Card Window – Floating Dashboard

Card Windows are brand new in FileMaker™ 16 and are one of, if not the most, exciting new features in this version.  If you haven’t explored them yet, a card window is a new type of window that floats on top of an existing one; in other words it is a ‘child’ window of a parent.  Card windows are not context sensitive in that they can relate to the current table or they can be from an unrelated table.  This means that, for example, you can be working in a quote and open a card window to see all the people you have in the system; add a new person and then close that window; all without ever leaving the window you are on.   This makes it possible to easily develop single screen solutions and it allows the user to focus on a small window with specific information rather than having to take in the whole screen.

All a card window is, is a layout that opens up as a Card.  Cards have no window/title bar so they look very clean.  They also disable the background window (which can be dimmed as well), and they can be positioned or centered automatically.

What I wanted to do was to create a small navigation window, that would sit in the top left hand corner of the screen when the program itself wasn’t in use.

Now that you’ve watched the video, you’ll see how it is done but let’s just walk you through the process.

When you press the Main button, the script that runs switches to the default panel for the slide control on the left.  It then moves that window off screen and resizes it.

BTW, these window settings are incredibly useful for when you are running a script that goes to multiple windows, performs a task and then closes that window.  By resizing it to 10 by 10 and moving it to a position of -500 in both directions, you completely eliminate the window flash that you would get normally.  (A big thank you to Andy Persons for this amazingly useful tip).

You then open the new card window.

Now you’ve got the card window floating and positioned in the top left corner of the window.  (Sorry but you can’t move it).  When you click any of the buttons on that window, it closes the card window itself, repositions and resizes the main window to where it was before and opens the correct panel based on the script parameter attached to the button.

And that’s all there is to it.  It is a very simple technique but it creates a nice effect.

Floating Dashboard

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