Different Styles Of FileMaker Portal Row Buttons

From Dwayne Wright PMP - Certified FileMaker Developer
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This is a very simple example showing the different ways a portal row button can be enabled. There are 4 portals in this example, all using the same relationship. The first portal is just a standard portal without any button. So it is your standard garden variety portal. The second portal has a magnifying glass icon in the first row of the portal. This means that this icon will appear in all portal row displayed. The third example has all the fields in the portal row grouped together and then these grouped objects are defined as a button. The last portal has a box graphic we designed in layout mode placed over the fields in the first portal row. It has been made invisible to the user.

All buttons run the same script. This goes to the related record in the portal ( GTRR ) and hops between a couple layouts to give the user a visual indication of the record they are going to.

The button in the first row portal technique is very simple. You simply need to put a graphic in the first row of the portal and designate it as a button. You do need to make sure the graphic will fit completely within the first row of the portal or the button will not appear in each row properly. This technique allows a user to click into one of the fields in the portal without running the script.

The grouping of the fields in the portal row to make a button portal technique is also very simple. You simply select all the fields in the portal row while in layout mode. Then you can group them under the arrange menu. You will see then that they become one object. You can then define this object as a button to run a script.

NOTE: You can skip the group step. If you select a collection of objects and then make them a button ... they are automatically grouped. You could also make each field in the portal a separate button ... just in case you want one of the fields to do something different.

Now the area outside of the fields in the portal row are a dead area. That is to say that if you click to the right of the favorite color field in this portal ... nothing happens ... except the portal row itself is selected. Only the fields themselves are active button objects. That makes the next portal button example a popular choice.

The invisible button in the first row portal technique is a little harder but not much. This allows you to cover the entire portal row but might have some implications if you use the new auto resize feature in FileMaker 9. Personally, I don’t like invisible buttons on a layout. Other developers that I totally respect and admire love invisible buttons on layouts. So you will have to find your own path, as is the case many times in FileMaker design.

To use the invisible button technique, go into layout mode and click the box icon in the status area for creating a rectangular object. Create a box that would fit into the first row of the portal as completely as possible. Put the box into the portal row so you can see that it covers everything before making it invisible. Also define the box as a button and assign it to the button action you want it to perform.

To make the box invisible, while the box still selected, click the the line width tool and set the line width to zero. Then click the fill pattern button and make the object transparent.


An example file can be downloaded by clicking (here)
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