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A FileMaker Pro file can have dozens or even hundreds of layouts; therefore it's useful to organize your layouts in such a way that both you and your users of your database can easily find what you're looking for. There is a new feature in FileMaker Pro 11 that helps you accomplish this easier, and it's called the Manage Layouts dialog. You can access this newly designed Manage Layouts dialog in a couple of different ways. In Browse mode, you can go under File, to Manage, to Layouts, or you can also invoke the Manage Layouts dialog by using one of the quick keys like you see here.
On Windows, you would do Ctrl+Shift+L keys together, and on Mac, you would do Command+Shift+L keys together. Also, when in Layout mode, you can go to the top of the Layout list and choose Manage Layouts. Of course, you do not need to be in layouts to modify this list. As you saw we are able to go to the File menu in the shortcut keys while in Browse mode as well. The Manage Layouts dialog box has been redesigned in FileMaker Pro 11 to be more useful, by allowing you to organize and navigate layouts in a number of different ways.
First, you'll notice on the far left, there is check box in the first column. This indicates whether or not the layout will be included in the Layout menu while in Browse or Preview modes. This can be useful when you're hiding Utility Layouts that shouldn't be directly accessed by some of your users. To take a look at this in action, for example, we uncheck the Customer Envelopes, and go back into Browse mode and when we click on our list, we now see the Customer Envelopes are no longer available. However, if we go back into our Layout window and select the Customer Envelopes check box, we now see that available to us.
However, when you're in Layout mode, regardless of whether or not you check one of those blue check boxes, all of the layouts will be available to you in the Layout list. This is how you can access them to make modifications, regardless if you can see it in Browse mode. You'll also notice in the Manage Layouts window that next to each layout you've got a double-headed arrow. Much like various other dialogs within FileMaker, this means that you can move your Layout Name, either up or down within the list. For example, if I want to move all of the Customer layouts together, I can select one of the layouts and while it's highlighted blue, I can click down on the handle and move it up until you see the blue line with the round head on it in the proper location.
I can then release that, and you see that I have reordered the layout. Trying that a couple of more times, I will choose the Customer Envelopes and also the Customer List, and I put them now into a custom order. And one more time. We will just move Product List under the Product Layout. At the top of the Manage Layout dialog are two Filtering tools. One of these might be familiar to you if you've used other Apple applications because it's a pretty standard filtering tool. It allows you type in a keyword, and as you type, you can automatically see your list filtered to show only layouts that have that keyword in their name.
You can hit the X to reset these. You'll also notice there is a dropdown menu to either Show All of the layouts or to see layouts in certain folders. But you see here, we don't have any folders defined, and that brings us down to the bottom left-hand corner, where we can define folders. If you hit the New button with the Plus sign, it's going to invoke the New Layout Report dialog, and you'll see that they have the same icon. But if you click the arrow next to it, it allows you to either invoke that window, or you can choose a new Folder or Separator.
If we choose Folder, a window pops up, asking us to choose a name for out folder, and we will call them Customers. You now see a folder appear on your list, and it also has handles that allow you to select the line and then move the handles to the appropriate location on your list. Now putting a layout in a folder is a little bit trickier. You'll see here we have got the Customers Layout below the Customers Layout folder, and I am going to select the handles. And in this case I can click down and hold it and move it up, but right now by the position of the loop at the end of the line, this would only put it below the folder where it currently exists.
But instead if I move it to the right a tad, and then you see the folder highlight, I can release it, and this now indicates, because of its indentation, that it's now contained within the Customers folder. We will try that again with the Customers List, and you see the folder highlight, and you release. Click, grab the handle, see the folder highlight, and release. You do that for each layout that you want to have contained within this Customer folder. I am going to create two more folders real quick, one is for Products, and you'll notice that this folder appeared on the bottom of the list.
I will do that again and choose Invoices. Now this one appeared as a subfolder, which is not the desired effect, but the reason it did that is because we had a folder selected. So in this case, we can hit the Delete button on our keyboard to remove the Invoices folder, and instead make sure that that folder is not selected. Now we can define the Invoices folder. Of course, maybe we want to have a subfolder.
For example, let's say we want to have one that's called customer reports. We can select the Customer folder, select Folder again, and type Reports this time, and then now move only our printable reports into that folder, in the same manner as we did in the first place, and we can even move the entire folder and its contents below the other two lists. And finally, you will see that we can collapse these, thus helping us clean up and organize our lists, and we can then move the folders into their appropriate locations using the same tools.
Not only can you use these folders to help you organize your Manage Layouts window, but now you'll notice that your dropdown above allows you to just view certain folders at a time. But this also has an interesting effect when you go back into Browse mode. Now when you look at your Layout list, you see that you have got these cool dropdown menus that helps you make a more compacted list of layouts and direct your users to the appropriate groups of layouts.
Back in Layout mode, going into the Manage Layouts window, you'll also see that when you select a layout, you can choose the Edit button to edit any one of the options in the four tabs in your Layout Setup dialog. Here we are just simply going to choose to rename these detail fields as Details; see how easily we can do that. But you'll notice, of course, that you can make any number of different changes, all from within the context of this Manage Layouts window.
You'll also see that with a Layout or folder chosen, you can Duplicate, which would create either a new layout folder, or you can select a layout which then would duplicate the same layout and give it the name Copy at the end of it. Of course, with the layout selected you can then hit the Delete button, which will then delete whatever layout you have chosen. And the final point of navigation in this window is the ability to select a layout and Open it. You'll notice, in this case, it opens it as a new window over the original window that you had open, allowing you to navigate to these layouts in Layout mode, so that you can make modifications.
With the number of your layouts and your solution constantly growing, it's a good idea to come up with a strategy for managing the layouts into folders. The new Manage Layouts window in FileMaker Pro 11 allows you one location to make any of the changes that your layouts require.
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