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Claris FileMaker 19’s ‘B-List Celebrities’, Part 2: Button Bar Segment State Styles

Welcome to the second installment of my series on FileMaker 19’s lesser-known features, its “B-List Celebrities”, if you will. In this series, I’m highlighting the less famous, but still useful, tools that every FileMaker version needs. Just as in O Brother, Where Art Thou? George Clooney needed John Turturro. If you haven’t already done so be sure to check out the first episode where I covered the new Get(PageCount) function.

This week I’ll be talking about FileMaker 19’s ability to copy and paste button bar segment state styles. That name is not exactly self-explanatory, so let’s unpack this.

This feature is a minor update, but it’s a great reminder of a larger feature that I should be using, but for some reason don’t. The ability to copy and paste styles between objects using the four buttons at the top of the Styles tab in the Inspector.

If you’ve forgotten what these buttons do or you’ve never been inclined to learn, let me give you a quick tutorial. First, let’s define what the two fields here show.

Style-tab-1

 

The first field shows the object types associated with the currently selected object. Some objects, like a field, only have a single type, while others, like a button bar, have multiple types (Button Bar, Button Bar: Segment, Button Bar: Dividers, Button Bar: Icon) for which styles can be defined.

Style-tab-2

 

The second field shows the statuses that are valid for the object type in the field above and it changes based on your selection in that field. Some object types only have “Normal” as a status choice but most have several that can apply to them such as Active, Inactive, Hover, Pressed, and In Focus. Bear with me, I know this is a lot of layers, but we’re almost to the part that will save you time so stick with me.

Style-tab-3

 

The four buttons to the left of these fields allow you to copy and paste styles between most object types. To use them first select the object that you want t0 copy the style from and then click one of the copy buttons on the left. Next, select a single object that you want to paste the style onto and click one of the buttons on the right. The upper right button will paste in the styles for all the object’s states, the button on the lower right will paste in the style information for just the currently selected state. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re using this tool:

  • It doesn’t matter which copy button you hit, they both do the same thing. The important thing is which paste button you click on.
  • If an object has a main type and subtypes, like a button bar, (Button Bar, Button Bar: Segment, Button Bar: Dividers, Button Bar: Icon) then clicking the paste button on a subtype will update just that subtype’s style information, but if you have the main type selected it will update ALL of the subtypes.
  • You can copy styles between types of objects that are very different from one another such as web-viewers and buttons. When you do this it can get a little weird because FileMaker applies the styles it can, and ignores the rest, so be sure to review your results before saving the style changes.
  • You can’t click the paste button if you have more than one object selected so if you want to paste a style onto multiple objects you’ll need to do them one at a time. The good news is that you won’t have to hit the copy button, again and again.

I originally ignored this feature when it came out because it can seem a little random as to which object types can have their styles copied and pasted and which can’t. It takes some time playing around with this before you begin to see the value, but trust me when you’re asked to change all the icons in an app to a different color or font size you will be glad you learned this.

Style-tab-4

 

So the new part in FileMaker 19 is that the “Button Bar: Segment” subtype has been added to the list of object types that you can copy and paste styles between.

Wow – in retrospect that new part is a shockingly small part of this article, and it appears I’ve tricked you into reading an article about how to copy and paste styles under the pretense of telling you about new features.

I’m not sure whether I should say “I’m Sorry”, or “You’re welcome”, but you can take whichever one you feel applies. See you next week.

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