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Once you've created layouts in your FileMaker Database, you'll want to start modifying them and making them more attractive and useful to your users. You may want to first make yourself familiar with the tools that you have available in Layout mode before you start making any changes. So, if we go into Layout mode, by going View > Layout mode, we'll notice that all the tools in the toolbar and all the icons will change when we go from Browse to Layout mode. We'll notice in Browse mode, we've got one Status toolbar, and in Layout mode we've got an entirely different set of tools.
Starting in the upper left-hand corner, you'll notice that your Navigation tools now become the way that you navigate between the layouts in Layout mode. So, rather than giving you a full record count, you'll see the full number of layouts that you currently have in your system. You'll also be able to navigate between those layouts by using the Book icon. And if you click inside that field, and type in a number and hit Enter, it will navigate directly to the layout, based on its number. And you will see a button to the right of the Navigation tools, called the New Layout/Report button, which we've been using to create new layouts.
Then you see a series of different tools, and by default you'll notice that the Pointer tool is active. That's what allows you to point and grab and select different items that are on your layout, and that's the most common one used, so that's why it's the default when you first enter Layout mode. And you'll notice that when you have the Selection tool active and you do click on something, that you can tell that a layout object is selected, because it's got these handles in all four corners. You'll see when I select something else, you'll notice that it has the handles available.
Next, you will notice that we've got a Text tool. By clicking on this Text tool, it turns our Cursor into a crosshair and when we click into a certain area of the layout, it allows us to type in text that can then become part of our layout. So you don't have to just have text as field labels, but you can type your own text in when you are designing your own layouts. You can also double-click on any one of your field labels, and modify the text that displays for each field label. This, however, does not change the original name of the field.
What might be a good idea is to make it more useful for users is if you go on and change some of your field labels, so that they have more user-friendly names, rather than the naming conventions that you applied when you were first defining them. You'll see a couple of examples of that here. To the right of your Text tool, you'll see that you've got several different drawing tools. For example, you can click on this Line Drawing tool to draw a line on your layout. You can also select the line with the Pointer tool and hit Delete to remove it.
You've also got the ability to create a square, a rounded rectangle or an oval, by selecting one of these drawing tools and just picking the space on your layout and then releasing the Cursor. Next, you've got a series of layout tools that add different layout objects, that have different functionality to your layouts. We'll be using each one of these throughout the remaining chapters. As you will see, we've got Field Control options, the ability to add buttons and assign actions to them, create something called a Tab Control, Portals, Charts and so on.
You'll notice another tool at the end, which is called the Format Painter. And if you select something using your Pointer tool, and then choose your Format Painter, the next item that you click will then adopt the same format as the original item you selected. This is similar to the Painter tools in other applications that you might be familiar with. If you are not already showing the Format toolbar, you can do so by clicking on the two As right next to the Revert button. This will drop down the ability for you to modify different text on your layout, much like this text that we have selected.
We can change the Font, or even the Size, or even choose to Bold, Italic and choose different Alignment options. Clicking on this box allows us to choose a different color, as well. Here, you will see that we can choose different lines, whether it's a Line tool that we selected onscreen or the lines that are borders outside of our fields. And here you will notice some controls for lines. If you've used the Line Drawing tool in various different areas on your layout, you can choose the thickness of the line, the color of the line, and even any fill colors of any objects that are selected, and different effects and patterns that you can apply to either a line or different layout objects on your layout.
And you can select them and delete them. Any changes that you make on your layout can be saved by simply clicking this button, or you can revert the layout back to its original design by hitting the Revert button. You can navigate back to Browse mode by hitting the Exit Layout button. You will also notice in your toolbar that you have a quick and easy way to get to the Manage Database, or managing any one of these other options instead of having to go into the File menu. I also have a couple of tips for you while you are in Layout mode, when you are using some of these tools.
For example, if you want to select multiple objects at one time, you can drag-select, which means clicking down on your mouse and holding down the mouse as you drag, and you will see this dotted line appear, and you can select as many layout objects as you want,, and when you release, you see that they all have handles on them, allowing me to treat them as one object. So, for example, I can click and drag all these address fields down below the logo. Also, if I select a field while holding down the Ctrl key on Windows or the Option key on Mac, and while holding down those keys I drag, it will create a copy applying the same format into the field, but as I release, it will allow me to choose another field, with or without the label, to appear in that location on the layout.
This is a good way for to be able to copy various different formats of the fields on your layout one after another as you apply new fields to your layout onscreen. You can also use the drag-select tool to select object and then hit the Delete key on your layout, thus removing it from the layout completely. Finally, you can also select the layout object, like a field, and when you see the four handles, you can choose one of the corners and then drag to resize the field. So here you see now, I have got a larger Notes field, allowing me to display more data in the Notes field than I had before.
I'll be making some of the same changes on some of the other layouts in upcoming exercise files, but if you'd like, you can do the same on this file for more of a practice. All of these tools will become useful when making changes to the designs of your layouts. It's best to understand the tools that you have at your disposal before you continue on to make these layout changes.
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