Layout Tips – Sizing Merge Variables

A couple of handy tricks that I’ve discovered recently, thanks to the generous people over on the Filemaker Developer Forum, which deal with resizing of Merge Variables.  MVs are so useful, but I found that my layouts were becoming rather cluttered, due to my tendency to use very meaningful (and therefore often long) names for the variables.  This was especially a problem when an MV was on the right of a layout – when using the “Resize to fit” option in the “Adjust Window” script step, the layout resizes to fit the variable name, and not its contents.  This can lead to unwanted white space at the right of the layout.

What I didn’t realise is that the displayed size of a Merge Variable is determined by the FIRST CHEVRON in the variable name.  So the trick is to set the size of that accordingly, and then to reduce the size of the rest of the rest of the variable name.  It can be as small as you like (although obviously it becomes unreadable below a certain size), and it really helps to reduce the layout’s cluttered appearance in Layout mode.

FM12  provides another solution, in that it allows you to specify the size of the Merge Variable, in the way that you’ve always been able to with fields on a layout.  Strangely, you can’t do so just by dragging the MV’s sizing handles – it will still adjust to accommodate the MV’s name – but if you use the Inspector to set the size to specific dimensions (points, cms, etc.), it will resize correctly.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s