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Page layout and sliding

Greg Hains

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I am having trouble with a layout and would like some assistance please.

I have read through a number of article in this forum but not found quite the same problem listed, although I have heard a few people grumbling about sliding objects.

The problem I am having relates to the Parts of the layout Im using. The report (a quote) is to have a major block of text at the top of the first page (Title Header), the main Body of the text (this is the problem area) and then Footers and Trailing Grand Summary. I think I have the tops and bottoms worked out, but the main text is giving me grief.

After unsuccessfully trying to use a single layout (which is my preference) to handle both large and small quotes (small works fine, large spills over and gets messy), I resorted to two layouts. I then tried to work a way to determine if I needed to use a single or multipage layout - then it complicated it even more.

I am unable to attach the file due to its size but will see if I can draw something equivalent down here. I will "name" the sections I use as follows.

"Major Header" (Company Logo,date etc) Title Header

"Minor Header" (Brief description of job) Header

"Quote Text" (Details of the quote. Free text) Body

"Minor Footer" (Small box for client to sign/ack. each page) Footer

"Major Footer" (Quote totals and T&C) Trailing Grand Summary

Only the "Quote Text" size varies and leaves big gaps after it (despite being TRIMmed), and I need the Trailing Grand Summary always at the bottom of the page - not half way through.

I have a Filemaker manual here and seem to understand the parts being used, but am not sure if the sliding aspect is beahving or whether its me doing something wrong.

Can anybody point me in the right direction please?

Many thanks in advance.


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FM is not a word-processor, and I cringe when I read posts by people who are trying to use it as such. So, if you'd rather stay in FM for this...

Some facts:

Header parts appear at the top of every page, unless there is a Title Header defined.

The Title Header appears at the top of the first page.

Footer parts appear at the bottom of every page, unless there is a Title Footer defined.

The Title Footer appear at the bottom of the first page.

The Trailing Grand Summary appears immediately after the last record. There are some techniques to try to push it down so it appears to be a Last Page Footer (which doesn't exist), and they are complicated.

Sliding allows you to remove white space in sub-summary and body parts.

Large text boxes that break across page breaks do not do so gracefully. However, FM just released an update 11.0v3, that apparently fixes a long-standing bug that chopped off text when it breaks across a page. I haven't tested this yet.

All this being said, Bruce Robertson has developed a technique to allow paragraphs of text to be broken apart into separate records. This plays into FM's ability to more elegantly break records across multiple pages in a report (much more in keeping with the idea that records contain short bits of data). Here is a link to a demo of his "Virtual List" technique. Virtual List

Perhaps using separate layouts and the Save as PDF (append) feature will allow you to produce a decent report. I just want to assure you that it's not you, you're stretching FM's native abilities.

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Hi BCooney.

Thank you for your comprehensive reply.

I feared I was pushing Filemaker and it wasn't (as per usual) my lack of undertanding - I do have a ton of FM refernce material here and followed the instructions and all that. You're right about it being used as a word processor, but I thought that I could at least lock items in the parts to various areas of the screen - thought that would have been a no-brainer (no offence to the clever bods at Filemaker).

The text I am using will be "free" text so users are not going to be aware of carriage returns and paragraph sizes, so was hoping to automate that process. I ended up creating two layouts, one which handled multipage quotes well, and one that did single pages. Sadly I feel there will be an "in-between" size that will resort in me pulling out my remaining hair.

Bottom line, it cannot be done and I have to look outside the box

Once again thank you - youve helped me many times now.



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