1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 29, 2015 9:08 PM by danshockley

    Custom Dialog Box Size?

    cmjones

      Title

      Custom Dialog Box Size?

      Post

      It seems rather silly that a user has to manually resize the box if there is too much text in the dialog. Wouldn't it make much more sense if the box automatically resized to fit the amount of text in the dialog?

       

      Is there a way of doing this, or am I just stuck with this? Not very "custom" is it? 

        • 1. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
          gregl
            

          Which would be the suggested default for automatically resizing the dialog?

           

          • Always expanding vertically until the text fit? Growing the dialog in height until it fills the desktop?
          • Always expanding horizontally until the text fit? Growing the dialog in width until it fills the desktop?
          • Expanding in both dimensions and preserving existing ratio of width:height until one dimension of the desktop area is spanned, and then continuing to expand in the other dimension?
          • Expanding in both dimensions but always preserving golden ratio proportions?
           
          Should the dialog automatically move as well as automatically resize?
           
          Should the automatically expanding dialog limit itself to a single monitor, or span multiple-monitor desktop setups? 

           

          • 2. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
            flybynight
               I would argue that any of those options might be better than making a user scroll. Of course we usually assume that there isn't that much text in a dialog, so it shouldn't get too ridiculous. 
            • 3. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
              jsalzer_1
                

              Personally, I'd vote for expanding both dimensions and maintaining the golden ratio, but I'd take any.

               

              In my case, I'm less concerned with them having to resize than with them running into situations where they don't know they need to resize.  An indicator at the bottom of the dialog making it clear that there is more text below would be great.

               

              (I know - head over to the feature suggestion page.  Going there now.)

               

              ;) 

              • 4. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                cmjones
                  

                It wouldn't be a problem if you could scroll in the dialog box, but you cannot.  Often times there is more text unbeknownst to the user, and it is not obvious that you can expand the box. Of course people familiar with FM know what to do, yet my users are not familiar with it at all.

                 

                I'm sure it would be easy enough to have it so that you could define a desired width for the box. And of course it shouldn't expand into infinity and beyond. After all, I'm not exactly placing the expanded edition of the OED in a dialog box, I'm merely talking a humble few sentences.

                 

                This would handle the job I believe:

                 

                1. Definable dialog box dimensions.

                2. Perhaps a Resize to fit function for dialog boxes.

                3. How about a little scroll bar action?! (In fact, this in itself would be a great and simple solution.)

                • 5. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                  gregl
                    

                  I wasn't trying to be sarcastic.  Providing details such as this help narrow down the expected behaviour of the feature, and let the vendor know exactly what clients would like to see in the product.

                   


                  cmjones wrote:

                  This would handle the job I believe:

                   

                  1. Definable dialog box dimensions.

                  2. Perhaps a Resize to fit function for dialog boxes.

                  3. How about a little scroll bar action?! (In fact, this in itself would be a great and simple solution.)


                   

                   

                  You didn't need to call me a jerkoff and insult me.  This part is the sort of response I was looking for, and I'm sure it would help the product and effect the change you want if more people pitched in with their opinions. 


                  • 6. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                    cmjones
                      

                    Fair enough, I apologize. I misinterpreted your message, to me the language seemed sarcastic. I've edited my reply to remove the insults.

                     

                    Can someone direct me to the area where I can submit a feature request?

                     

                    Thanks 

                    • 7. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                      ttumbles
                         While we are making very useful suggestions, how about adding text editing functions to the dialog box.........bold face, italics, different font size, etc.
                      • 8. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                        gregl
                          

                        ttumbles wrote:
                        how about adding text editing functions to the dialog box.........bold face, italics, different font size, etc.
                        That's an interesting suggestion.  Text input into those optional input fields have to go into a database field anyway, and text fields in FileMaker Pro do support formatting and styles.  This sounds like a way to do very simple, custom forms that involve styled text data in a single script step without having to create a new custom layout and scripts, etc. to manage a form temporarily in a separate window.

