Editing objects, layout parts, and the layout background > Specifying the display state for an object

Specifying the display state for an object

You can specify attributes indicating the state of an object (and its components), which gives you visual feedback for actions you take. For example, you can format a button to display in a darker color when you click the button, or have the current record display in a contrasting color in List View.

To specify the display state for an object:

1. In Layout mode, select one or more objects.

Note  To have the active (current) record or alternating records display with a different fill in List View, select the Body part label. The body part is considered to be an object in the following steps.

2. In the Inspector, click the Appearance Appearance tab.

The object type list (at the top of the tab) displays the type of the selected object. If you select objects of different types, FileMaker Pro Advanced displays Selected Objects.

3. For objects with several components (for example, buttons, portals, or slide controls), choose from the object type list.

4. Choose a state from the object state list (the second list in the tab).

Note  Not all style attributes are available for all object types or their components.



To display the object or layout part as specified when

Normal or Inactive

The object is available to the user, but is not currently selected.

In Focus

The object has been activated by a mouse-click, the Tab key, or a script.


The user pauses the pointer over the object.


The mouse button is held down on a clickable object.


The body layout part is viewed in Form View or List View or records are displayed in the rows of a portal. Setting the Primary state fills the background of the body part or all rows in a portal.


The object identifies an even-numbered record in List View or a portal.


The object identifies the current record in List View, the selected row in a portal, the current panel in a panel control, or the active segment in a button bar.

You can also format placeholder text. See Formatting placeholder text.

5. Set style attributes for the display state for the object or part.

See Editing or creating styles in layouts, Setting the fill, line style, borders, shadows, and padding and Formatting portals.

6. Repeat steps 3-5 to specify additional display states for the object or part.


To change whether alternating records are displayed with a different fill, or whether the current record is displayed with a different fill in List View, change settings in the Part Definition dialog box for the body part. See Changing a layout part.

When formatting the display state for portal rows, the following conditions apply:

The hover state displays only when the row being hovered is not active or the current row is active and Use active row state is not set on the portal. See Formatting portals

The pressed state displays only when both of these conditions are met: (1) the currently pressed row is not active, or the currently pressed row is active and Use active row state is not set on the portal, and (2) an OnObjectEnter script trigger is assigned to the portal. See OnObjectEnter script trigger.

Related topics 

Copying formatting attributes in layouts

Creating and working with styles in layouts