7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 25, 2014 5:04 PM by keywords

    Styles using same Theme fail to update across layouts in FileMaker Pro 13

    itraining

      Hi everyone

       

      Finally got a chance to build a brand new database using FileMaker Pro (Advanced) 13. Particularly looking forward to the use of a single Theme with multiple Styles that can be easily updated across multiple layouts in the database. Unfortunately something has gone pear-shaped and my styles fo not updated as expected.

       

      The database has 77 layouts using the Enlightened theme (custom version of theme). The same theme and styles are used on each layout but part and text objects display differing (mis-match) formatting across the separate layouts. There appears to be additional confusion about the formatting of the style in the theme as some objects display the correct formatting on the layout, matching the theme. but the red arrow indicator requests saving the change to the Style. The opposite happens where an object displays formatting that does not match the style in the theme yet the red arrow indicator to save changes to the style is not active.

       

      My confusion is difficult to explain coherently in type. Please view the YouTube video below which demonstrates the inconsistent behaviour of the styles in my custom Enlightened theme.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMTS6b4qBGo

       

      Questions I would like answered:

      (1) am I using Themes and Styles correctly or have I mis-understood how to use this new feature?

      (2) how can I get the formatting of part/text objects, using the same Theme/Style, to update across different layouts?

       

       

       

      Thanks in advance.

      Bye for now.

       

       

       

      Michael Richards

      Brisbane (Australia)

        • 1. Re: Styles using same Theme fail to update across layouts in FileMaker Pro 13
          keywords

          In my experience so far it is a rather cumbersome process, but if you make sure that each time you modify or add a style you save it (button will show red if this required) and then also save the changes to the theme it all seems to work. If you have fields or objects on a layout that don't seem to reflect a change you may need to select them and reapply the default (or whatever style they have had assigned to them). I hope FM make this process smoother in time, but that seems to be the process as it stands at present; remember that editing themes and styles has only been introduced in FM13, and the whols process was only introduced in 12.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Styles using same Theme fail to update across layouts in FileMaker Pro 13
            itraining

            Thank you to pixi (Egbert) and keywords for your replies and suggestions so far.

             

            Utilising pixi's suggestion, I tried to eliminate (delete) my custom styles and only use/modify the existing styles included as part of the Enlightened theme. Unfortunately this revealed further inconsistent behaviour in the interface. Please view the 5 screenshots attached in reference to my notes below.

             

            Step 1: delete my custom style NavigationBar_Button used by the navigation merge variable buttons in the header [success]

            Step 2: apply the Accent Text 1 style to the merge variable buttons in the header [success]

            Step 3: modify the font size and colour (color) of the merge variable buttons in the header [success]

            Step 4: save the changes to the Accent Text 1 style using either the Styles or Appearance inspectors [FAIL]

            Step 5: modify the background (gradient) of the merge variable buttons in the header [success]

            Step 6: save changes to the Accent Text 1 style using either the Styles or Appearance inspectors [FAIL]

             

            In summary the Enlightened theme:

            (1) allows me to apply an existing style to layout objects

            (2) allows me to modify the formatting of the layout objects

            (3) will NOT allow me to save the changes to the style

            (4) will NOT allow me to save the formatting of the layout object as a new style

            (5) in the Styles inspector, the Accent Text 1 style displays a BLACK arrow indicating there are NO changes to be saved (despite the different font size, colour and gradient background)

            (6) in the Appearance inspector, the Accent Text 1 style displays an asterisk and a RED arrow indicating there are changes to be saved BUT the commands to save changes and save as a new style are disabled

            (7) finally the Theme: Enlightened in the Styles inspector and the Appearance inspector displays a BLACK arrow indicating there are no changes to be saved to the theme.

             

            If anybody can suggest any further troubleshooting techniques that would allow me to use styles to control and update the layout objects across the 77 layouts, I would be very appreciative. At this point my plan is to abandon the use of Styles in this project and revert back to the Classic theme and manually format the layout objects on each layout. 77 layouts is painful but at least it is not 400+ layouts like some of my other (larger) solutions.

             

             

            Thanks in advance.

            Bye for now.

             

             

             

            Michael Richards

            Brisbane (Australia)

             

             

            01 Accent Text 1 - edit font size and colour.png

            02 Accent Text 1 - edit background  - Appearance arrow misleading red.png

             

            03 Accent Text 1 - edir background gradient (Styles arrow misleading black arrow).png

             

            04 Styles Inspector - Enlightened theme BLACK arrow.png

             

            05 Appearance Inspector - Enlightened theme BLACK arrow.png

            • 3. Re: Styles using same Theme fail to update across layouts in FileMaker Pro 13
              keywords

              Endeavouring to help—

              Step 1: delete my custom style NavigationBar_Button used by the navigation merge variable buttons in the header [success]

              Step 2: apply the Accent Text 1 style to the merge variable buttons in the header [success]

              Step 3: modify the font size and colour (color) of the merge variable buttons in the header [success]

               

              1.   It appears from the above that you may be trying to define text as a button. From my observation, it doesn't work that way. If you want to define a custom button, start with the button tool, make changes to the style in the Appearance inspector, save the changed state as a new style, then save the change to the theme—this last step incorporates the style change(s) or new styles as part of that theme (or you can save it as a new theme instead if you prefer). If you want a string of text to act as a button you can (a) start with the text and define it as a button, but from FM's point of view it is still just text. However, (b) if you start with a button and set all fills, lines and effects to none so that all you are left with is text the final effect will be the same but you will now be able to define the style as a button because, from FM's point of view it IS a button—as distinct from text that is acting like a button, as is (a) above.

