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Setting tab order

From: FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

Video: Setting tab order

A lot of computer users don't like having to take their hands off the keyboard when doing data entry. For example, one way that you can enter data into certain fields is to click into a field, make some changes, and then take your mouse and click into another field. But in most cases, users like to keep their hands on the keyboard and just tab from one field to another. An important aspect of creating an effective user interface is going to be how you manage how users move throughout the layout. That's really going to be a key to its usefulness to your users. The primary means for doing so is by customizing something called the Tab Order in order to create a smooth and logical progression, by which your users can then move from field to field, as well as from field to non-field objects.

Setting tab order

A lot of computer users don't like having to take their hands off the keyboard when doing data entry. For example, one way that you can enter data into certain fields is to click into a field, make some changes, and then take your mouse and click into another field. But in most cases, users like to keep their hands on the keyboard and just tab from one field to another. An important aspect of creating an effective user interface is going to be how you manage how users move throughout the layout. That's really going to be a key to its usefulness to your users. The primary means for doing so is by customizing something called the Tab Order in order to create a smooth and logical progression, by which your users can then move from field to field, as well as from field to non-field objects.

FileMaker creates a default Tab Order for each layout, according to the physical placement of the fields on the layout. So, for example, the order in which you've added the fields to the layout will determine what your default order will be. But that's not always going to be the most logical way that your users want to work with the fields. So if we go into Layout mode and go under the Layouts menu to Set Tab Order, you'll see a window appear called Set Tab Order. You'll also see that by each field and layout object, we've got arrows with numbers.

And as you can imagine, this is the order in which the tabs features will work. And most of the time when you open up the Set Tab Order, you are already going to see numbers in these arrows. However, this sequence might not be the way that your users want to tab through the fields, and also, there might be fields that you don't want in your Tab Order. So the best way to set a new Tab Order is to go into your Set Tab Order window and hit Clear All, and then you see all the numbers are gone from the arrows. And then now what you can do is pick the order that you want to use by simply clicking, in order, into the Arrow Fields; you see here's 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and so on.

And now I am going to leave these fields down below. Since users don't actually enter any data into them, we're going to leave those out of the Tab Order, and also we don't want users clicking into the Primary Key field anyways, so we will exclude that from the order as well. You'll also notice that number 2 is actually the Tab panel. So we've got the ability to tab from the CompanyName into the Tab panel, so that things like buttons or even this logo for that matter, we could have put into the Tab Order, if that logo happened to have a ScriptAction assigned to it, for example. When we're done with setting our Tab Order, we hit OK, and now we'll go back in Browse mode, save our changes, and we see we click into the CompanyName, and now we are going to hit the Tab key on the keyboard.

You see it tabs over to the Tab panel, and now you'll notice I can go to different panels, if I want, by hitting the left and right arrows on my keyboard, and if I hit the Spacebar key, that will take me to that Tab panel. So you're going to need to instruct your users on how to use that. But now, if I hit Tab again, it goes into the fields in the order that we originally set it up, and then when it gets to the end, it starts all over again. But you will notice now if you go into Layout mode, and let's say we insert a new field, which we can do by saying Insert Field.

We'll just pick one of these for an example, like Notes, for example, and if we place Notes somewhere else in the layout, and go into the Set Tab Order, we will see that what its done is it's automatically placed it at the end of the layout order. But we could manually go in and insert it in any one of these locations, if we want to. So, for example, we could say this would be 7, and this could be 8, that type of thing.

So it will automatically add newly assigned fields to the end of the Tab Order, which makes it a lot more useful, but then you can go in here and either Clear All and Reset them, or just manually change a couple of them if you want to swap some of the fields out of the Tab Order. I will be making these same changes on other layouts, and you'll see those in upcoming exercise files. But if you want some more practice on Tab Order, feel free to go into the 10_06 exercise file and go into Product Detail, or Invoice Detail to do the same thing. The order in which users can tab through fields can help make data entry a lot more efficient, and using this Set Tab Order gives you the control over how that's going to work.

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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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