3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 30, 2012 5:15 PM by philmodjunk

    Business Letter Layout to Avoid Signature Only on Last Page?



      Business Letter Layout to Avoid Signature Only on Last Page?


      i currently have a layout for business letters that has a title header that contains a container for the company layout which is only meant to print on the first page of a multi-page letter.  i then have a header for the purpose of creating a fixed amount of white space (1-1/2") at the top of any additional pages.  the body then conatins all the other components of the letter (the address, date, re, salutation, letter text, closing, signature, id, cc, etc).  the body part is many pages to allow for long letters.all the fields and merge fields in the body part are set to slide up.  finally there is a footer that has additional letterhead info, and can also contain a page number.  All of this generally works fine with the exception that for long letters, sometimes the top portion of the first line on the second page will be missing.  that is one problem i am having but not the main issue as it seems i can fix this by adjusting the letter text field up or down ever so slightly.

      my main question is: is there a simple way to ensure that if the text of the letter is just the right length (or, perhaps i should say, just the wrong length) that it will not push just a couple lines (such as the signature) to the last page.  or, in other words, to force the last page to contain at least 5 lines of text, for example, before the  signature?  i think i can proably construct a script to check the word count (or line count if that is a function?) in the text and then estimate where that would fall and then change the line spacing in the letter text to expand or contract as needed, but is there an easier way to set up the layout, for example, to manage this issue?  help!?

        • 1. Re: Business Letter Layout to Avoid Signature Only on Last Page?

          You've run up against a long standing limitation in FileMaker Report layouts and there are no simple fixes. The first issue is a known bug common to most versions of FileMaker if I understand your description correctly: FM11 printing? "Only one half of a line prints" again, like FM6

          In MS Word splitting paragraphs of text so that neither the first line or two of text is not left by itself on the previous page and avoiding putting just one or two lines on the start of the next page is called "widow and orphan control". FileMaker does not have this feature--though many have requested it: Feature Suggestion Form

          Trying to determine the location of the page break will be difficult to do by counting words or letters given how modern proportional fonts vary so much in how much space a given letter takes. iiii and WWWW are the same number of words and letters, but the second requires quite a bit more space than the second.

          Hmmm, just speculating here....

          Wonder if you could set up a script that previews the last page of your letter in preview mode with a custom dialog popped up where you can enter a number in an input field. Your script would then insert the specified number of returns before the first line of text in your last paragraph to adjust it "down" to get a better split over the page break. This could be set up in a loop so that you can enter a number and click one button to stay in preview to see the result of the adjustment, with a second button to click to accept the adjustment and stop the loop...

          • 2. Re: Business Letter Layout to Avoid Signature Only on Last Page?

            thanks phil... that is the bug issue i was experiencing, but that doesn't present too much of a hassle for me because i am able to shift the field up or down a few pixels and it resolves it.

            i really like the script suggestion and i am going to use it (thank you!).  one question about that... instead of inserting spaces, i would like to just slightly increase or decrease the line spacing (and/or tracking) throughout the text field as needed to expand or contract the letter.  i looked through the text formatting functions but didn't see anything that adjusted the line spacing.  is this possible to do?  or would i just need to make multiple layouts with the text spacing set at different values (.9, 1, 1.1, 1.2, etc) and then go to the appropriate layout as the user adjusted the value via the script?

            • 3. Re: Business Letter Layout to Avoid Signature Only on Last Page?

              You can't adjust line spacing on the fly either. Frown