FileMaker Sub-summary Part Options In The Part Definition Dialog Box

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
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When you drag a layout part from the status area in FileMaker, you will be presented with the layout part definition dialog box. This is used to pick the layout part you want to use and to define any options you may want for that layout part. One amazing aspect of this dialog box is its validation intelligence. It can see where in the layout you placed the layout part you want to use. It will then dim the options that are not available to you. For example, if you put a new layout part above the layout body part in a layout, the Footer option will be dimmed and unavailable to you.

Normally, you select a part option and click the OK button. In the case of the sub-summary part, you need to choose the break field. When you sort by the break field, the individual totals for that month can be viewed in print preview or on a print out.

We also should take a moment to discuss the check box options in the lower portion of the part definition dialog box. These options can be used to add some very powerful options to your reports and other printouts. It can be a little confusing because the way the check box options are indented under the Title Footer area. They are not Title Footer specific but each option is “selectively” available from each of the sub-summary part types.

Page break before each occurrence is used when you want to start a new page just before the occurrence of the indicated layout part. Is can be used in conjunction with the Body, Sub-Summary and Trailing Grand Summary layout parts.

Page break after each ( x number of ) occurrences is used when you want to start a new page after the occurrence of the indicated layout part. Is can be used in conjunction with the Body, Sub-Summary and Trailing Grand Summary layout parts.

Restart page numbering after each occurrence is used to restart the page number information on a layout. This is kind of like having a chapter in your reports.

Allow part to break across page boundaries is used to allow a field to be broken up between two physical pages on those really large layouts. Without the option being checked, a field that covers two pages would start on the second page, leaving the remainder of the first page blank. Discard remainder of part before new page is used to disregard information that is within a layout part but does not fit on one page.

Alternate background fill option bewildered me for a moment because I don’t remember noticing it before. That is a nice benefit about writing FileMaker technical content, you discover little things you had glossed over previously in the heat of the battle of getting projects out before deadlines expire. It seems to only work with the body layout part and can be used in association when you have a body layout part in conjunction with sub-summary parts. Alternate background fills can be a bit annoying if not tastefully done, so channel your inner Martha Stewart in applying this option.
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