Edit Areas


Recently I have started to use things that I like to call edit areas. I use these areas to display relational information for the record being viewed, and the area gives the user the ability to edit this information without having to open the relational record in a new window.

However you may not want users to be able to edit this information 24/7. Maybe your users are just clumsy and you do not want them to accidentally edit this information. The image below shows a quick preview of my current system. ( At the bottom of the post is a link to a video showing you my completed layout. )


The image above shows an example quotation that I am currently working on for Apple. The image shows the sidebar of my quotation. The sidebar is used to display useful information about the customer that I may need during the quoting stage such as email and phone numbers. The emails are also set up as buttons so that they will open my default email application and set the ‘To’ address as the clicked email.

You will also notice that next to the ‘Contact’ header is the word ‘Edit’ in brackets. When the user clicks this button, the below happens.


The text all changes to edit boxes that allow the user to alter the data. The word ‘Edit’ in bracket also changes to the word ‘Save’. When this button is clicked, the edit boxes will revert back to text labels.

All my users have commented on this feature describing how useful it is to them in day to day quotations. I hope that you find it as useful as I have!


How To Do It

This feature revolves around the ability to hide items on screen when given a particular set of boundaries. If you click on any object when you are in layout mode and open up the inspector window, you will notice that there is an option to set called ‘Hide object when’.


This setting gives you the ability to hide the given object when a particular field, or fields, are equal to, or are not equal to, particular values. In fact you set these requirements in just the same way that you would build a FileMaker calculation. For my particular example I have created a field, within my current table, called ‘Contact Edit’. This field is allowed to equal either one or zero. When this field is set to equal zero, this means that the relational data is not in edit mode and it will look like the below.


And then when the field is equal to one, this means that the relational data is in edit mode and it will look like the below.


To show you how this works I have separated the boxes into two sections as shown in the below image. The boxes within the rounded rectangle are set to allow the user to edit the data. These boxes are also set to hide when the ‘Contact Edit’ field does not equal one.

If you remember, when ‘Contact Edit’ is set to equal one, this means that the data is in edit mode. So when the ‘Contact Edit’ does not equal one, the edit boxes must go into hide mode!

All the boxes within the non-rounded rectangle are all effectively set up in the opposite way! These boxes do not allow the user to edit the data and they are set to hide when the ‘Contact Edit’ field does not equal zero.


The Edit and Save buttons are set up in exactly the same way. The edit button will hide when the ‘Contact Edit’ field does not equal zero. And the save button will hide when the ‘Contact Edit’ field does not equal one.

All that is left to do know is arrange them in the way that you feel is best suited for your database! In my database the boxes are aligned over the top of each other; shown below.


This is a little confusing to look at in layout mode. However the idea is that your users will not see the layout in layout mode, they will only see it in browse mode! So once it is set up you are able to leave it alone and you are left with a very nice looking edit system!

Click here ( Edit Boxes ) to see a video of my finished layout.

If you have any questions about this post or need anything answering please feel free to comment or message me and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible!

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