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Newbie Stupid Question...about layout


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Hi..newbie here. I am working on a pretty ambitious project that involves manufacturing and production tracking...I will have a ton of questions to follow I'm sure...I've storyboarded a number of my database files that I will need and am currently stuck on the design portion. I have an 800x600 graphic image that I want to use as a background for my entire program. Problem is, (unlike Pagemaker, Quark, InDesign...etc..etc) there seems to be no way to "resize" the document window. I want my database to appear on the users screen (full screen mode) the same size as my background image.If the user uses a higher resolution I would like my image to appear in the same location but with a solid color background of my choosing all the way around it? Is this plausible..am I missing something basic?

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You can resize the window in a number of ways using scripts - Toggle Window (Zoom) to the size of the most bottom right corner of the most bottom right object on your page, or Toggle Window (Maximise) which will fill the screen. In your case though, if you used the same layout, on a larger resoultion screen if you maximise, the image will stay in the top left corner and the rest of the layout will be the background colour you have set for your layout.

Unfortunately FM can't change object positioning on layouts on the fly, so you will have to design different layouts for each screen resolution. You would then need to include a startup script that identified the user's screen resolution (have a look in FM Help under the Status functions - Status(Current ScreenWidth) or Status(CurrentScreenHeight) and then a Go to Layout script step that takes the user to the layout you created specifically for that screen resolution.

Hope that helps.

Have fun in the forums.

Cheers, Murray

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Thanks for the info.....I was kind of just hoping that there was a way to "resize" filemaker's default layout page. As you can probably tell I'm a prepress/graphics designer not a database programmer..But it's all about expanding horizons no?

I had another question about my layouts..sort of..I was hoping someone could give me a recommendation about how to "storyboard" or can provide guidlines for knowing how many database files I should create for my project. I am making a production tracking- check in -check out type of system. For instance..when a new customer order is placed..should the customer's information and the orders reside in different databases, tied together with a unique key..etc.etc..and how difficult is it to create a user login system. I know this is a lot...but I can't seem to find any good resources to answer the "basics" I have a ton of books and CD-ROMS...they're either too basic (ie. only covering using tools) or they are so in depth you need a physics degree to overcome the calculations..Cool Forum so far..

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Re-think the idea of a graphic on each layout -- it's going to slow things down enormously especially over a network with multiple users (though it'll work fine in the local test environment).

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that's actually one of the things I was wondering...I have a full screen gif file that I want to use as a background...if I use it on one layout...is there a way to use that one layout and have buttons that load content from other database files? while staying in the original window as it were? kind of like a website template where you generate content in a table dynamically....?? Is this possible?

thanks for the quick input and tips this is a great forum...

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In short, no.

The best you can do is paste the image once into your FMP layout from outside, then copy and paste it from there into other layouts. I believe FMP works out it's the same image and caches it, but I'm not 100% sure.

As a rule I stick to FMP-native graphics, boring though they may seem. Most users I meet rank speed, response and functionality pretty highly. Grey they can live with: a slow system they cannot.

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is there a graphic file size per database rule I might follow? the graphic I'm using is a 34k gif file...if I store it as a symbolic link and serve my app up through Filemaker Server...will it really slow things that much?

The clients for which this is targeted like bright shiny objects.,

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I am an art director who also dabbles with FM, and I can certainly relate to your "bright shiny" dilemma. I have found that using well designed icons and/or placing a banner type graphic in the header are all that are really needed for clients who enjoy a little eye candy.

I think you'll find that if you stick to a clean design, you will save yourself a lot of heartache in the end. laugh.gif

Best of luck!

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how much of a problem is this as far as graphic sizes go? I have seen several filemaker solutions that have a ton of graphics in them, like Job Central Pro or Mac P&L. Since my solution will be setting up checkpoints (ex. an Imac dummy station that logs in to the production database and only that database to barcode scan a job ticket) The only area that will do any intensive input will be sales for customer entry. 1 800 x 600 36k background image is really gonna cause a lot of trouble? The thrust of the project is "ease of use" ie...big bright graphic buttons that hold your hand as you work. I have a rather significant sale for this project if I can create a database around my graphic model. It's beginning to sound like I need to code the whole thing in C++ with an SQLServer backend or something..I didn't realize Filemaker would fall apart if I put a graphic of such minimal size in it.. : (

Are there some guidlines to follow? rules of thumb as it were?

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Calm down and take a deep breath. smile.gif I think you'll find that FM is an extremely robust program capable of handling most of what you throw at it. Handling a background image shouldn't be a problem.

]newtonslogic said:

I have a full screen gif file that I want to use as a background...if I use it on one layout...is there a way to use that one layout and have buttons that load content from other database files? while staying in the original window as it were? kind of like a website template where you generate content in a table dynamically....?? Is this possible?

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I'm calm..breathe in .......and release...I'm good. : )

I am just wondering if filemaker will handle everything I want to create...I see a few solutions out there...and I've piddled with filemaker over the years...but this is the first time I've gotten serious with it. I have been a creative director for 8 years now...it's quite a switch from Typefaces , Layer modes and Pantone colors to Scripting Plugins and calculations..lol

Anywho...I'm curious to know if there is some sort of ratio of stored graphic sizes to speed/performance with shared filemaker 6.0 databases..

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"I'm curious to know if there is some sort of ratio of stored graphic sizes to speed/performance with shared filemaker 6.0 databases"

Only the general principle that less is better.

Another consideration is portability: if there is a possibility that the solution could be sold to others, will somebody need to sift through the layouts changing the background images etc? All of that sort of thing cuts directly into the developer's bottom line profit...

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what I had envisioned is one standard layout graphic with one new one for a "checkpoint's" page...in other words..the client machine in production area for instance boots up ....and goes directly to it's production database file that receives work order info fomr the customer database on a schedule and does it's production info and then closes out the job ticket..

etc..etc..no one department would share the same database file...only related fields...so would one layout style per department with one 36k background graphic and transparent buttons be ok?

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I was wondering..is there a way to create a "floating" stationary Menu somewhat like the one in the Filmaker Solutions Framework? that's very much the idea behind my system with a menu that changes or adds options only when a user moves to a "different" part of the database. I would like to keep a menu with a consistent look, that stays on each page .

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