FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Managing layouts and layout folders


FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

with Cris Ippolite

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Video: Managing layouts and layout folders

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.
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  1. 7m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the FileMaker family
      2m 15s
    3. Using the FileMaker Quick Start screen
      2m 52s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 7s
  2. 21m 9s
    1. What is a database?
      2m 26s
    2. Flat vs. relational databases
      2m 29s
    3. How FileMaker works
      4m 48s
    4. Understanding the essential preferences
      3m 13s
    5. Touring the interface
      8m 13s
  3. 11m 44s
    1. Creating databases from templates
      2m 29s
    2. Creating new databases in the spreadsheet-like format
      5m 35s
    3. Importing tables
      3m 40s
  4. 9m 9s
    1. Determining which tables you will need
      5m 10s
    2. Creating tables in the Managing Tables window
      3m 59s
  5. 34m 47s
    1. Understanding relationship types
      6m 58s
    2. Diagramming relationships (with ER diagrams)
      8m 50s
    3. Determining which key fields you need
      5m 18s
    4. Defining primary and foreign keys
      7m 56s
    5. Creating relationships using the relationships graph and table occurrences
      5m 45s
  6. 50m 34s
    1. Deciding what fields you will need
      5m 34s
    2. Understanding field types
      7m 54s
    3. Defining fields
      9m 56s
    4. Using Auto Enter options in fields
      9m 33s
    5. Reviewing field validation options
      8m 16s
    6. Building with container fields
      9m 21s
  7. 14m 8s
    1. Creating and duplicating records
      5m 40s
    2. Editing and locking records
      4m 42s
    3. Deleting records and backing up files
      3m 46s
  8. 21m 6s
    1. Importing data
      9m 57s
    2. Importing records to refresh data
      7m 2s
    3. Exporting data
      4m 7s
  9. 18m 30s
    1. Understanding layouts
      4m 15s
    2. Using the Layout Assistant to create List views
      7m 59s
    3. Using the Layout Assistant to create labels and envelopes
      6m 16s
  10. 27m 11s
    1. Using the Layout Setup dialog box
      4m 54s
    2. Understanding layout parts
      4m 40s
    3. Understanding the new Inspector
      2m 26s
    4. Exploring the Status Area in Layout mode
      6m 46s
    5. Managing layouts and layout folders
      8m 25s
  11. 41m 9s
    1. Arranging, aligning, grouping, and locking layout objects
      11m 5s
    2. Placing and formatting objects, parts, and graphics
      4m 10s
    3. Formatting fields and applying field attributes
      8m 26s
    4. Setting field behaviors
      4m 4s
    5. Using the Tab Control feature
      9m 8s
    6. Setting tab order
      4m 16s
  12. 36m 48s
    1. Using the basic find functions
      7m 31s
    2. Reviewing new requests in the Find mode
      5m 54s
    3. Establishing search operators
      6m 43s
    4. Constraining or extending found sets
      3m 24s
    5. Finding records using date, time, or timestamp criteria
      5m 18s
    6. Using Fast Match and Quick Find
      4m 41s
    7. Working with saved finds
      3m 17s
  13. 17m 28s
    1. Sorting with one criterion
      6m 4s
    2. Sorting with related fields
      2m 18s
    3. Sorting with multiple criteria
      1m 36s
    4. Sorting using custom values
      3m 14s
    5. Sorting using buttons
      4m 16s
  14. 17m 14s
    1. Reviewing Field/Control styles
      5m 43s
    2. Creating and applying static value lists
      5m 20s
    3. Creating and applying dynamic value lists
      6m 11s
  15. 23m 52s
    1. Previewing pages and print options
      6m 20s
    2. Printing in different views
      2m 54s
    3. Sliding objects
      3m 26s
    4. Printing merge letters
      4m 53s
    5. Saving as a PDF or Excel file
      6m 19s
  16. 15m 1s
    1. Building simple reports with summary fields
      4m 36s
    2. Creating subsummary reports
      6m 51s
    3. Creating subsummary reports in Table view
      3m 34s
  17. 52m 19s
    1. Defining calculations
      2m 31s
    2. Exploring the Calculation dialog box
      5m 8s
    3. Using number functions
      12m 41s
    4. Using date and time functions
      4m 58s
    5. Using text functions
      11m 43s
    6. Using get functions
      4m 0s
    7. Using logic functions
      11m 18s
  18. 46m 56s
    1. Understanding scripts and script steps
      2m 23s
    2. Assigning script steps to buttons
      3m 54s
    3. Understanding the ScriptMaker dialog box
      8m 28s
    4. Creating multi-line scripts
      6m 44s
    5. Adding find criteria to a script
      4m 58s
    6. Understanding the If script step
      8m 36s
    7. Using script parameters
      4m 42s
    8. Reviewing the Send Mail option
      7m 11s
  19. 28m 0s
    1. Understanding script triggers
      2m 41s
    2. Using object-based triggers
      11m 58s
    3. Using layout-based triggers
      7m 51s
    4. Using file-based triggers (Open and Close scripts)
      5m 30s
  20. 56m 42s
    1. Using related fields
      7m 18s
    2. Creating portals and using portal filtering
      10m 38s
    3. Using related fields in calculations
      7m 6s
    4. Understanding multi-predicate relationships
      11m 11s
    5. Using the Go to Related Record script step
      7m 26s
    6. Creating a chart
      13m 3s
  21. 30s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
9h 11m Beginner Jun 25, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating databases from templates
  • Creating fields in spreadsheet format
  • Creating tables and relationships
  • Defining key fields
  • Adding validation and auto-enter values to fields
  • Managing records, including duplicating, locking, and deleting records
  • Creating and managing layouts
  • Formatting layout objects
  • Finding and sorting data
  • Creating calculation fields
  • Building reports
  • Printing and saving as PDF or Excel
  • Writing and triggering scripts
  • Using relationships throughout a database
FileMaker Pro
Cris Ippolite

Managing layouts and layout folders

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training .

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Q: In the Chapter 16 tutorial, “Using Text Functions,” the instructor discusses how to calculate the First Name and Last Name from the Full Name. However, the method does not account for names ending with  “Jr.” or “Sr.” or “III,” etc.  How can I account for added suffixes in names?
A: For cases like this, you can create a third "Suffix" field. Then change the FullName calculation to:

NameFirst&" "&NameLast&" "&Suffix 

This way, nothing will appear if the Suffix has no value, but if it does have a value the suffix will appear.
Q: What information is actually on the “Invoice Line Item” table in the examples, and how does it actually connect to the tables that it comes from?
A: The information in each line item is native to the "Invoice Line Item" table. The fields are defined in that table and each record represents "A Product appearing on an Invoice."
Each time a product is used on an invoice, a record in the line item table is created. Many of the fields, for example "Quantity," are native to that table because those values only exists when a Product is used in an Invoice, and not as attributes of a Product itself.
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