               

              Step 4: save the changes to the Accent Text 1 style using either the Styles or Appearance inspectors [FAIL]

               

              2.   If you stick to making style changes in the Appearance inspector and saving the changes there—either as new styles or changes to an existing style—you will always have the appropriate options available. You comments suggest a bit of muddlement as to what to do where, and in what order.

               

              Step 5: modify the background (gradient) of the merge variable buttons in the header [success]

              Step 6: save changes to the Accent Text 1 style using either the Styles or Appearance inspectors [FAIL]

               

              3.   Your 3rd and 4th screenshot sets show the theme options, not style options. You have to change styles, THEN theme.

               

              If anybody can suggest any further troubleshooting techniques that would allow me to use styles to control and update the layout objects across the 77 layouts, I would be very appreciative.

              As this is a prexisting file any objects—buttons, text, fields, etc—are likely to be defined as "default" by, well, default. Therefore, if you want any changes you make to be automatically reflected right across all layouts you will need to save any changes you make as changes to the default style, and then change the theme changes as well. If you do that properly you will save yourself a huge amount of work, as each one of your 77 layouts no doubt contains many objects.

               

              If it is any use to you I attach a little file in which I have played around with style and theme changes a bit.

              • 4. Re: Styles using same Theme fail to update across layouts in FileMaker Pro 13
                itraining

                Thanks keywords. You have provided a very interesting observation.

                 

                The navigation "buttons" in my header are text. I think my original workflow was this:

                (1) create navigation merge variables using the Insert: Merge Variable command

                (2) apply a style using an existing "Part" style in the Enlightenment theme

                (3) manually format the merge variable text objects to suit and the save the new formatting as a (new) custom style

                (4) define the merge variable text objects as buttons using Format: Button Setup... and configure to Perform Script.

                (5) finally some conditional formatting was applied to change the background colour when the table occurence of the layout matched the contents (Self) of the merge variable text object (now button) and a tooltip was applied

                 

                This distinction the Theme and its Style sub-categories make between Part, Text, Button, Pop-up Menu and so on would explain the issue I experienced with the text in the 2 sub-summary parts I have on most Table_List layouts. The leading sub-summary is text created via the Insert: merge Field... command and the next sub-summary is a text field. However, I think I started by applying a Part style in the Enlightenment theme, modifying the formatting and finally save as a new style.

                 

                I will apply a new Theme to the layouts, apply and modify ONLY existing styles being careful to only apply Part, Text, Button and so on styles as appropriate.

                 

                Hopefully you have solved my issue.

                Thanks in advance and thanks for the demo database.

                 

                 

                 

                Michael Richards

                Brisbane (Australia)

                 


                 


                 


                • 5. Re: Styles using same Theme fail to update across layouts in FileMaker Pro 13
                  keywords

                  You're welcome! Glad to have helped a fellow traveller a little.

                  • 6. Re: Styles using same Theme fail to update across layouts in FileMaker Pro 13
                    itraining

                    Progress Update:

                    I finally have control of every part, text, field and button across all 77 layouts using a customised version of the Sophisticated Theme and its built-in Styles, including additonal styles. YAY and thanks to pixi and keywords for chiming in and steering me in the right direction.

                     

                    The clean-up process was:

                    01 visit 77 layouts, Format: Change Theme... and apply the Sophisticated theme (Note #1 - encountered several layouts where the Enlightened Theme had NOT been saved which intrigued and confused me)

                    02 click File:Manage:Themes... and delete the customised Enlightened theme and delete the [Enlightened] default theme too

                    03 selecting layout objects (part, text, edit box, pop-up menu, button and so on) modify the Default style AND save the style changes immediately AND save the theme changes immediately

                    04 apply the in-built styles to layout objects AND save the style changes immediately AND save the theme changes immediately

                    05 custom format other layout objects to suite and AND save as a NEW style immediately AND save the theme changes immediately

                    06 visit 77 layouts applying the in-built and new styles, modifying style and creating new styles as new layout objects were encountered AND save the style AND the theme changes immediately  (Note #2 - forgot to save the changes to the Theme on a couple of layouts with interesting results)

                    07 end result - modifying a style on one layout, saving the changes to the style and the theme, other objects formatted with the same style on other layouts update/reformat as expected. Double YAY!

                     

                    Reflecting on what went wrong with my first attempt using the Enlightened Theme the learning below has emerged.

