FileMaker 9 Layout Auto Resize Features

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

TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

The Layout Auto Resize feature allows the developer to change how a FileMaker layout behaves when the user adjusts its window size. With this new FileMaker 9 feature, when the user makes the window larger, the layout object can behave differently, such as certain objects on the layout growing larger in regards to the window adjustment!

In that past, the FileMaker layout was fixed and wouldn't change its aspects when a user resized the window. So making the window larger just showed you a lot of blank and unusable dead space. If the developer needed multiple window sizes, they would need to create multiple versions of the same layout. Then they would use scripts to properly take the user to the layout that best met their needs.

The Auto Resize feature is an option available in Layout mode but the benefits are enjoyed while in the other three FileMaker modes (browse, find and print preview). The feature is an enhancement to the Object Info dialog box. This is where you can name your layout objects or precisely control the position of layout objects on the layout.

The trick is the proper setup of anchors for the objects on the layout. By default, the anchors for most objects that are checked are the top and left. If the checkboxes for the left and right anchors are selected for a layout object, it will auto resize that object horizontally as the window is changed. Choosing the top and bottom anchors will adjust a layout object vertically as the object is resized. Choosing all the boxes will have that object resize both horizontally and vertically.

Now I’d like to note that the first time I did the auto resize vertically, I had the classic problem of an object below the object I was resizing. So when my layout adjusted in browse mode, it resized on top of the object that was below it. So I needed to anchor that object with the bottom anchor and remove the top anchor.

Here you can see the area I was talking about before the resize.

Here you can see the area I was talking about after the resize vertically setting was applied.

Here you can see the adjustment I made to the bottom object to anchor it below the object I resized.
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