Common Uses For Conditional Formatting

From Dwayne Wright
www.dwaynewright.com

A common use for the conditional formatting feature is to give the user a visual indication that there is something "special" about the particular record the user is on. The formatting of one of more text fields or text related options does something unique under a particular set of conditions the developer determines. Sometimes, the text on the layout can be hidden. That is to say the text is exactly the same color as the background so that it blends in perfectly. You might think of it as a text ninja, that will jump out at just the precise moment. The developer uses conditional formatting to have the text dynamically change color based on certain conditions, which blows it's cover and then the user sees the text! I've even seen developers setup the ninja text and rotate it to fit in large type on the side of the screen. When the conditional formatting kicks in, it is very noticeable!

Why is this such a big deal for buttons? With conditional formatting applied to a button, you can make the text of the button be grayed out. This is a common visual indication to a database user that a feature is not available. Now conditional formatting will not disable the button, you will need to perform that extra step in ScriptMaker.

If you are going to have the button be deactivated by a security setting, the quickest and easiest way to do this is to create your own extended privilege for that button / feature. Then link both the script and the button(s) conditional formatting to the existence of the extended privilege based upon the users sign in status.

What if you have multiple options selected? Say for example you have a multiple level condition setup in which a particular state of the record could match with the 3rd layer of your conditional setting and the 5th layer. Which will take place or will FileMaker blend them?

Then answer is the condition that comes last will override any previous conditions. This is good to know as you will likely begin to layer your conditionals.
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© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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