                     

                    Learning #1: for database-wide styles always and immediately save changes to the Style AND the Theme (only changes on the current layout are saved to the Theme)

                    Modifying the Enlightened Theme, I was confident I was saving changes to the Styles or saving as a new Style. However I definitely forget to save changes to the THEME on a few layouts. In my mind, saving changes to a Theme should save ALL changes currently not saved to the Theme and it should not matter which layout I am on BUT only changes on the current layout that are saved to the Theme. Checking the FMI FMP13 help page:

                    http://www.filemaker.com/help/13/fmp/en/html/edit_layout.10.34.html#1128703

                    it states

                    To

                    Choose

                    Save the style changes you made at the theme level

                    Save Changes to Theme. Changes are applied to all layouts in the file that use this theme.

                    The statement reads true but in my mind I was mis-interpreting it as saving ALL changes made across ALL layouts (where the Theme remained unsaved with an asterisk next to its name). Comparing to web pages and CSS, the FMPro Styles are the equivalent of inline css styles or header css style code in a web page and a Theme is the equivalent of an external stylesheet linked to multiple web pages (multiple layouts for FMPro). This explains why I created a new style, saved the style but it was not available on a different layout because the Theme had not been saved on the original layout. It also explains why recreating the style on a different layout (saving the style and the theme) then returning to the original layout and saving the Theme created a Copy of the style. Rernaming the copy of the style by removing the word Copy from its name led to further confusion with styles of the same name but a different internal UUID and different formatting.

                     

                    Learning #2: layout parts (header, subsummary, body and footers) do not follow box model rules like CSS used to control DIV containers in HTML.

                    Never assume!  I thought I could create a style that put a gradient on the Footer part and formatted the text in the footer too but they are 2 discrete objects that require 2 different styles. My first introduction to the concept of styles was in 1991 using paragraph styles in Microsoft Word 4.0. Since then I have used styles of various flavours (paragraph, character, table, object, cells, layouts) in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PageMaker, InDesign, QuarkXpress, Photoshop, DreamWeaver, GoLive and coding CSS. Back in 1991 MS Word employed the concept of a box model to apply font formatting and spacing left, right, before and after a paragraph. I assumed the same in FMP13 for layout parts but that is not true. A layout part is not a box container, instead the objects float on top of it and can extrude outside its boundaries in some cases.

                     

                    Learning #3: to create a new Style select only one object

                    I had 3 text boxes (action buttons) selected and formatted them as desired but the commands to save the current style or save as a new style were inactive. Selecting only 1 of the text boxes (action button) the commands to save the curent style or new style were available. The action buttons were created using Insert: Merge Variable, then Specify Button where the ListAll, Find and New scripts were applied respectively and finally 3 different Tooltips applied too. Not sure what the issue was having the 3 objects selected and being unable to create a new style but FMPro detected some difference (button script, tooltip?) and was unable to offer save as a new style command.

                     

                    Hopefully these 3 small things will save someone else from a moment of confusion and/or frustration.

                     

                    Michael Richards

                    Brisbane (Australia)

                    • 7. Re: Styles using same Theme fail to update across layouts in FileMaker Pro 13
                      keywords

                      Michael, thank you for your comprehensive description of all you have learned in this process. This forum is not just about solving problems but also sharing our learning. If I could just add a few comments:

                       

                      1.   Re: Note #1 - encountered several layouts where the Enlightened Theme had NOT been saved which intrigued and confused me

                      I think you pretty much explained that for yourself further on in your notes, but it's worth emphasising—FM obviously works on a layout by layout basis, so only style changes on the current layout are incorporated into the theme when you change the theme changes, but once you do those changes become available on other layouts.

                       

                      2.   Re: Note #2 - forgot to save the changes to the Theme on a couple of layouts with interesting results

                      If you don't save the theme, that layout will keep on showing unsaved changes but will otherwise be unaffected. If, however, you decide to change to another theme on that layout you will get a warning (see below). If you ignore the warning then any style changes you have made on that layout will be zapped.

                       

                      3.   Re: Learning #1: … only changes on the current layout are saved to the Theme

                      That is an important lesson to be quite clear about. There is nothing to stop you making style changes on multiple layouts, but if you intend them to be available on other layouts then you must save them as changes to the Theme ON THAT LAYOUT. Hence your oft repeated "AND save the theme changes immediately"

                       

                      4.  Re: Not sure what the issue was having the 3 objects selected and being unable to create a new style

                      I find that a little confusing myself, because intuitively you think that if you want to make the same style change to a number of similar objects (eg. text fields) you should be able to select them all and make the change—and you can, but when you then try to save the style change, you can't! It's confusing behaviour. To add further confusion, try then selecting just one of the changed objects and saving the style change. So far so good. Now try selecting one of the other ones you changed collectively. Even though it still looks just as it did when you changed it, and you know its characteristices now reflect the changed style it still shows as if it has unsaved changes applied to it. I hope that FM will address that sort of confusing, non-intuitive behaviour as it develops this area of operation.