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FM - Conditional Formatting to Make Buttons Invisible?

Posted on 2011-03-04
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I have a growing need to use conditional formatting to make things invisible.  However, conditional formatting does not have an option for that.  In certain situations, such as portal rows where I alternate the background color, I can't simply match the color to make it invisible.  

For example, currently, I have a delete button and a Related Reocrd button on every portal row, but don't like the look when it shows in the blank new-row-to-be.  Ideally, I want to use a condition that says IF the RecID is empty, be invisible.  Do you all have a workaround?
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Question by:rvfowler2
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Will Loving earned 2000 total points
ID: 35037113
Well, my primary recommendation would be to script creating a "new record" function rather using the "Allow creation of related records in this table using the relationship" option. I almost never use the "Allow creation..." option because 1) it's confusing to users to have the seemingly blank record (but with buttons as you mention) at the end of the list, 2) it's at the end of the list rather than the top, 3) it tends to result in the creation of blank records when users enter the field and then leave it after typing text, changing their mind, deleting the text but not the newly created record.

So, I recommend a scripted "New" button, possibly combined with a sort order that puts portal records missing certain values at the top of the portal row. Either that or put up a dialog that captures some or all of the values going into the portal row record which gives you more control over validation of entered data if you need it. You can also use script triggers to start the new record process depending on layout.

I know the above didn't directly answer your question, but sometimes it's good to backup a step further and look at the larger issue. Regarding making text invisible, if security is not an issue with the field contents and if background is white or an identifiable color, I will just set conditional formatting to make the text the same color as the background (usually white) and 1 point font size, but better solutions generally involve a calculated field to show the button text or graphic under specific circumstances.

By the way, if you need some nice graphics for non-commercial projects, I recommend checking out the following open source graphics libraries. Just setup a separate table for graphics and you'll improve the look of your entire interface but getting rid of those clunky gray buttons...

Tango Desktop Library: http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Icon_Library

NuoveXT: http://nuovext.pwsp.net/

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by:rvfowler2
ID: 35037463
Thanks, Will.  Yes, I prefer someone give me a best practice rather than just answering my specific question.
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