14 Replies Latest reply on Aug 16, 2011 12:28 PM by John_1

    Empty  fields in merge fields



      Empty  fields in merge fields


      Hello all,

      I created a text report based on merged fields. Any time the field is left empty, it leaves a white space. Is there a way to collapse it in order to have an uninterrupted text flow. Thanks

        • 1. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

          It can depend on how you set up the layout text that encloses the merge fields. You can select the block of layout text and use Sliding & Visibility on the Inspector's Postion tab to set it to slide up/resize enclosing part, but this will not work if you have entered a return inside the layout text to start the empty field on a new line.

          • 2. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

            When I chose the text block that I used to type my report (merged Fields), the inspector doesn't  allow me to do that. Thanks

            • 3. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

              As a test, I just clicked over to one of my databases and:

              1. Entered Layout Mode
              2. Clicked a block of layout text to select it.
              3. With the text so selected, I could set sliding and resize options in the inspector.


              See any difference between what I did and what you did?

              (Don't select the text by highlighting it with the cursor.)

              • 4. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                I redid it and followed your steps. It allowed me to use the inspector but still there is white space in place of empty fields. It shrunk the white space a bit but there are still some gaps.


                • 5. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                  In what mode? Preview or Browse?

                  Apologies for not adding this info about sliding fields/objects in FileMaker. I keep this in a DB and should have pasted it in my first post:


                  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.


                  If you need to see this effect in Browse mode, we'll need to use a different approach where a calculation merges all the data into a single field, and even that approach may not work perfectly.

                  • 6. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                    May be I can approach it in another way. Is there a way to list multiple selections from a checkbox field next to each other seperated by periods.

                    for ex.

                    Multiple selections from the field <<what did I do today>>

                    I drove home. I had dinner. I watched TV.


                    • 7. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                      In a calculation field you can create this expression:

                      Substitute ( CheckBoxField ; ¶ ; ". " )

                      • 8. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                        I must be missing something. I opened manage database---choose field---clicked calculation--entered substitute command and saved. still my text report still lines my selections as a list under each others in different lines. !!!!

                        • 9. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                          Was this an auto-entered calclation on the checkbox field (don't do that) or a separate field of type calculation?

                          Use the separate calculation field on your layout and you'll see what you want here.

                          • 10. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                            It was an auto-entered calculation. I'm not sure how to create a seperate field of type calculation!!!

                            • 11. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                              Open Manage | Database | Fields

                              Select the correct table from the table drop down.

                              Enter a field name, select calculation from the type drop down and click create.

                              Enter your calculation expression and click OK.

                              Note: (Your auto-entered calculations had two issues, it modified the contents of the check box field which would produce a field with no check boxes selected on any layout where the field is formatted with the original check box group and it didn't have the "do not replace existing value..." option cleared--which would produce an update for all new records--but still messes up the check box format.)

                              A new text field with an auto-entered calculation and the "do not replace.." option cleared would produce results indentical to the calculation field for new records, but you need to use something like the Replace field contents tool to update the value in this field for existing records.

                              • 12. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                                I created the above. I get a " the action cannot be performed because the field is not modifiable" every time I try to check the boxes.!

                                • 13. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                                  Use the calculation field to display the values. Use the original text field for the check box group. Two fields, with two different jobs.

                                  • 14. Re: Empty  fields in merge fields

                                    Finally got it. Thanks for your help.