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Better Drop-down Lists


FileMaker Magazine

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Oh the pain of a slow rendering layout! The other day I came across a painfully slow layout which was literally CRAWLING. It reminded me of one of my own situations where I needed to create a solution for some type of creative data input. This, of course, was based on FileMaker's input limitations between two types of fields.

The choice of using a Drop-down list over a Pop-up menu field style was based on the type of input being managed. I didn't want the forced interaction of having to click, as is the case with a Pop-up menu. I also didn't want the whole menu of options, which were a lot, covering the whole screen. I liked the shortened option list presented with a Drop-down list.

I didn't, however, like the fact that a Drop-down list allows the user to simply input arbitrary data. I HAD to have the user make a selection from the list and wanted the shorter Drop-down list presentation. So, I set about the task of addressing the biggest issue first.

That issue was that normalized data uses your primary and foreign keys (id values) and NOT what you typically want to display. You want to display the associated human-readable value. In FileMaker, this almost always requires the use of two layout elements. One to store the data and another to display the data. The trick was figuring out how to make the Drop-down list do this - and make it fast! Hence the solution you're going to be viewing and experiencing in this video and technique file.

Click the title or link to this article to view the video.

Afficher la totalité du billet

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