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Why use padding on a one-line text field? And why are FMP labels still small and bold?


FMDuck
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Sorry for the two-part question but they seem to go together...

I'm starting to rewrite my FMP5.5 to FMP11 UI. I'm graphically challenged so with the intention of making use of the larger displays, I'm looking closely at what some of the industry leaders have put out.

So far, every FM Theme sample or product, or example that I've run across for single-line fields, field labels, or buttons use both padding and alignment when it seems that having only padding or alignment on 3 of the 4 sides is necessary and would be more useful. For example:

  • 12pt Left-center aligned text
  • 22pt high x 200 wide field
  • Padding of 2,7,2,7

The left padding of 7 (or whatever) seems useful but since FileMaker doesn't limit the length of a text field, adding padding on the top, right, and bottom seem to potentially limit a user's awareness that there's more in the field.

In another example:

  • 12pt center-center aligned number
  • 22pt high x 40 wide field
  • Padding of 2,7,2,7

In this case the left and right padding results in 2 digits being cut off (3 visible vs 5 without padding). 

In both examples the top and bottom padding seem unnecessary and in some cases can result in fonts being cutoff.

Is there a reason for padding all around, or is theme creation easier, or just people's CSS habits?

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The other question - Creating new field instances still result in one size for the field font and a smaller size bold font for the label. Again, looking around online, I don't see anyone keeping this big field/small bold label result. It seems that years ago this could have made sense to draw attention to where the field is but now, there are too many other things on the screen.  Does anyone know if there's a current philosophy behind this or maybe has it just never changed in FMP?

 

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3 hours ago, FMDuck said:

The other question - Creating new field instances still result in one size for the field font and a smaller size bold font for the label. Again, looking around online, I don't see anyone keeping this big field/small bold label result. It seems that years ago this could have made sense to draw attention to where the field is but now, there are too many other things on the screen.  Does anyone know if there's a current philosophy behind this or maybe has it just never changed in FMP?

Change it to what you want. Then save the style over the Default. Make it your new default. 

Then save it to a new theme. Use the new theme as you base for layouts. 

New fields will then adopt the "Default" style you set.

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Padding is required for WD and for FMGO if you wish to have text appear in the middle of the field. Where as just general formatting doesn't seem to cut it. Also padding is helpful when you have text that would normally wrap and you don't wish to see the second line you can add padding to top and bottom to trim it to the single line.

Haven't tried in a while but i think too sliding objects up won't work if your fields are middle aligned you may need to add padding instead so that content slides. 

Keep in mind that there is a relationship between fields and labels based on proximity once edited they are broken you can fix them again with the Accessibility tool, helpful if your audience requires a screen reader.

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@Beverly - I see what you mean about the indent. It seems like FMI could make the left padding match the field's when the labels are placed above.

@Josh - I'm so used to seeing the smaller, bold label that I forgot it won't be that way anymore. Still though, there was an issue with the Field Picker not aligning the labels with the fields so they all had to be adjusted up or down. But then I realized the labels are always center aligned and the fields are top aligned (by default) so some consistent padding and alignment will fix that too.

@OW (good to see your hairy smiling face!) I'll probably end up with some layout on WD so I'm more comfortable using the padding. I also found that by keeping the vertical padding, it can be easier to set the desired height since when sizing them with the mouse.

 

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Like this. If the label is going to have borders and such I found it easier to format buttons then a text object - and occasionally a label will actually be a button that does something or may be a pop over button. If the label needs to be dynamic it could use a single segment button bar. All of which could include an icon should the design call for it. 

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 8.23.13 AM.png

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