Creating a Fundamental FileMaker Go Layout – Understanding Scroll Lock

This is the first blog post in a series about Creating a Fundamental Layout for use in FileMaker Go. The goal of this series is to offer practical advice and specific instructions for creating FileMaker Go layouts that look and act the way you, and your users, expect. The first topic we’ll cover in the series is ‘Understanding Scroll Lock‘. Scroll lock on an iOS device refers to the ability or inability to move an application’s background. The desired result (and expected behavior) for an iOS application is:

  • If all objects are shown on a layout, lock the layout so it can’t be moved.
  • If not all of the objects on a layout are visible, unlock one or more sides so that you can scroll horizontally or vertically in order to reveal the additional objects.

The expected behavior for an iOS application is very different than the expected behavior on a desktop application. The difference is based on this: on a desktop or laptop computer, the window you view your content in can be resized. On an iOS device, the window (your screen) cannot be resized. On the other hand, a desktop application the expected behavior for a layout is:

    • If there are objects on a layout that are not contained within the window, show scroll bars.


  • If everything that is supposed to be viewable on a layout is contained within the window, don’t show scroll bars.

In a desktop application’s window, the presence or absence of a scroll bar gives us a visual clue as to what to expect as far as navigating through a layout to access all of it’s objects. In an iOS application however, even if there is more to a layout than what will show within the iOS device’s screen, scroll bars will not be shown:

Instead, the default behavior of scroll bars on an iOS device is that they will appear as you are in the process of physically interacting with the layout, i.e. you’re already scrolling. This means it is up to you, as a developer, to design a layout that either shows all elements within the iOS device screen, or gives logical, visible, navigation clues. Furthermore, when a user can see all objects on a layout, they should be able to reasonably expect that the layout will remain fixed and static – meaning they can’t drag the layout horizontally or vertically. This is where scroll locking comes in: When all objects on the layout are within the size constraints of the window, scroll locking will engage and the layout itself will not move (or scroll). Designing within the size constraints for the device will engage scroll lock. The second blog post in this series will cover the detailed steps for designing layouts that will achieve scroll lock. Once scroll lock and ‘zoom lock’ (which will be covered in the third installment of this series) are engaged, the user will only be interacting with the layout you give them, and not accidentally navigating through a layout (unless that is desired behavior). When would layout scrolling be desired? You’ll likely want to disengage or only partially engage scroll locking when showing data in a list view, or when viewing a form view that contains objects that extend past the normal screen constraints (e.g., think of editing a contact in the iOS Address Book; you might scroll vertically to access more fields for more phone numbers and addresses). While it’s expected behavior on an iOS device to be able to scroll through a layout to display more objects in list view, even here it’s expected that the horizontal movement of the screen will remain scroll locked, while vertical movement will be free for scrolling. To get a good idea of ways you would use scroll locking, look through various apps on your device and think of how they would work as a FileMaker Go layout, stay tuned for part two in this series.

Christopher Schmitz is a FileMaker Certified Developer at Skeleton Key. About Skeleton Key Skeleton Key is an accomplished team of technology consultants who solve business problems. We specialize in the rapid development of custom applications, integrating Macs and PCs in the professional workplace, and providing personalized FileMaker training and coaching. Despite our end-to-end technical skills, we are consultant first and technologist second. We know that you don’t just need technology. You need to know that the technology you choose to deploy will provide the results you desire. Skeleton Key is a Platinum Level FileMaker Business Alliance company, an Authorized FileMaker Trainer, a member of the Apple Consultants Network and a Microsoft Registered Partner. …