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In FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training, Cris Ippolite demonstrates the principal features and functions of this popular database software, including creating tables and relationships, managing fields and records, and working with layouts. The course shows FileMaker developers how to find, sort, and share data as well as how to create reports, calculations, and scripts. It also covers brand new features in FileMaker Pro 11 such as the Inspector tool, charting, and portal filtering. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you are just getting familiar with scripting in FileMaker, one of the easiest ways to do this is to assign just a single Script step to one of the layout objects on your layouts, and then in turn, those objects will act as buttons, that when executed, will perform an action. Let me show you what I mean in our Exercise File on the Customer Detail Layout in Layout mode. Let's say, for example, I've got a Layout Object, in this case, let's just say it's a Text Object. I am going to type the word New, and we will make it kind of big, so users can see it, and give it a little color. How is that? So now here is a Text Layout Object. Of course, anything I can select in Layout mode, I can assign an action to.
We did something similar to this back when we were talking about Sorting, but when I have selected a layout object, I can go under the Format menu, and choose Button Setup, and of course this is also available to us if we right-click, or on Mac, Ctrl+Click. You can also choose Button Setup. And in the Button Setup window, you will see on the left-hand side, here is a list of all of the Script Steps available in FileMaker Pro. So it's a ton of different stuff that you can do, so anytime a user clicks on this Layout Object in Browse mode, then one of these actions will occur.
So let's say we pick New Record Request, which means when the user selects the button that says New, it will create a new record. Let's hit OK, and now go back into Browse mode. Save our changes. So now this layout object becomes a button, and the users can tell it's a button, because as you see, when I hover over the button, a little finger-pointing icon appears on our Cursor, and note now, because we are in Browse mode when I hit this button, a new record is created. And I'll show you another example, back in Layout mode. You will notice that in your Layout toolbar, you've got a Layout tool called the Button tool.
Now, when you select this button, you can see that your Cursor changes to a crosshair that allows you to draw an area. That will become a button, and once you release that after drawing that, again you get the Button Setup dialog. And you see all the different actions that you can assign to the button, but let's go under the Navigation and say, Go To Layout. So now you see, in the case of Go To Layout, we've got additional options to choose from, in this case which layout we want to navigate to. So clicking the dropdown menu allows me to select layout, and then up pops the Specify Layout button.
So, let's say in this task, when a user is on the Detail View for customer, we want to allow them to hit a button to go to the List View for customers, without having to use the Layout dropdown navigation. So, here I am going to choose Customer List, and I'll hit OK, and you see there is a couple of default ones that are on almost every one of the Script Steps, and that's whether or not the button you just drew is going to have rectangular edges or rounded edges. And of course you saw that Hand Icon appear on the Cursor when I rolled over the button. That's optional. You could turn that off here, if you'd like to. Now, you see we are back on the button, and my Cursor is inside the button, asking us to put some text on there.
So we can identify the button for users. So I am going to say, Go To List, and I'll click outside to commit it, and I can make any kind of changes that I'd like here, just because the text that I just typed in is in fact text. And I can have Drop Shadow effects, all that kind of stuff you can do with your buttons. We are back in Browse mode. After we save our changes, we will see now that when we are in Browse mode a user can click on this button, and it takes us over to the Customer List. Now, back in our Customer Detail, if you are in Layout mode and you want to Disable, or even Temporarily Disable the button, you can select the button, and you could go in and say, Do Nothing.
That way it allows you to come back and reactivate this in the future. Then of course, you could just select the button and delete them off your layout, as well. So your best bet, if you are new to Scripts, is either open up this dialog or ScriptMaker dialog and then get familiar with each one of this Script Steps, and if you want to know more information about ever step, you can find some good documentation in the FileMaker Help window. So getting familiar with Scripts and Script Steps is really the best way to start assigning these actions to buttons on your layout, and also having an understanding of what scripts can do for you.
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