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Sliding Left Won't Work (for the 2,103rd time this has been asked!)

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I've read through the previous posts on things not sliding left properly and I've tried all of the known fixes, and I'm still stumped.  Here's my problem:  I'm trying to get a mailing label layout to display a comma and then any suffix that may follow a person's name (such as Ph.D, PE, MSCE, etc.), but if there is no suffix, then I do not want the comma to display.  Should be a piece of cake, right?!  Ummm...Nope!

I have fields for prefix (Dr., Ms., Mr., etc.), first name, last name, and suffix.

I first added a calculation field to combine the prefix, first name, and last name:  = Prefix & " " & First_Name & " " & Last_Name and a second calculation field to combine a comma and the suffix:  = ", " & Suffix.  The comma and suffix field is conditionally formatted to be white if there is no suffix.

When viewed in Browse Mode, it's looks wonky, but, OK, it's sorta supposed to look goofy, so I can handle that - let's switch to Preview mode and see what happens:  There is a gap between the last letter of the last name and the comma - about two letter-width's.  And printing it shows the same problem - way too much room between the last name and the comma. 

I have quadruple-checked the following:  The fields are touching - I've even tried overlapping by a pixel or two just to make sure, to no avail.  All fields are set to left and top, all padding is set to zero, and, yes, I did check the 'Remove blank space by: Sliding Left' checkbox.  And I've tried the above using the original text fields (plus a new text field for the comma), my added calc fields, and merge fields. I'm also not sure why I have a blank label/page between each entry - may be a field is too close to the edge, but I'll worry about that later.

I have attached a copy of the offending file for reference.

I'm sure it's something simple, but I just can't find it - any help would be greatly appreciated!


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I changed the field calculation to show how it should be structure.

Mailing_Label_test_1 MOD.fmp12

Hey Webco, 

I accidentally deleted your topic. The Forum (or me) is showing double postings today, and I thought that it had actually double posted your reply. Please resubmit it as it is a great way to approach the OPs need.

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LOL Lee...

I just pointed out that if both merge fields are in same text black, this works. The problem was that the second text black had a fixed left point, leading to the extra space (and in other longer names, would cause on overlap...)


Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 11.19.10 am.png

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Lee and webko:  Thanks so much for your feedback.  The revised calc makes my solution a LOT more robust and will prove useful in making some of my earlier attempts work much better!

webko:  I'm still a bit confused about  "...The problem was that the second text black had a fixed left point, leading to the extra space..."  Where do I find the fixed left point setting?  I've gone through every panel in the inspector, but can't find anything different between the two strings:  The text attributes are the same, there is no padding in either, and all indents are set to zero.  Can I please bug you one more time and have you explain this to me in noob-speak?

Thanks again - you guys rock!

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A text block has a position on the screen - let's say your original2nd text block with the suffix was left 300px, top 10px, right 400px and bottom 25px. Any text within it will start at 300px from the left. The other left text block may have started at 10px and have about 240px of text. The second block will still start at 300px, leaving a large gap.

It's more obvious over multiple records where the end of the first text block will change, but the second will always start at the same point...

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 10.31.19 am.png

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Thanks for your time and patience on this, webko, but I think I'm even more confused now:  I thought the whole purpose of sliding left was to strip away the extra blank space in the leftmost block to allow for differing lengths of text, such as names.  Is there a better way to merge the fields together to avoid this 'gap-osis'?

Thanks again!

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