6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2011 12:27 PM by AlanMoss

    Creating a professional looking layout from a portal

    AlanMoss

      Title

      Creating a professional looking layout from a portal

      Post

      I'm teaching myself FileMaker to create a database for the art gallery I work at and I'm having a bit of trouble wraping my head around making a professional looking Quotation/Invoice for items.

      I've created a join table to make quotations, so I have an "objects" table and a "quotes" table joined with a "line items" table that's produced out of a portal on the quotes layout. And it works beautifully, for internal purposes. 

      Now I need to make a layout that puts all the information from that portal on our header paper. 

      My issue is that the fields in the portal aren't big enough to show all the information that it's sourcing from the objects table (e.g. description of the object and it's dimensions, this is sometimes several lines long). And printing a table-like layout for our customers is a bit tacky (in this business). 

      I realize I'm probably just missing one basic step, but I just cannot bridge the gap. 

      Ultimately I'd like the layout to have the date, Quote/InvoiceID, customer info (from an as yet uncreated clients database) and then it will list in paragraph form (or something similar to that) the description of the item, it's dimensions and price, with a small image of the object next to it. 

      Is there an easy way to do this?

      Thanks kindly in advance. Apologies for being a noob.

        • 1. Re: Creating a professional looking layout from a portal
          philmodjunk

          Take a look at how the Invoices starter solution prints an invoice or how this demo file created by Comment uses the same method to print and invoice: http://fmforums.com/forum/showpost.php?post/309136/

          In both files, a portal is used for data entry, but not for printing. Instead, a list view layout based on the line items table is used to print the invoice. Invoice fields can be found in the header, footer or a trailing grand summary part.

          • 2. Re: Creating a professional looking layout from a portal
            AlanMoss

            Ok, that sort of worked. Except that I'm still having the issue where my description of the object (which runs several lines) doesn't show all the way on the Print layout. It would ideally be a paragraph (a short description with the dimensions). 

            • 3. Re: Creating a professional looking layout from a portal
              philmodjunk

              You can resize the description field on this layout to be taller than the maxium possible size for your description. Then use the Inspector's position tab to set the field to "slide up" , "Resize enclosing part".

              Key facts about sliding layout objects:

              1. It's only visible in preview mode and when you print/save as PDF...
              2. All layout objects below and in the same layout part as the slide/resize field need to also be set to slide up and resize.
              3. Objects in headers and footers will not slide.
              4. Portals will shrink/slide to fit the number of rows of records, but fields within the portal row will not shrink/slide.
              5. Consistent side borders are difficult to achieve with sliding fields.
              • 4. Re: Creating a professional looking layout from a portal
                AlanMoss

                Ok thank you that's very helpful. But I'm noticing one thing. If I have multiple items in on the invoice for some reason it is only showing on the printout version, the first item. I noticed that when I was setting it up when I'm using the table "Line Items" the objects in there have the "::" before each object, which is associated with the portal if i'm not mistaken, since it doesn't show up in my "quotes" table to which it's linked? Is that why it won't show multiple lines on my printout? 

                • 5. Re: Creating a professional looking layout from a portal
                  philmodjunk

                  Check your settings in Layout Setup.... The "show Records from" drop down for you layout should list a table occurrence of you line items layout not any invoices or quotes table occurrence. (Table occurrences are the "boxes" found in Manage | Database | Relationships).

                  The :: in front of a field name indicates that this field is being added to the layout from a different table occurrence than the one specified in that Show Records from drop down and this is not what we want for any fields from the lineitems table.

                  • 6. Re: Creating a professional looking layout from a portal
                    AlanMoss

                    thank you so much! it worked perfectly. I was starting to feel like a total dunce. this is such a relief.