Background and text color of selected row in a matrix form

I have created a form that has 15 fields, set up in four columns. Some are short fields, some are longer and some contain text that wraps to multiple lines. I did this using the Construct List/Matrix menu and added <matrix> at the top. I also added labels in front of the fields. The color of the background of the records in the list is alternatively white and light gray. When a record is selected the background turns dark gray, the field borders turn white but the text stays black. This is a bit hard to read.

I have another form that just displays records as one line (made with Construct List/Matrix, but without adding <matrix>. The background alternates white and light gray, but when I select a record, the background turns black (or very dark gray) and the text turns white. This isn’t very pretty but at least it’s easy to read.

Why doesn’t the other form act the same way? Is there a way to change the background color of the selected record (or the text color)? I looked at the blueprint form options of the form but saw only the possibility to change the colors for “view as list” forms, which is not what I’m using.


First of all, the background color is whatever you have set for the highlight color in the General panel of your System Preferences panel. Secondly, the List Object automatically inverts black text to white on the selected background while the Matrix retains the black text on the selected background.

As a point of interest I found that if you set the List Object to Rich Text and change a column in the Formula pane to a color other than solid black (000000) it will not invert that text when selected. This is true even if you only slightly change the color from solid black to an imperceptible grey (010101).

The Construct List/Matrix dialog can create two similar but distinct types of objects – Text List and Matrix objects. You didn’t specify, but it sounds like perhaps you created one form with a Text List object and one with a Matrix object.

A Text List object highlights with the system highlight color that has been set in the General panel of System Preferences. This is usually a dark blue, but can be changed. Because the only text is being displayed, the system knows how to invert it, so white text is displayed in the highlighted row. However, as Gary mentioned, this does not happen if rich text is displayed. This is because the text may be colored, so the system doesn’t change the color – it always displays the text as specified by the rich text tags, even if the line is highlighted.

A Matrix Object normally highlights with a light blue color. This does not follow the System Preference settings. You can also customize the highlight color in the object properties panel. This is described in the documentation.

Because the Matrix Object can contain text, graphics, images, etc., it does not attempt to “reverse” the displayed information in the selected row. Because of this, if black text is displayed, it will still be black when the row is highlighted. So it’s best to pick a fairly light color if you use a custom highlight color.

This sounds like a Text LIst object, and whoa whoa whoa – back up! I am seeing the same thing, a very dark gray when using my internal development copy of Panorama X. It’s supposed to be blue, and you can see in the documentation screen shots that it was blue. In further tests, none of the other copies of Panorama on my system showed dark highlighting, they all showed the correct blue color. So I quit the development copy and relaunched it, now it is showing a nice blue like it should.

Is anyone else other than Ellen seeing this dark gray highlight? Ellen, if you quit Panorama and relaunch, is it still dark gray or does it turn blue?

I’ve filed a bug report, but if I can’t duplicate the problem again, it will be tough to address. But I’ll be on the lookout to see if this happens again for me.

Thanks for your replies.

My first post wasn’t clear because, although I did specify it, the word matrix with the less-than and greater-than characters disappeared… in two places. I figure this is a feature of the forum system, but I didn’t notice the missing words at the time and I don’t know how to force the appearance of those characters.

Anyway, yes, one of the forms I created is a Text List and the other a Matrix. No rich text anywhere.

So I relaunched Panorama (actually, it was a restart of the machine the next morning). Nothing had changed, so I looked and I found that the system preference for Highlight color was set to “other…” with a dark gray. I’m absolutely sure that I never set it to that. In fact, I never changed the default color. So I set it back to the normal blue and both the forms changed the highlight color to blue (dark blue on the Text List and light blue on the matrix form). So the problem here was apparently not with Panorama.

I can’t find it. Can you point me to the relevant page?

I want to add that I realize I’m asking stupid questions in this forum, and I’m sorry for that, but the documentation is not what I’m used to. It’s spread across a great number of pages, and it’s not possible to search for a word or phrase in a page. Hopefully, one of these days, there will be a normal pdf manual, like there is for Panorama 6. I know there are videos but they don’t work for me. I need to read stuff and be able to come back to it easily.


The forum allows you to use html to format the text. As a result, when you enclose some text in < and > the forum figures it’s meant to be a tag, and leaves it unchanged. Your browser then ignores it, if it’s a tag it doesn’t understand. To force the characters to appear, use &lt; and &gt; instead of < and >.

I just checked and you can also use a backslash \ to escape the < and > symbols. They would appear as \< and \> when you type them, and as < and > in your post.

