Developer interactions while in layout mode

A few things, actually... First and foremost, the notion that a field automatically resized based on its name instead of its content. I can't tell you how much time I spend resizing objects in layout mode. It's horrible - I could go on and on ad nauseum but suffice it to say the behavior of layout objects is my number 1.

Also (layout related) is placement of objects and how to select them. For example, if I have a text or field object covered by a rectangle, selecting the text is next to impossible (I think). Some programs let you alt-click to click through layers; not sure if FM does this and I just haven't discovered it yet.

Let's start a new thread and talk these out.

  1. Nothing ever changes if we don't talk it out and take that info to Claris. We all work together on this to make the platform better.
  2. Adjustments to how the layout tree works can help make some of this easier. But we need to talk about use-cases and find something that makes the juice worth the squeeze.

Definitely agree. There are design patterns you can use to make this easier. Using cmd-drag allows you to only pick up objects that are full enclosed. Also, again, talking out these use-cases helps present the case to Claris. What may be obvious to us, may not be to other users. So working through the challenge may lead us to a better option.

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@cpking do you use the list of objects (left side list in layout mode, alternative to fields)? This can be invaluable in selecting and formatting objects that are difficult to get to.

Also, if you are positioning objects on other objects, such as fields or buttons on tabs or popovers, leave a few pixels from the edges, otherwise the smaller object may penetrate the layers and appear unexpectedly in browse mode.

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Thanks for the CMD-drag trick - that's news to me, and will be helpful...

I'll admit upfront that I am a marketing communications person first, so much of my time is spent in design and layout programs that excel at formatting and layout. That said, understanding alignment and sizing, both in terms of internal alignment of text fields and objects, as well as alignment of one object to another in Filemaker baffles me. I never know what results I will get. For example, in layout programs, generally the last item selected is the one to which other objects are aligned. This is unclear to me in Filemaker.

Also, the sizing issue is a never ending confusion. All the various parameters around text in particular are difficult. For example, if I have text on a layout (This is some text) in a container that is .5" wide and .2" tall, the text object wraps to two lines automatically, rather than maintaining the height. To further complicate matters, the line spacing and font size combined with setting in the Position panel of Inspector (i.e., Width/Height) seem to auto adjust, regardless of what I tell it to do.

Or does it work better to lock all autosizing?

I consider myself pretty advanced with anything related to Layout view. Nevertheless, when I stumbled on Petrowsky's training series in November, I decided to do the series 4 in its entirety and several episodes of series 1. It is the most comprehensive approach of Layouts and Themes I came across. I normally put such videos on 1.25 or 1.5 speed so I just pause on stuff I need to assimilate. While I often started a video doubting I would learn anything I did not know about the topic titled, I was always proven wrong. I cannot recommend it enough to become a layout power user.

Notwithstanding, I was able to tell him a couple of tricks and that made me quite proud!

Comments to some of his videos.

If you click on the icon of the text object all you have to do is click (WHITHOUT MOVING THE MOUSE) anywhere in the layout, including the canvas to the right, and start typing. If you move a bit but dont drag to make a set shape, FileMaker will create a set 1 character wide text block which you will have to clic out to get out the text zone and click the block to have the handles appear to resize it.

Layout Setup, option: "Show field frame when record is active" => it shows field frames only on the active record even though other fields frames have been defined. If you want to see the frame for all of them, turn that off.

With the cursor or selection still in the hex field of the picker, hitting enter will commit (set) the colour for the object (or as I learn through your video, by clicking on the colour sample

On keystroke... if you put a watch script that calls the action script when the condition returns true, you don't suffer so much slowdown

Series 1

Series 2
S4E13 most of it
S4E4 after t.35min
S4E10 after t.18min

Finally, here is a reply I wrote to @mrwatson-de on Community. It is not exactly about what you were saying about object resizing however I explain some principles that are useful to understand certain behaviour of objects, especially text and field objects.

It explains how you can prevent autosizing.

Object height changes when horizontally resizing

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Thanks for the YouTube referral. Quite helpful!

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