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FileMaker 13 WebDirect - Tab Label text cutoff in browser

Posted on 2014-07-28
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Last Modified: 2014-08-08
I'm creating a new solution in FileMaker 13 WebDirect using the "Silver" theme. In FileMaker, Silver Theme Tab Objects default to Helvetica 10 point text for the tab labels. In every browser I've tried - Safari, Chrome, Firefox on the Mac, Chrome and IE on Windows -  the label text appears cutoff.

Tab Object with text cutoff in labels
Setting the default font to Arial or Verdana also shows the text still cutoff. Modifying the Style to make the font smaller helps slightly but the text is still cutoff and harder to read because it's small. Other Themes appear similarly cutoff so it's does not appear to be specific to "Silver".
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Question by:Will Loving
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Expert Comment

by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 40225340
The height of the container probably needs to be increased; or the padding or the the line height; or there is something else in the page creating an issue.  If you would like a specific suggest, then you need to supply the specific information about the page by posting a link to it, because all an image does is confirm that you have the problem you described..

Cd&
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by:Will Loving
ID: 40225620
I agree with you about the padding or the height of the container and that was my thought as well. The problem is that the page is being rendered dynamically to CSS within FileMaker and I have no direct control over how that happens. I can control and edit the Styles applied as one of FileMaker's "Themes" (I'm using a variation of the stock Theme "Silver") but only via the standard formatting options available to me in the Inspector palette. I also can't give you a link to the page because it's 1) currently in development, and 2) being generated dynamically.

FileMaker does have some padding and alignment options but with a Tab Object like this they don't seem to have any affect. A Tab Object is a special kind of Object and I'm sure there is specific translation code written for it.

What I was hoping for is a suggestion about how I could affect this issue using the available tools in the Inspector Palette or with specific fonts and sizes that might appear better. I have experimented a bit but no luck so far.
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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 40227983
I don't user filemaker, nor would I ever use any tool that is that limiting and restrictive.  if there is no way to directly modify code then it may be okay for a novice who does not know how to code but I cannot understand why anyone would allow a tool to dictate limits on the access to fix something that would take 10 seconds in a professional development environment.

As this is a product that you have paid for, you should be able to get support from the vendor, but most vendors selling this kind of stuff are generally not very helpful until they get the money and then forget you exist.

Sorry I can't be more help but I am a CSS expert, and this is not a CSS problem it is a defective product problem.

Cd&
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Author Comment

by:Will Loving
ID: 40230011
COBOLdinosaur - Thanks for taking the time to reply. I did however, find your answer to be snarky and condescending. Running down someone else's tools and development environment, especially one you admittedly don't know anything about, won't win you any friends or compliments as a consultant or "expert".

FileMaker is a database and an extremely powerful and versatile one at that, not a web development tool.  The new WebDirect function allows a user to leverage their knowledge of FileMaker's capabilities - in my case that's over 25 years worth of experience - to create a powerful, database driven user interface in FileMaker, and, with some relatively minor limitations, publish that directly to the web without writing a line of HTML code. It render it directly to HTML5. FileMaker has for some years had a PHP API that works just fine but requires a user to know PHP or hire a fairly experienced programmer to do the PHP side of things since most db systems have both internal users running within FileMaker Pro and external users interacting via PHP.

FileMaker WebDirect has been out for maybe 6-7 months and so is essentially a version 1 feature; FileMaker is hardly a "defective" product (being the top-selling database platform) and the WebDirect is hardly a "defective" feature. In general, it does a fabulous job of rendering the user interface and functionality that I've created within FileMaker to work in a browser (and don't take my opinion, plenty of reviewers have said the same thing) . The issue I was having with the tab object is a minor one that I'm guessing will be reported and fixed but I was looking to see if there is a workaround. I'm also contact FM Tech support to check with them but since I mostly answer questions and don't ask them very often on EE, I thought I would post this one.
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Expert Comment

by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 40230184
I am not saying Filemaker is defective, but the web development tool certainly is or you would not have had to ask for help.  Based on the timestamps it looks like this sat in 3 topics for about 8 before i posted a comment.  So there is no line up of Experts with solutions.  That is probably because so called web page generators layered on otherwise good products are well out of the mainstream and something that is not commonly used by professional web developers.

If you take offense at the word defective, then there is little I can do about that.  There are literally tens of thousands of tools, addons, extensions, and applications that purport to generate web pages and everyone of them has advocates and favorable reviews. Only a handful are actually usable by professionals who make their living doing custom web development.  In the WebDev topics we spend the majority of our time fixing the stuff that gets generated by "easy to use" tools. At this point the Filemaker web code generation piece is in the same category as the rest of them.  It is defective, and until they address the problem I don't know how else it can be described.

I don't think it could ever be considered as a professional web development tool if there is no access to the code, so it is not likely that you are going to find a lot professional Web Developers able to support it.

Cd&
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Accepted Solution

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Will Loving earned 0 total points
ID: 40237637
Solution Found: The issue turned out to be that the Tab Object which was not rendering properly had originally been created when the file was still in FileMaker 11 format. It was then converted to FileMaker 12/13  (.fmp12) format. Creating a new Tab Object directly within the FileMaker 13 version of the file (a one minute operation)  and replacing the old one with the newly created one solved the problem. Filemaker WebDirect is new to version 13 and in some instances, apparently, objects created in a previous version and brought forward to version 13 via file conversion, may have issues. Re-creating the object fresh in version 13 apparently solves most of these issues.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Will Loving
ID: 40248272
The above solution was obtained by my own inquires and interactions with FileMaker Technical Support.
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