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When you're considering allowing your users to be able to print off layouts that you've created in FileMaker, there is a couple of things that you might want to take into consideration. First off, you know that you can print any layout that you can see onscreen. You can also prevent objects on a layout from printing, and you can also remove blank spaces between objects on your layout when you print. This way you might have graphic objects, or buttons, or different things for users to work with during data entry in Browse mode, but you can remove those when they are printing. To do this, we're going to use something called Sliding Invisibility.
You'll notice this option when we go into View > Layout mode, and we'll see our Inspector, and in the Position Tab, you'll notice, on the bottom, the Sliding Invisibility section. You can set an object to be omitted entirely from printing, which, for example, allows you to put buttons or print instructions on a layout that won't appear on the actual printout. Let's say, for example, we've got this logo that we don't want to have printed when we print this Product List View. By simply selecting the logo or any other layout objects, you go under the Sliding Invisibility and choose the very bottom, Hide when printing.
Now, when we go into Browse mode - Save our changes - we see the logo here in Browse mode, but when we go into Preview, it's no longer there. So you can put anything you want on a layout, or you can take every layout that's in your FileMaker database and go and hide all the items in case your users decide to print from that view. This is going to allow you to get rid of really busy objects that might normally print if you haven't chosen this option. Notice how the white space isn't used efficiently from record to record. Many times on the List View this could be okay, but let's say we want the Cost to butt right up against the end of the Product Name.
So after every Product Name will be the Cost, regardless of how long the Product Name is. The problem is when we go into Layout mode is that we can only choose the positioning of the fields based on the field names, not by the field values. However, if we select all of these fields and their field labels, by drag- selecting, you'll notice in the Sliding Invisibility, we have an option for Sliding Left. Let's take a look at how that option will affect us in Preview mode.
We go to Preview mode and hit Save, and now we notice that all of the options will slide left, as far left as they can until they run into another value. But that the space between the two fields in Layout mode is still honored. So this is a good way to dynamically line up all of your values from left to right. So now let's select all three of our fields. I'm going to drag-select those three fields, and while they're selected, I'm going to choose the option under Sliding Invisibility, called Sliding Left.
Now when we go back into Preview mode and Save our changes, we see that the Cost is butted right up against the name of the product, and also that the distance in our Layout mode that we've given between the Product Name and the Cost is still being honored. This way we can dynamically move fields against each other, thus preserving white space. You should also be aware that if you have records stacked top to bottom, for example on a Detail View, you can also use the Sliding Up selection to eliminate white space top to bottom in your layouts.
You'll use these options on the Inspector tool if you want to prevent layout objects from printing or control white space on outputs from your FileMaker system, so that you can create cleaner and more professional-looking reports and printouts.
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