6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 23, 2010 4:32 PM by DLW-BPEX

    Field Based Graphics



      Field Based Graphics


      I'm a newbie to FMP development and have been handed a database which appears to make use of 'field based graphics' - not sure if this is the correct term.  Basically it seems to use container fields for storing graphic items.  


      I'm not sure of the benefits of this, but could anyone point me to any books/training materials that give a detailed explanation of the technique and how it's used.


      I'd rather get some idea of what I'm supposed to be doing before I get stuck in.  


      Any help appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Field Based Graphics

          A container field in FileMaker can store an image, file, other binary items embedded in the field itself or just as a reference to the actual file.

          Depending on how it was originally inserted into the container field, it would make a difference whether or not you could delete the actual files for example.


          The container field can be placed on the layout to display the image or shortcut to the file.


          • 2. Re: Field Based Graphics

            It looks as though the method has been used for layout and design purposes rather than as a data repository.  


            I think how it's been done is that a list/table of graphic elements has been created, and then instead of an actual graphic element being used in the layout, a shortcut/alias is used to link backt.  


            The only benefit of this would seem to be that there is only one image and it's the links from the placeholders that do the work.  I guess it would make it easier to propagate a change throughout the database by changing a single item with no need to change the links. 


            Very helpful thanks.  Do you know of anywhere this technique is explained in more detail?  There doesn't appear to be anything specific in the FMP Missing Manual series., or AFAICT in the FM training material.

            • 3. Re: Field Based Graphics



              Allow me to chime in, if I may.

              Yes, that technique can be a real time-saver if you ever decide to make changes to the images. Another advantage is that you can have multiple fields of differing sizes all based on the same graphic, but with reduce/enlarge applied as you wish.


              Finally, you can create the illusion of an increased or decreased dimension by using the crop and alignment options. Since you aren't working with vector graphics, this can be a clever "re-sizing" technique that retains fidelity. A caution, though: this requires precise alignment of fields relative to one another. And I don't know what problems might arise between OS platforms, with printing/sliding, etc. But still, you might find it worth exploring.




              [Forgot to include this initially]

              And not to say that this really explains it in detail, but you can glean some tips from SeedCode's free calendar. That's what I was talking about "exploring".

              • 4. Re: Field Based Graphics

                You might find it useful to examine the free calendar template from SeedCode

                and the Starting Point Template from fmstartingpoint.com

                • 5. Re: Field Based Graphics

                  Thanks to all who replied for the help.  It does look a useful technique, particularly for something which my require significant layout changes somewhere down the track.


                  I'll check out the templates you suggest.

                  • 6. Re: Field Based Graphics

                    There is a drawback to this technique that I discovered by accident -- although others may be well aware of it -- so I wanted to follow up:


                    If --

                    1. a global container field holding an image is present on a layout that has no records;

                    2. the user happens to click on the image (maybe expecting it to be a button), then:


                    Because the image is in a field, an error message pops up saying, "No records are present. To create a new record, choose the New Record menu command."


                    This can occur, for example, if the field is on a Home screen not intended to have records, or if the current layout shows a zero Found Set. In either case, it can be confusing to the user.

                    De-selecting "Allow field to be entered in Browse mode" does not prevent this.


                    Just something to be aware of.