FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Touring the interface


FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

with Cris Ippolite

Video: Touring the interface

Before we dive into building our database, I am going to first take a moment and give you a brief tour of the FileMaker Pro interface. In addition, I'd like to introduce you to these things that are called FileMaker modes. FileMaker has four modes, and in each of the four modes there are different interfaces that you're going to be working with. When you first open up FileMaker Pro, you're automatically put into what's called Browse mode. You can see that here underneath the View menu, and we've got Browse selected. Browse is the mode that's going to allow you to view your data and edit data, meaning that you can click into different fields, add new records, or edit existing record, or just browse them in a read-only fashion.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
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

Touring the interface

Before we dive into building our database, I am going to first take a moment and give you a brief tour of the FileMaker Pro interface. In addition, I'd like to introduce you to these things that are called FileMaker modes. FileMaker has four modes, and in each of the four modes there are different interfaces that you're going to be working with. When you first open up FileMaker Pro, you're automatically put into what's called Browse mode. You can see that here underneath the View menu, and we've got Browse selected. Browse is the mode that's going to allow you to view your data and edit data, meaning that you can click into different fields, add new records, or edit existing record, or just browse them in a read-only fashion.

In Browse mode, there are a couple of components of your interfaces that you're going to want to be familiar with. Most of the interface that changes from mode to mode can be found in what's called the Status toolbar, which is this gray area across the top of the screen. You'll see on the far left side of this Status toolbar, you've got a couple of tools that allow you to navigate through the multiple records inside your database. Here we've got 1 record in our database, but if we had more records, you see that we can navigate between them using this book icon: Left goes to the previous record, right goes to the next record and so on.

We can even scrub through the entire set of records using the slider bar or just click into the field, and type the exact record number that we want to find by entering in the number of the record. We'll talk about this pie chart area and the difference between Found records and the amount of records in your database when we talk about working with Found sets later in the title. But also on the Status toolbar, you'll see that you've got some default buttons. When you first purchase FileMaker Pro and open up your first FileMaker database, you're going to see these buttons here onscreen. Show All is a button that will allow us to remove a Found set.

Again, we'll talk more about that when we talk about Finds. But we've got the ability to create a new record by simply hitting the New Record button, or to delete an existing Record, and all these options can also be found under the Records menu. Additionally, we can enter a different mode, Find mode, which we'll look at in a second, or sort the records that we have in Browse mode by clicking on the Sort button. You'll also see that you've got the Quick Find fields, which we'll talk about more when we get to the Quick Find movie. If you don't want to have any of these things in your Status toolbar, or if you want to change the things that you have in you Status toolbar, you can go to the View menu and choose Customize Status toolbar.

This pops up onscreen all the different things that you can add to the Status toolbar. Here you see all the different buttons that you currently have in your toolbar, but you also see that your toolbar has become active. So, for example, I could grab one of these buttons and drag it off to the side and release it, and if you're on Mac, you see that Mac effect of the proof effect, and on Windows, it just simply disappears. You can click on an icon, drag it from this area and drop it onto your toolbar to add more functionality. You can add as many of these as you would like, and in addition, you can choose separators, as you see here, or spaces, as you see here, to be able to space out the buttons and give it a little more aesthetic look.

In addition, you can choose to show either Icons Only or Text Only to give yourself a little bit more room. So as you get more familiar with some of these features, you might want to place them in the Status area of your file. This is where you can actually customize each one of them. Keep in mind though that every user will have their own Status toolbar. So as a developer, if you set your Status toolbar in your database and then plan to distribute this database, your user is going to see the buttons that they've set up in their Status toolbar on their copy of FileMaker Pro.

So you don't want to necessarily rely on having those buttons there in a distributed FileMaker database. You can also either hide or unhide the Status toolbar, if you'd like, by going down to this area. And in the very bottom left-hand corner of your screen, you'll notice this icon that, when we click on it, it will hide the Status toolbar completely. So it's optional; you don't necessarily have to have this as part of your FileMaker database. But of course your users could just click on it and reveal it in their own copy of FileMaker if they would like to. There are some things in the scripts that allow you to hide and lock that when you open up a database, if that's something that you desire to do. You'll notice that the second tier of the Status toolbar in Browse mode is what's called the Layout bar.

That's this long gray area here just below the Status toolbar. On the far left, it allows you to choose from the different layouts that you've got inside your FileMaker database, or a way that your users can navigate around the database itself, and also the different Views. In Browse mode, you can view your records either as a Form View, a List View or a Table View. Here we are looking at Form View, which is customarily used to look at one record at a time. So for things like detail views or views that have more information onscreen, you might want to just have it be a Form View that your users are looking at; however, if you want to fit multiple records onscreen at a time, like in the Record List, you'll see that that's what's called a List View.

This has a smaller size of a record and therefore allows us to not only view multiple records onscreen at a time, but print multiple records onscreen at a time, as well. In FileMaker Pro, if you're still used to working with data in a spreadsheet, you can click the Table View option, which will turn your FileMaker Pro layout into a spreadsheet-looking view, which allows you to sort by different column headers and move different fields around onscreen. Back into the Record Detail and in Form View, you see that we've got other options here, as well.

Clicking on these two double As will show and hide what's called the Formatting Bar. So you see you've got even a third bar. Just like in other applications, a text Formatting Bar allows you to choose different fonts, sizes, and some of the different formats that you can apply, as well as some of the alignment. You can toggle between showing and hiding that by either clicking the Aa button or not. Finally, you have two buttons that allow you to switch to different modes. The next mode that we are going to look at is what's called Layout mode. You could navigate to Layout mode by going under the View menu and choosing Layout, but you can just hit this button here in your Layout toolbar called Edit layout.

This takes you into a mode that looks just like your Browse mode, but this is the mode where you are going to create your layouts and make modifications to the layouts. You'll notice here in the top of the screen that your Status toolbar has changed, as well. In this case, instead of navigating from record to record throughout your database, you're navigating from layout to layout. So you see all the different layouts that are configured inside your file. You'll notice here in the Status toolbar, in Layout mode, that you've got all these different layout tools. We'll be working with those in the various layout chapters later in this title.

But also in Layout mode, you see you've got some similar things like being able to navigate to the different layouts and invoking your Formatting toolbar, a lot of the same things that you saw inside the Browse mode. The next mode that I want to introduce you to, under the View menu, is Find mode. Find mode allows you to enter in different search criteria, allowing you to create something called a Found set, which are different subsets of data that have been stored inside your database. Your Found set will match whatever criteria your users are entering into these fields. We'll be working a lot with Found sets and search criteria in chapters involving Finds.

So as a result of changing into Find mode, you see that our Status toolbar buttons have changed again. In this case we are navigating through something called a Request, of which you can have many inside of each Find. You see then that the buttons change from New Record to New Request, and also the ability to Perform a Find or Cancel a Find. The last mode to review is Preview mode. This view is meant solely for seeing what your layouts are going to look like when they're either printed as a hard copy or saved as a PDF. This way you can kind of line up your margins and even use this as a way to design your layouts, if they are going to be something that users are going to print.

From this view, you see that you have an option to Save as Excel or Save as a PDF. But you can also print directly from Preview mode or access the Page Setup dialog, allowing you to choose different print drivers or paper settings. So now that we're familiar with what everything is called onscreen and where we can find them, it's time to start using some of these tools to create our own FileMaker database.

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

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
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.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.