Join Cris Ippolite for an in-depth discussion in this video Interface tour, part of FileMaker Pro 9 Essential Training.
Now that we have installed, activated and registered our copy of FileMaker Pro and on a quick little tour of the preferences that are available to you, it's time to start working with the application. And the first step is to get familiar with your environment or the interface that's provided to you as part of working with FileMaker Pro. So I would like to give you a quick tour on some of the things that we are going to be working with throughout all the different chapters and also get you a little bit familiar with some of the tools that are at your disposal. So first, let's start with, just like any other application, you will see that FileMaker runs most of the commands, actually all the commands that you can perform, through it's menu system and you will notice that again, like other applications, you can either choose to select something from a menu or use the quick keys.
And you will notice here that I happen to be using a Mac so that you see that we have got, for example, the quick key Print is Apple+P. If you are working with FileMaker on Windows, it would Ctrl+P. So the same is for true for anything that you will see me demonstrate here in this tour. So all of the different actions and we are going to through most of these throughout this title, all these actions can be performed through the menus and also through quick keys. But also there is another option and that's this toolbar here and the toolbar is something that, by default, shows up on the top of your screen and it's optional.
So for example, you can either move it around or pull it down as you see, you save yourself about 50 or so pixels of screen real estate if you need it and again everything that's on here are all, different options that are available through the menu system or through quick keys. So what a lot of users do is they keep the toolbar up there so they can do, sort of, an icon-driven action when necessary. What most of developers do is they get familiar to the toolbar first and then through the menus and after while you start to learn with the quick keys are in and you can use those as you are working with the system.
The toolbar, though, if it is in your way up on the top, you can pull it down like I have done. You can reposition it like a palette, which is probably familiar to a lot of users; put it back up in the toolbar, if necessary; or you can just delete it completely. We will leave it up here just for the sake of this demonstration but those of you that have worked with previous versions of FileMaker can see that there has been something new added to the toolbar and that is the Save Records as Excel and Save Records as PDF, which we will cover in later chapters, but you will see that also those are available through the File menu and in this case they don't have quick keys associated with them and some of these don't so in some cases you will be forced to either go through the toolbar or the menu itself.
The other element that you will notice is what FileMaker calls the Status Area. And that is the area over here on the left on your screen. What it allows you to do is navigate from layout to layout or request a request, depending on what mode you are in. Now I just mentioned modes and it's important to know that FileMaker is a modal application, which means that it has, in FileMaker's case, four different modes in which you can use to operate the application. The mode that we are in right now is what's called Browse mode. And Browse mode is what's used for editing and adding data, creating records, modifying records, deleting them. It's really meant for the person who is using the database that has been created to interface with the data, and again any one of those actions adding, editing, deleting records can all be accomplished through Browse mode and that' the default mode when you open up a file and you will notice here there is a couple of different ways that you can get to Browse mode.
The first of which is, you will see this pencil icon in the upper left-hand corner and also it's indicated here on the top that we are in Browse mode. The second way that you can access, anyone of the modes or toggle between them, is under the View menu and you will see that we are in Browse mode right now so that is the one that has the checkmark but we can get to any of the three other modes that I'm about to show it you by selecting them in the View menu and also on the bottom left-hand corner, you will see that there is a little pull-down menu which is kind of hidden. But when you are in the environment if you wanted to just click on any one of these options to toggle between the modes, you are more than welcome and again, after sometime you will get familiar with the quick keys and the quick key for Browse mode is Apple+B or Ctrl+B.
The Status Area will actually change and you will see briefly here as I toggle between the modes, it changes and it has different roles depending on what a mode that you are in. In Browse mode, you will notice that we have got three different components. We have got the Layout dropdown, we have got the, what's called the Rolodex which allows us to navigate from record to record and then we have got information or status information on the Records themselves. Now starting first with the Layout mode, you will see that this allows us to navigate from layout to layout and all the different layouts in the system. And these layouts could be either hidden or not hidden and that's something that you can control in Layout mode, which we will cover a little bit later on in the Layout chapter.
So you will notice that we can get to anyone of the layouts that the developer has allowed us to access here and when we want to get from record to record, if we are manually searching through records, we would just hit this button here, you see that we can go back and forth within all the different records within the system. And if we want to find one record that we want to work with and we know which record it is within the found set, let's say it happens to be record 20, I can type that into this area and hit Enter, Return and it will take me right to that record and you see it did the same thing as if I would manually navigated to that record.
