinion being a developer goes far beyond "just" writing the code.

                           

                          I have also encountered the reverse situation, where the Mac used more space than Windows.

                          • 10. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                            pantarhei

                            Ahh, I see what you mean!

                            wsvp wrote:

                             

                            At the bottom of this inspector window.  Image attached.

                             

                            It’s not perfect in my situation as there is no single applicable height, but maybe I’ll give it a go. Thanks!

                             

                            But hello: it causes the strangest corruption. Fields that are aligned in layout mode are not aligned in browse mode!

                            • 11. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                              pantarhei

                              This method will make the layout difficult to maintain as fields also move.

                              • 12. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                                wsvp

                                The resize to largest or smallest will not cause that problem... It is likely caused by incorect anchor settings.  Unless you need objects to dynimacally resize with the window or part, you should only have the top and left anchors locked.

                                • 13. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                                  pantarhei

                                  Damn! I had accidentally turned off all anchors. But why would that… Oh, whatever, thanks again! I never use dynamic resizing as my projects are way too complex.

                                  • 14. Re: Field height: changing in bulk
                                    LyndsayHowarth

                                    Sure.. there are side effects of this method...

                                     

                                    It is, however a deliberate design feature in FM12 which goes with the new methodology for rapid layout development and tool set which matches. If you give in to these features using CSS themes and let go of the old fiddles you would be surprised how elegant and liberating it can be.

                                     

                                    It is also a methodolgy which matches web based CSS usage which is where I spend a huge amount of my time... so I am pretty comfortable with the cascades and I do work with a lot of layouts where PHP is the only visitor other than myself.

                                     

                                    I haven't tried it lately, but with a field selected an option-select-all you should be able to select all fields... similarly with text blocks. Perhaps this selective batch method of resizing might suit better.

                                     

                                    Just really offered a suggestion that had not been mentioned before...

                                     

                                    - Lyndsay

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