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Best practices for layouts in different resolutions


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  • Newbies

Hello, I hope this is the best place to post this. I'm new to the forums, but have plenty of experience with older versions of FileMaker.


I'm currently supporting a database based on FileMaker 6 / Server 5.5... You heard me. It's a rather long story, but the short version is that we will likely be redesigning the database from the ground up using FileMaker 13 in the near future. I'm in the process of researching some of the many new features that have been introduced over the years, and have hit a roadblock when it comes to designing layouts.


We have many different devices, with a variety of resolutions (almost entirely Windows PCs), and I would like to be able to design a single layout in a way that looks good and uses the whole screen on each workstation. What are some of my options without designing a separate layout for each resolution in use?


I'm also trying to have a consistent navigation bar at the top of each layout (in the header of each layout), but I'd like to design it once and reuse it rather than copying and pasting it to the top of each layout. Is there a way to do this, or perhaps something similar?


Thinking of it in terms of designing a website, this would be simple enough to do with HTML and CSS using percentages for widths in most cases. My main goal here is to come up with a set of "rules" for designing layout that would be easy to maintain and keep a consistent look as we move forward with the project. Any tips or advice would be appreciated!


Thanks in advance

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We have many different devices, with a variety of resolutions (almost entirely Windows PCs), and I would like to be able to design a single layout in a way that looks good and uses the whole screen on each workstation. What are some of my options without designing a separate layout for each resolution in use?


1. Design for the smallest screen size you have to support first.

2. Use the new (since 6) layout object resizing to make objects expand or slide as the window dimensions increase from the smallest size you designed the layout for. There's plenty of background reading to catch up on from the community to help you with that, but the first nugget to learn is:

3. Vertical and horizontal line tests: For any imaginary vertical (or horizontal) line across the layout, there should only be one object the line passes through that increases in height (width) with the window; everything above (to the left of) that object should be anchored to the top (left), and everything below (to the right of) that object should be anchored to the bottom (right). This is the only way to keep objects from colliding with each other.


Note that layout objects contained within other layout objects (portals, tab panels, slide panels, popovers) will only slide or expand within the bounds of that object; if a portal doesn't expand or slide, nothing inside it will expand or slide.


There is no way to have several FileMaker layout objects expand proportionally with each other. Some folks have created this effect with web viewers, which entail significantly more effort, or repeating fields (the repetitions within the single object expand proportionally), which have an awkward uncanny valley effect. I don't recommend either.

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  • Newbies

Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for, and your tips on resizing portals will be very useful in the future. I'm not sure why it was so hard for me to find this information yesterday. I haven't had a chance to really dig into this yet, but I think I can handle it from here.

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