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Filemaker - designing for screen size and maximizing window.

Posted on 2011-05-11
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Many of the Filemaker databases I originally designed were for a fairly small screen size.  Now most people in the office have larger screens and am looking at redesigning some of the screens and wonder what helpful hints I can have for taking in account the different screens.  

Right now I do a open script that has
Set Zoom Level [150%]
Adjust Window [Maximize]

But am wondering if there are new things in place that work my like a web page works, taking in account the resolution of the screen, etc.
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Question by:ServalStudios
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Will Loving earned 2000 total points
ID: 35739844
FileMaker does not support variable "Zoom" levels, just the 100/150/200/300/400 percent which you can script. However, it does support auto-resizing so that as people resize their screen, portions of the layout will resize as well.

For example, if you have a portal on your layout and you would like to allow users to increase the number of portal rows visible when the window is made larger by either dragging the bottom right corner or using Maximize, then you can use the Auto-resize anchoring option.

To do this, go into layout mode, click on the portal object and then look at the Position tab on the Inspector Palette (FM 10 and 11 only). In the second section, "Autosizing", you'll see four anchor points for the four sides of the portal. By default the top and left anchors are in checked. Try clicking the lower anchor to allow the portal to increase in size vertically as the Window is expanded and the right anchor to also allow it to expand to the right.

If you expand to the right, you'll need to determine which field will also expand as the portal resizes. There are some limitations such as not being able to have the height of portal rows resize or have two separate object resize relative to each other, but overall auto-resizing can greatly enhance the user experience especially if you have a large variety of monitor sizes in use.

You can also use the anchors to force a row of buttons to always be at the bottom of a layout regardless of how the window is resized. Once you start playing with auto-resize you'll realize that different objects on your layout will require different combinations of anchor points. The quickest way to learn is to just try things on a test layout. It's actually kind of fun to see what you can do with it.

Rather than using the Zoom 150%, I would recommend re-designing your layouts to view at 100% and use Auto-resize to increase portal rows or the size of text fields as needed.
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by:ServalStudios
ID: 35750731
Thank you for your suggestions.  I notice that in Windows, even though the window is set to maximize, the user's Filemaker window appears in a window that was sized that was shrunk to a size where the user last set it.  This almost seems to be an application setting.  Is there any way to tell the application to open up full screen?
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Expert Comment

by:Will Loving
ID: 35751011
Try the following which reportedly comes from the Windows Help file. I picked it up from another help site, but I think it will work.

To start a program as a taskbar button or as a maximized window
Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Taskbar & Start Menu.
Click the Advanced tab, and then click Advanced.
In the Start Menu folder, find the shortcut to the program you want to start, and then click it.
On the File menu, click Properties, and then click the Shortcut tab.
In the Run list, click Minimized if you want the program to open as a taskbar button, or click Maximized if you want the program to open as a full-screen window.

This will have to be done for each machine filemaker is running on.
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Author Comment

by:ServalStudios
ID: 35751500
Thanks.. that seemed to work only if you open Filemaker first.. But opening a database directly doesn't seem to do it... Oh well, worth a try..
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by:ServalStudios
ID: 35751503
Thank you for your help!
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Expert Comment

by:Will Loving
ID: 35751563
I'm pretty sure that it's something that's controlled by Windows and not something you can set within FileMaker. There may be a way to set it to maximize the app even if it's being opened as a result of a file opening, but I don't know what it would be.
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