Text Display objects are used to display text using a formula. Text Display objects are workhorses, they will be one of your most frequently used objects. They can be simple or complex, as the two examples below illustrate:

Text Display objects are not limited to fixed text, they can display data from fields, variables, and complete formulas. Text Display objects are not limited to a single style, they can include multiple fonts, styles, and colors, and even images. And last but not least, Text Display objects are dynamic – they can scroll, trigger procedures, and you can select and copy text in one of these objects.

In addition to the material below, there is also an intensive Panorama X video training session entitled Text Objects which covers text display objects in depth. Choose Panorama X Video Training from the Help menu to access the training sessions.

Text Display Formula

The text displayed by the object is controlled by the Formula panel of the Object Inspection Panel. To make a change, simply click in the formula, edit it, then press the Apply button to see the effect of the revision.

If you’re finished editing, you don’t have to press the Apply button, you can simply click on another object or an empty spot in the form.

Panorama interprets this formula differently depending on the Mode pop-up menu in the Magic Panel.

If the Mode is set to Formula, the formula is interpreted as an ordinary Panorama formula. You can use any formula operator, function, field, variable or constant you want. Remember that if you want to include constant text like Hello, the text must be quoted, for example "Hello".

In this example, the formula incorporates both fixed text and two fields from the current database: Pages and Author. The formula specifies how the fixed text and fields should be merged together.

If the Mode is set to Evaluate Formula Twice, the formula is interpreted as an ordinary Panorama formula, and then the result of the formula is then interpreted as a Panorama formula. The purpose of this feature is to allow you to store the “real” formula separately in a global or permanent variable. This mode is rarely used. In Panorama 6 and earlier versions, this mode would sometimes be used to get around the 255 character formula length limit, but that is no longer necessary since Panorama X has no limit on the length of the formula.

If the Mode is set to Literal, the formula is treated as literal text, not as a formula. For example, if you want the text to be Hello, you would simply type in Hello, without any quotes.

In Literal mode you can substitute in data from fields by typing in the field name surrounded by the « and » chevron characters. In this example, the database’s Pages field is merged into the text. The result is the same as the previous example above (Formula mode), but the formula is quite different.

Here is an example that shows how to create a mailing label using Literal mode:

In contrast, here is the formula that would be needed to create the same label if the Formula mode option is enabled.

You can also insert a complete formula into the literal text by surrounding the formula with the { and } characters. (However, if you find yourself doing a lot of this it might be better to switch to the Formula mode.) In the database used in this example, the author names are stored in the format Last, First. The formula is used to reverse the order and display the name in the format First Last (actually there are two formulas).

Note: When an auto-wrap text object is imported from a Panorama 6 database, it is converted into a Text Display Object with the mode set to Literal (see bottom of his page).

Diagnosing Formula Problems

If your formula has a problem, you can usually immediately see the problem simply by looking at the Text Display Object. However, if the object is small, you may not be able to see all of the text, making it difficult to determine the problem. In that situation you can use the Object Value dialog to display the entire formula result. See Diagnosing a Formula embedded in a Form Object to learn how to use this dialog.

Text Display Options

The Magic Panel for Text Display objects contains about a dozen options (see Object Inspection Panel). There are also several relevant options in the Text panel (see Fonts to learn how to modify the font and/or text size of a Text Display object, and Text Object Background Color/Gradient for backgrounds).

AlignText Display objects can be aligned both horizontally and vertically. Horizontal alignment is in the Text Panel, while vertical alignment is in the Magic Panel.

Mode – See the Text Display Formula section above.

Border – This options controls the type of border (if any). The bezel option creates a 3D border using the standard OS X border style for text editing. The line option creates a 1 pixel border.

You can also create a border using the Apperance Palette (see Object Inspection Panel).

Line Breaks – This option controls how text is wrapped within the object’s rectangle. The truncate options will display ellipsis at the end, middle or beginning of the text if it is too long to fit inside the object’s rectangle.

Rich Text – This option enables multiple styles of text within the object. Rich text is an entire topic on its own, see Rich Text to learn more.

Note: Rich Text is compatible with the Word Wrap and Don’t Wrap line break options (see previous section), but it does not work with any of the other line break options, including Character Wrap, Clip or any of the Truncate options.

Collapse Blank Lines – If this option is checked, Panorama will automatically remove any blank lines from the displayed text. This is handy for applications like mailing labels.

Allow Text Selection – The displayed text cannot be edited in Data Mode, but if this option is checked the user can click on, select, and copy the text to the clipboard.

Note: The little black pop-up at the end of the movie is not part of Panorama X, it is a utility called PopClip that is installed on the demo system.

Scroll Bars – This section controls what scroll bars (if any) will be available when editing this text, and their appearance.

If the Auto Hide Scroll Bars option is checked, the scroll bars will only appear if the text is too large to fit within the editor object’s dimensions. In the example below, the scroll bar completely disappears when the object gets tall enough to display all the text, but more commonly, the scroll bar would appear and disappear as the data itself changed.

The Horizontal scroll bar option is rarely used. When it is used, the Text Display object doesn’t wrap the text into paragraphs, instead, long lines extend far out to the right so that the ends can only be seen by scrolling.

Auto Scroll to Bottom – When the Auto Scroll to Bottom option is checked, Panorama will automatically scroll the text to the bottom whenever the text is changed. This is useful for applications like displaying a log file, where the information you are most interested in is usually at the very bottom of the text (since it is the most recent).

Auto Scale Enabled/Lines – Usually the Text Display Object displays text in a fixed size, controlled by the Text palette or the Font window. The text size remains fixed no matter what the height of the object is, as shown below:

However, if the Auto Scale Enabled option is turned on, the text size will be proportional to the height of the Text Display Object. The taller the object, the bigger the text. This option can be very useful when used with a form that adjusts as the window size changes (see Elastic Forms).

When the Auto Scale Enabled option is enabled, Panorama ignores the normal font size setting. Instead the value in the Lines box tells Panorama what ratio to use for scaling the text. If the value is 2, the text height will be one half of the object height. If the value is 3.5, the text height will be 1/3.5 of the object height. You may need to play with the value to get the effect you want, and the value may need to change depending on the font you select.

Importing Auto-Wrap and Text Display Objects from Panorama 6

“Classic” versions of Panorama (6 and earlier) had two types of objects for displaying text – Auto-Wrap Text, and Text Display SuperObjects. Panorama X incorporates the features of both of these into a single type of object, the Text Display object.

When your Panorama 6 databases are converted to Panorama X, all Auto-Wrap Text objects are converted to Text Display objects with the mode set to Literal. Panorama 6 Text Display SuperObjects become Text Display objects with the mode set to Formula.

See Also


10.2UpdatedNow allows custom background colors and gradients. New Auto Scroll to Bottom option forces the text to jump to the bottom whenever it is changed, for example for displaying a log file.
10.0UpdatedCarried over from Panorama 6.0 from Text Display SuperObjects, but with many new features.