                         


                        • 9. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                          gregl
                            

                          cmjones wrote:

                           

                          Can someone direct me to the area where I can submit a feature request?

                           


                          We can file enhancement requests here... http://www.filemaker.com/company/feature_request.html

                           


                          • 10. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                            jsalzer_1
                              

                            CM - Don't feel too bad.  I misread his post, too.  ;)

                             

                            Oddly enough, this is exactly the type of a thread I would like to see in the "Provide Feedback" area.  One person brings up a problem (and there were many like this that don't get addressed because they aren't good marketing material), and others work with him or her to work out the best way to implement a solution, and when the OP or someone else "wraps up" the proposed solution in a way that the gang can agree with, our great group of moderators file the feature request.

                             

                            Mods - the "Provide Feedback" area needs to encourage that type of a discussion.   Great discussion and usable feedback gets stifled when an immediate "Go to this URL to submit your request" response is given.

                             

                             So, back to the original topic - we seem to so far agree that:

                             

                            1)  There is a critical problem raised by the fact that custom dialog boxes may cut off information in a way that (depending on the break) may not make it clear to the end user that there is more text in the dialog.

                             

                            2)  There are three identified solutions to this problem:

                             

                            a)  Give the developer the ability to specify a dialog box size when customizing the dialog box.

                             

                            b)  Ask the OS to resize the box to fit all the text (within reason) any time a custom dialog is called.

                             

                            c)  Implement a dialog box with a scroll bar.

                             

                            Personally, I don't think that I've seen a scroll bar in a dialog box in either OS, so I have doubts as to the feasibility of that one.  However, either solution (a) or (b) must be do-able, since no other application I know of outputs dialog boxes that have some text hidden.

                             

                            Other thoughts from the peanut gallery? 

                            • 11. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                              swj
                                

                              I see what you are saying about the dialog limitations, but if you want a fully customised dialog box, maybe a complete new layout needs to be designed to do the job? I think the built-in dialog box is best left as a really simple, quick method of obtaining Yes/No/Cancel.

                               

                              Perhaps what you really need is enhancements to "New Window" or "Adjust Window" script steps, perhaps by adding  'modal' or 'focus' options?

                              • 12. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                                TSGal

                                All:

                                 

                                The reply by GSO is the best.  That is, please enter all of these excellent suggestions into the form at:

                                 

                                http://www.filemaker.com/company/feature_request.html

                                 

                                It would be easy for me to copy and paste these suggestions, but there are questions asked that only you can answer.

                                 

                                When entering the suggestion, please explain why you need this.  I have noticed that more attention is given to those requests where real-life examples are given, so take a couple of extra minutes to describe your specific scenario.

                                 

                                Thanks.

                                 

                                TSGal

                                FileMaker, Inc. 

                                • 13. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                                  gregl
                                    

                                  In addition to the option of managing a separate window with a custom layout via scripts, there are FileMaker Pro plugins available from 3rd-parties that supply fancier dialog windows than the built-in Show Custom Dialog script step.

                                   

                                  One such plugin is the Troi Dialog Plug-In:

                                    

                                   

                                  I didn't do an exhaustive search, but I'm sure there are other 3rd-party options. 

                                  • 14. Re: Custom Dialog Box Size?
                                    danshockley

                                    I think we could cover about 90% of the problem with a few simple changes (for fancier things, make a layout or use a plugin): 

                                           
                                    1. Make the dialog box automatically grow up to, say, 25% of the user's current screen (the screen the dialog box already knows to appear in) to fit the text, if possible.
                                    2.      
                                    3. Have a scroll bar appear when the text is too big to fit the dialog box, whatever the box's current size is. 

                                    Those two fairly simple changes would deal with the worst problems of the simple dialog box, without getting tangled up in a more dramatic and complicated overhaul. These changes would require no modification of the script step itself. 

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