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Setting field behaviors

From: FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

Video: Setting field behaviors

Sometimes when you place a field on a FileMaker layout, it's really just there for display, rather than to allow users to edit the data within the field. A good example of this would be our primary key for any given record in your database. The primary key that we have here, the Customer ID, is not a field that you want users modifying. As a matter of fact, if they do modify it, it could break any relationships that you've got set up between the customer table and any other child table. But as you see here, when I place this field on the screen, by default, it does allow entry into the field. This can be dangerous, since each record should have its own unique value and users should never change them.

Setting field behaviors

Sometimes when you place a field on a FileMaker layout, it's really just there for display, rather than to allow users to edit the data within the field. A good example of this would be our primary key for any given record in your database. The primary key that we have here, the Customer ID, is not a field that you want users modifying. As a matter of fact, if they do modify it, it could break any relationships that you've got set up between the customer table and any other child table. But as you see here, when I place this field on the screen, by default, it does allow entry into the field. This can be dangerous, since each record should have its own unique value and users should never change them.

If you would like to control the way that the users interact with the data in your field, or whether or not you want to allow them to do so at all, you can do this through something that's called Field Behaviors. Of course, this all takes place in Layout mode, so let's go to Layout mode, into the View menu. And if we select our field, you'll notice under the Data tab of the Inspector - if you don't have the Inspector open, you can do Ctrl+I on Windows or Command+I on Mac, or hit this little I button here - you'll notice that there's a tab called Data, and in one of those sections in the Data tab is something called Behavior.

By default, any field that you place in your layout will allow entry in Browse mode and Find mode. And what's interesting is that you can choose either one of the two modes. So simply put, you can choose whether or not you want your users to be able to click on this field when you're looking at it in Browse, which will allow editing, or allow them to enter the field in Find mode, which means that you can enter a Find criteria in the field. Now, the reason that they are separate is because entering data into a field in Find mode won't actually modify the original field's data, since there is no field chosen when you're in Find mode. So if you want to be able to search by a Customer ID but not allow someone to change one, then in that case what you would want to do is take the check mark off of the box next to Browse mode, but leave the one next to Find mode.

Now, if we go into Browse mode and Save our changes, you'll see that we cannot click into that field on any of the records in our database; however, if we go into Find mode, you see that we can click right into that field, which allows us to enter criteria when we're doing a search. We'll cover more information on Find mode in an upcoming chapter. There's also a couple of other things you can control under the Field Behaviors dialog. Let me go back into Layout mode. You'll see that you can apply Visual Spellchecking to a field.

So, for example, if you have your Notes field selected, you can choose whether or not to apply the Visual Spellchecking, which means as you type you can see a red line underneath it, whenever there's a word that does not match the spelling inside of your computer's dictionary. By default, it's left unchecked, so it's really up to you on whether or not you want to use that functionality. And you'll also notice that there's a Go to next object. We're going to cover something that's called the Tab Order in a later movie, but basically as you're tabbing, you will go from one field to the next, and that's traditionally, by default, done with a Tab key; however, you can change that behavior on any given field.

So, for example, in order to be able to tab out of the CompanyName field, I could change it to the Return character, or Enter. One thing you should keep in mind, however, is that pressing the Enter key will commit changes in a field, so if you turn this Enter key on, it's not going to commit the changes in the field, but instead skip on to the next field that's not yet committed in the record. So you've got this concept of how you save something to FileMaker. If your users are used to just hitting the Enter key, which works on any other field by default in the system, then changing this around might be a little bit awkward. Although sometimes users that are used to working on different platforms might be used to hitting the Return key, which is a Return and Enter key on some keyboards, in order to be able to move on to the next field.

So here you can allow Tab and Enter to move people on to the next field, because otherwise in FileMaker by default, if they hit Return, they are just going to add a Return character or an extra row of spaces inside of whatever field they are in. So I will be making these same types of changes on other layouts, and you will see these in upcoming Exercise Files. And if you want some extra practice, you can go into this file, the 10_04 file, and make these changes in other layouts yourself. Many fields in your FileMaker layouts will have their own independent usage roles, and working with the Field Behavior dialog will allow you to control these, one by one.

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This video is part of

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FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 14797 viewers

Cris Ippolite
Author

 
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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
      30s

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