Down here you will see that, this says the total number of records and when we start working with things like Found sets later in the Finding Data chapter, you will notice that this is going to change and I will discuss a little bit more about that and also on the Sorting chapter you will see that the Sort Status of all the records that we are working with is displayed here also. Next, I would like to show the next mode which is Find mode and in Find mode and we can access that again either by clicking on this magnifying glass or going under the View or going down under this menu or hitting an Apple+F or Ctrl+F as in Find but the first thing that you notice, not only did the Status Area changed but on screen it appears that all of our records have been deleted. That's not actually the case.
But for those of you that have worked with FileMaker before, you will know that this is actually just the mode in which we are supposed to enter in criteria. So we can pick any one of the layouts when we are in Find mode, whichever one is more appropriate to task at hand or which ever table that we actually want to search upon. So all that it's doing is allowing you a blank slate to enter in criteria and we will talk about that in the Finding chapter. We can enter criteria into any one of the fields and once we are done entering in the criteria that we want to, go isolate within the entire record set, we will hit the Find button. So you will notice in the Status Area, couple of different things change.
First of which is we can still get to all the different layouts. We notice now that Rolodex is grayed out right now and instead of saying Records, it's changed to say Requests and Requests, you will also notice that the File menus change a little bit. Instead of the Record menu, you will see that it has changed to Request and what this allows us to do is add new requests. Again, we will cover that in the Finding Data section but what we are doing here is adding another set of criteria that will allow us to do an end search. I will talk a little bit more about that, but in this demonstration, you see I have added a request and I can navigate between the two requests by using the Rolodex icon and also I can navigate to the very first request if I like.
Also there are two other things here. You will notice a Omit checkbox and that means that whatever criteria I put in, for example, I put the word text in Title here that means if I click on Omit that it's actually going to find everything that does not have text in it or it's going to go into the entire record set and omit all the records that match my criteria and display the others instead. Something helpful for FileMaker is a search symbols dropdown. These are the things the FileMaker have built in, that they are sort of wild card characters.
You have to keep in mind also if you are putting in search criteria that if they contain any of these that you might get some results that might not match what you expected. We will cover these in details, but real quickly the idea here is if I put in to a date field, if I put in a / /, it's just going to find every records that has today's date in those records. So we will talk little bit about that in the Find chapter as well. Moving down to Layout mode, this is the mode where all of the layouts are created, any kind of interface is developed, where the real programming actually happens within an application. And when you are developing in FileMaker, after you enter in some fields, you are going to look at your first layout, it's going to be a blank layout and you will look at it in Layout mode.
You will notice that things are the same to some degree here. You will see that you can still navigate from layout to layout and in the case of Layout mode, every layout that's been developed in this file will be available in the dropdown menu. You will notice that the menus have changed a little bit. So instead of records we have a layout, which allows us to create new layouts. You go to Layouts, allows us to navigate to other layouts, Setup, do our setup. All of these things we'll cover in the upcoming chapter on Layouts.
But notice also that this will navigate us from layout to layout through the Rolodex. So the Rolodex takes on a different role depending on which mode you are in. Also there is lot of tools. They are not the same tools that are available here on the header of your application. These are tools that are specific to layouts and we going to cover each one of these in this title, also the ability to drop fields and parts and some of your colors and affect tools that allow you to apply colors to text and fields and different elements that are on screen. One other thing to know is the Info palette and this Info palette, by default, will show as a floating palette when you are in Layout mode but only in Layout mode. And it allows you to do things like name objects and size objects based on whether it's the width or height or how far from the left or right these different fields are whatever if it's a box or something that you have drawn but also something new to FileMaker 9 which is really kind of exciting. We will cover this in the Resizing Layouts chapter.
This palette is also used not only for object naming and sizing elements but also for controlling the resizing of the layouts and again more on that coming in future chapters. And finally we have the file mode which is the Preview mode and Preview mode is here so that you can see what a layout is going to look like when it's printed. It also lets you preview the printing before you print something and it has some special roles as well. We are going to talk in a Report section about creating sub-summary reports and a sub-summary report is something that actually needs to be trigged by the Preview mode So in the example of a sub-summary report, we will require that Preview mode is entered just so it triggers certain summary values, but really the main role for previewing is to preview something that you are about to print. So if you want to see what something looks like when it prints, before wasting any paper, you can just go into the Preview mode and you will get an accurate view on not only what we will print but also your margins as well so it gives you a way to size out margins which might not be visible when you are in Layout mode or Browse mode.
So these four modes combined, make up the development in user environment for FileMaker. So before we start using them, let's discuss another important and updated resource in FileMaker 9 and that is the Help menu.