FileMaker Tip: Create Chameleon Layouts by Using Hide Object When

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FileMaker 13 made a large push into the single page application idea. In the Web world, this is an ideal way to build an application, as your user (and their data) is all done with the interaction on one page. To play well with this concept in FileMaker, a lot of new features were introduced in the past few versions of FileMaker, such as popovers and slide controls.

One of the most important (if not the most important) layout/design features added was the addition of the ability to calculate the display of an object. Prior to FileMaker13, you had to either use separate layouts or complicated conditional formatting tricks to make layouts change as a user interacts with them. Now, with the addition of the Hide object when setting in FileMaker13, you can easily create these chameleon changing layouts.

In our Chameleon Object Entry example, we created a basic calculator to calculate area, volume and circumference values for Rectangle, Cube, Circle and Cylinder types. By using the Hide object when setting we can truly hide the fields we do not need on each row.
This allows us to condense our full set of fields:

Into a much smaller area:

With just a quick calculation on our objects:

So now, we can stack fields, labels, buttons, or any object we want, and only display it when needed on the layout. This is a great new feature that we’re already leveraging and hope you will also find useful in your development!