Join Cris Ippolite for an in-depth discussion in this video Interface Tour, part of FileMaker Pro 8.5 Essential Training.
- [Narrator] Once you've set the preferences within the FileMaker Pro application, it's time to get to know the interface that you're going to be working with when you're working with files themselves. Let's take a look at the sample file, and I'm going to first introduce you to how you can navigate through the different options available to you in FileMaker Pro. For starters, all of the options are organized like many applications, in a series of menus with the different options down below them, and in some cases with corresponding quick keys. You'll also find the same options available to you, in the toolbar that is optional.
You can actually pull the toolbar off, make it a floating palette if you'd like to. You can resize this, or in some cases you may just want to eliminate the toolbar itself, because after all, each one of these options is available to you on the menus. Most users get familiar with the menus, and then eventually the quick keys, which would then make the toolbars not quite as necessary. Down within the actual window itself, you'll notice that each FileMaker file is a window with a by default what's called a status area on the left-hand side.
There are four different modes within FileMaker and the status area changes for each one of these modes. The default mode, which is called Browse mode, and by the way you can toggle between each one of these down at the lower left-hand corner. Browse, Find, Layout and Preview, or under View, under Browse, Find, Layout and Preview. And of course you can use the corresponding quick keys as well. The first mode, Browse mode, is the mode that users are going to use when they're adding records to the database or clicking into fields and editing data within the fields in a certain database, and there are some different views that you can look at that we'll explore a little bit more in the layout section.
But what you'll need to know about browse, you can see that it allows by default, the user to actually toggle between the different layouts that are available, and in this sample database, you can see that there are a series of different layouts set up, that the user can navigate between, all staying within browse mode. Once you're in a particular layout, this Rolodex or book feature here allows you to navigate from one record to the next. If I know which record I want to go to I can actually select down in that area, type in that particular value, hit enter or return and be taken to that active record.
You'll notice in browse mode that each record that is the active record has the black bar to the right of it. The next mode is Find mode. Find mode you can either reach by selecting this option on the bottom left hand corner, again under the View menu, or by simply, what is most common, using the quick key on your keyboard to go from browse mode directly into Find. Now Find mode is going to look exactly like the Browse mode except that all the values appear to disappear.
This is actually not the case, but what's happening is it's allowing you now to use the same interface that you were just in, to actually enter and find criteria now, rather than new record criteria. Users can navigate from the different layouts in Find mode using the Layout tool. You'll see here that instead of Records we actually have requests, which we'll cover later when we talk about the searching options. And then you've also got search symbols which are available to you, which we will cover as well. The important thing to see here is that this is how you can execute a find, also by hitting enter or return, when you've entered in your find criteria.
The next option is the Layout mode. You'll see here that the status area has many different changes from the previous modes. The layout area is actually the area where you will be developing the layouts, manipulating some of the graphical elements and giving your database the look and the feel. It's also where you create new layouts and add new fields to those layouts as well. If we take a look at the status area in layout mode we can see it still allows us to navigate to all different layouts, and in some cases you'll see layouts that are available in this mode, but not available in other modes.
And we'll talk about that when we get into creating layouts. But you can see that the book icon is still available, allowing users to navigate from layout to layout, instead of record to record in Browse mode or request to request in Find mode. You can also jump right to a particular layout by entering in a value, either hitting return or enter to take you to that particular layout. We take a look at the different tools, you'll notice that we had the toolbar available to us for the application on the top of the screen. But now we've got the actual layout tools themselves.
The first layout tool is your default tool, which is your pointer. It allows you to select on items and hold down items and drag them if necessary. And you'll see that if you want to add some text to your layout you would choose this A icon, which would allow you to either modify text that's on screen, or if you click onto the text icon and enter text into another area, you can see it will allow you to add text to your layout, but only in layout mode. Then you have your drawing tools.
A line drawing tool, pretty self-explanatory. And also a square, an oval and a circle line drawing tools. These can be used to create graphic elements, you can see that we've got a couple of these on-screen. And these would be the tools that you use. We also have a button drawing icon as well here. When we talk about the scripts in a bit we'll talk about how we can assign scripts to buttons. But in order to actually turn your cursor into a button drawing tool, you'll see that the cross hairs change after you select the button drawing tool and you simply just create the button size and some of these options will pop up.
We'll cover that in a later section. Then you can see that we have the ability to draw value list options and set up field control setups using the valueless and field control option in the toolbar. Again something that we'll cover in a future section. And then the new tab control setup which is actually brand new to FileMaker 8, you'll see here an example of a tab control that's been set up, something we'll also cover, but clicking on this particular icon and then dragging will help you access the tab control setup and draw those tab controls.
Again, only in layout mode. You'll also see the two icons down below for adding a field, and adding a part. The field icon itself, if you click on it and drag will then pull up your fields that already exist in your table. We'll show you how to add those fields in a moment, and assign those to the layout. Once you assign that field to the layout you can move that around using your pointer tool. The same is true for a part, this particular example, we've got several parts. You see we've got the header part and we've got the body part.
In this case, too, if you want to add another part you can drag down and you'll see that your part definition option will set up. We'll revisit that in future modules as well. Now you've got your painting and your line color and format tools. Any item that you select you can change the color on by simply selecting the item with your pointer tool and then accessing your palette and this is a palette if you recall we set up in the preferences dialogue. And in this case we're looking at the web pallet. And you can choose any one of these colors to change the color of your button.
You can also change the pattern by selecting here. If you wanted to be transparent you'd select this first option. If you wanted to have the color background then you would select the second and the rest are just different patterns that you can select, that when combined with the color selection will actually change the pattern in the background as well. Then you have the ability to actually field specific layout tools here, when you hit this button here you'll see that you've got Embossed, Engraved and Drop Shadow. Each of these are elements that you can add for visual effect to a field, which we'll talk about more in the layout section.
And then finally, any field or box that you have that you'd like to change the line color or style or thickness, you would just select the item itself and then click on the color palette option again to possibly toggle between colors or change the color. And you can also apply formatting or a pattern to the line itself by choosing one of the alternate patterns here. The most common one though is just simply the black, the standard background that you see here by the white and the black box. And then the line thickness, the default line thickness is one point.
But you can change it from up to 12 points all the way down to a hairline which is a half a point. And the final mode is a mode that's called Preview mode. Preview mode will give you the same view as in Browse mode, but it's going to show you what this particular layout looks like when it's time to print. This is a helpful mode for when you've got reports and when you want people to be able to take a look at a report before they actually print it out of their printer. These four modes combined make up the FileMaker interface, both for the user interface and the development environment.
We'll take a look at each one of these and their roles in further chapters.
- Understanding database concepts
- Using FileMaker Pro template files
- Designing database layouts
- Choosing file options
- Finding and sorting data
- Creating value lists
- Printing basics
- Calculation and scripting essentials
- Defining data relationships
- Database security