Databases have the tendency to look a little boring, plain and down right lifeless! FileMaker changes that. Or rather, FileMaker can change that if you know how to do it! I try to make sure that all the layouts within my databases are what I like to call ‘Adaptive Layouts’. This means that the layouts will change, and adapt, to data that is entered into them.
So lets start with an example… ( a very, very basic example )
The below layout is used on my database to generate packing notes and invoices. Before an invoice can be printed it needs to be checked by management. Once check, the ‘Mark as Checked’ button can be clicked.
Once the mark as checked button is clicked the layout changes to the below. The header changes to orange to show that the invoice has been checked. The ‘Mark as Checked’ button changes green and has a completed date entered. Another button has also appeared that now allows the invoice to be sent. ( Highlighted by the red box )
And then, once the ‘Mark as Invoiced’ button is hit the layout changes once again.
The result of all this makes for an adaptive and colourful solution for everyday tasks. Not only that, but if a user looks at an invoice and the header is not green then they instantly know that it has not been completed yet.
This idea can be used in many more advanced and complex ways and it isn’t actually too difficult to achieve. It will normally just require an extra field or two and then some layering of objects to get a really nice and smooth adaptive layout.
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The main principle of the idea is using a setting called ‘Hide object when’. This allows you to hide an object when a certain value is, or is not, met. To find this setting, click on any object within layout mode, load the inspector window and go to the tab ‘Data’. On this you will find the setting.
For this example I am actually using two coloured boxes for the layout header. One orange box and one green box. These have different hide values so that they disappear when required. The boxes are then lay over the top of each other to make it appear that the box is changing colour. However; one box is actually disappearing and the other box is reappearing.
There are two fields within my table that I use for this example. One is called ‘Checked’ and this tells me whether the invoice has been checked or not. This value can either equal “Y” or “N” to stand for yes and no. The other field is called ‘Invoiced’ and this tells me whether the invoice has been completed or not. This also can only equal either “Y” or “N”. The table is named ‘Advice Notes’.
The orange box has the ‘object hide when’ value of the following:
Advice Notes::Checked = “N”
Advice Notes::Invoiced = “Y”
This means that the orange box will show when the Checked field equals yes and when the Invoiced field equals no.
The green box has the ‘object hide when’ value of the following:
Advice Notes::Checked = “N”
Advice Notes::Invoiced = “N”
This means that the green box will show when the Checked field equals yes and when the Invoiced field equals yes.
So when you view this on a layout it appears that the box is changing colour as you change the required fields.
Now you can use this idea is create some adaptive layouts of your own!
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If you want to take a look at a couple of examples feel free to download the example file. I have created a couple of basic examples that you can take apart and analyse on your own computer!
The download is a single zip file that contains a single FileMaker solution. Have fun!
<td>Adaptive Layout Example.fmp12</td>
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[easy_media_download url=”https://filemakerexamples.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Adaptive-Layout-Example.zip” text=”Download Example” color=”grey_light”]