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This information is in the Panorama X Help under “Matrix Object” (the Text List Object does not have this feature).

Here is a screen shot of where in the Properties panel you will find this option:


The only “stupid” question is the one not asked. If the answer would be of help to you, it is probably also helpful to others on the forum.

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Thanks Dave. I’ll do that for my next question, maybe :slight_smile:


Thanks for the pointer, Gary. As I said, the problem is that I would have to scan the whole page visually to find the tiny detail I’m looking for. And even then, it isn’t always obvious.

About “stupid” questions, I am aware of that, and I force myself to remember it when I’m hesitating about asking something that I’m sure is basic for most users of this forum.
For now, I managed to set up this database in a usable way, with your (plural) help.


That’s not true: There is a checkbox next to the search field (where you would search for Help themes) that enables Full Text Search.

See also the answer Michael gave me Feb 6 on this thread:
Duplicate Field Property working?

The Full Text Search is great, but I suspect that may not be what she is asking about. I think when confronted with a topic that may contain 10 or 20 pages of text, she would like to jump right to the spot in the topic where the text appears, rather than having to search “by eye” thru pages of text. I agree it would be nice if the Help window allowed this, and hopefully someday I’ll figure out how to do it. In the meantime, there is a “trick” that will let you do this now. Find the page you want (perhaps using the Full Text option Kurt mentioned), then choose Topic>Open Topic in Browser. The page will appear in your default browser, probably Safari. All web browsers I know of allow you to search within the page by pressing Command-F. In Safari, this opens a search bar that looks like this. You can then click on the arrows to jump to each occurrence of the searched for text, or use Command-G (forwards) and Command-Shift-G (backwards).

There is one caveat to this technique, currently it only works for the topic you have clicked on in the left side of the Help window. If you’ve clicked on a link to jump to another topic, it doesn’t work. This is on the list of items to be fixed.

Hmm, going back and looking at Ellen’s original comment, maybe the Full Text search is just what she wanted. But this technique is also very useful and I’ll bet many members of this forum aren’t aware of it.

This is unlikely to ever happen. First of all, we simply don’t have the resources to create two duplicate versions of the documentation. Secondly, using HTML allows the documentation to be interactive, with clickable links to related topics, animated screenshots (which I think is an incredibly underrated feature of the Panorama X help), etc. The HTML documentation is also great for support – now we can just give customers a link directly to the information they need immediately. With the PDF files, that was super difficult, page numbers change between versions, and many users wouldn’t even know how to get and view the PDF files. So before you could help them with their problem, you had to teach them how to access the PDF documentation.

I don’t think your questions are stupid at all. Panorama X is vast, and it takes time to get up to speed. You are tackling advanced capabilities that a majority of Panorama users never even touch (sadly, many users never get past the data sheet). So thanks for your contributions here! :slight_smile:

I think both are important. I think videos are really helpful for getting the overall picture and understanding what a system is capable of, but when you are knee deep in the details then you need written material. Last year I used to wrap my head around Bootstrap (web framework), and that experience was so good it prompted me to make the Quick Start video series for Panorama X. But when I actually started creating the web site using Bootstrap, I definitely went to written material. So Panorama X has both. But don’t discount video, it’s not a good reference tool but an excellent way to get the overall view.

Thanks to JohnB and Jim for understanding what I meant: it’s not searching that’s difficult (that checkbox for Full Text Search is obvious, at least to me); it’s finding a word or string in a long page that’s tough.

But the workarounds suggested are a great help. If the Topic>Open Topic in Browser doesn’t work, the Open Corrections Window… will do the job.

Even then, there may be no getting around reading the whole page (which may end up being a good thing :slight_smile: ). In the case of the problem in my initial post, searching for the word “highlight” or even “hilite” wouldn’t have brought up anything because neither are used in the text. The word “hilite” is in the illustration but that isn’t searchable. I would have had to search for “Selected Item Color”, or maybe just “color”.

Anyway, the problem I had at the beginning of this thread is resolved. And I learned quite a few other things in the process.


We all do that Ellen.

Actually, the Open Corrections Window command has the same problem. I had fixed the problem for the other two commands, but I didn’t think of this, so thank you – I just made the additional fix. The fixes will be in the next release.

For now, you’ll need to make sure you have clicked on the topic you want in the topic list on the left, rather than having clicked on a link in a page to get to the topic. If you see you have the wrong page, just go back and make sure you have selected the page you want in the topic list on the left side of the window.