Join Cris Ippolite for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with layout themes, part of FileMaker Pro 14 Essential Training.
- In the upcoming movies in this chapter, we're going to be looking at creating new layouts in our solution using the file maker layout builder. One of the options we'll see when we build this is the ability to select a theme. Before I build some layouts, I wanted to take a moment to first talk about themes. Themes help create visually attractive user interfaces by providing consistent styles for things like buttons, fields, backgrounds and other objects on your layout. Themes are really a collection of a bunch of different styles. A style allows you to easily define and apply consistent formatting to objects on a single layout or across all sorts of layouts.
So a theme is made up of many different styles. Styles are part of the overall layout theme. Within the theme, each type of layout object may have its own available style. You can edit existing themes as well as create new styles. Utilizing a consistent theme and style throughout your solution can make updating the look and feel of your solution quick and easy. But most importantly, when you're using a theme, like you see here in this solution, it gives a consistent style across all different objects. So here if we look at this layout in layout mode, we can see what theme is selected right here.
So the theme here is called Luminous. If I click here, I can see that we've got various different themes available to us. You'll notice in some of the cases that some of them say print and those are made for just print layouts, so they actually don't have any styles on them or very few styles in some cases. Minimalist is a theme that actually has no styles at all. We're going to work with those in upcoming movies. You'll also see some of the styles say touch on them. Those are specifically made for iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch layouts.
Touch layouts adhere to some rules that are laid out by Apple's human interface guidelines. So, for example, things like having larger touch points when you're on a touch device or just larger fields so that they're easier to read on smaller screens. All those are built in to selecting a touch theme. There's all sorts of themes in here for you to choose from and you can easily find one that's already been created that might match the style of the solution that you're working on. The newer ones are going to be on the top. By default, when you create a new layout, it takes on the Enlightened theme.
To give you kind of an idea of what styles are, I'm going to open up our inspector and if we go over to this tab that's called Styles, that's where each style is listed. So, for example, I'm going to pick this field right here and then you see what I've got are two different options for fields. So I've got the Default style of a field that was built into this theme, and then there's another option here which is slightly different, it's called Minimal Edit Box. So that means that we've got two different options within the Luminous theme for what a field could look like.
You'll also notice that this text in the header shows us that that's what called the Title Text. There are two Title Text options. It looks like we're picking the second of the two. There's also tons of different styles available for text. You can see all of them change over on the left as I select them. Now if you want to see all of the styles that are included in a theme, just select this Show All button. Then you can see all the way through here, all the different objects that are included in a theme. The layout backgrounds. In this case, it happens to be a graphic layout background.
You can see that image there. There's Photo, Texture. There's different shapes so if I draw a shape on screen, for example, it can take on either the Default an Accent Color shape, Column Header Region, you name it. Edit boxes, drop down lists, popup menus, the drop down calendars, all this stuff is controlled by the theme that you select. So you can see here, Minimal Drop Down Calendar. A little bit different than the Default one. So the good news is, if you don't want to have to create all these styles yourself, all you have to do is apply a theme to your layout.
And in this case, this theme is Luminous, but if i go on here and pick Sophisticated, or let's say Tranquil, I can see how that applies to all the different objects on screen and then Tranquil has its own styles. So you'll notice I can apply this gradient here if I want to. So the idea is, you can pick one of the themes and not have to worry about designing any of your own styles and the good news is, as you drop new objects on the layout like new fields or other objects that we're going to go through in later exercises, then they're just going to adopt whatever the theme was that you picked in the first place.
In each layout in your system, for example here, here's another layout, you can go and apply the same theme to that one. So let's say we wanted to make all of them a Tranquil theme. All I have to do is go through these layouts and apply the different themes. So this is a great way to apply a consistent look and feel and a very professional style to all the different layouts within your solution, and it's also a great way to make layouts that are specific for certain technologies like iPads, iPhones, or even the web.
Later on in this course, we're going to apply a theme to the example database that we're creating. Right now, we're going to work with the Default themes that were applied when we created these new layouts. Those are called the Enlightened themes. So if you're working on your own database outside of this course, it's a good idea to go check out some of the themes to see if maybe one of them fits the style that you were hoping for and it can save you a lot of design time so that you don't have to do all that from scratch. You don't have to be a designer to have a crisp, clean, and consistent-looking layout in your file maker solution. Instead, you can simply use any of these professionally designed themes that ship with the product.
- Comparing flat vs. relational databases
- Creating databases from starter solutions
- Determining what tables you need
- Understanding relationship types
- Defining key fields and creating relationships between tables
- Creating and working with fields, including container fields
- Creating, duplicating, editing, and deleting records
- Importing and exporting data
- Working with layout themes
- Using layout parts and tools
- Formatting layout objects
- Finding and sorting data
- Creating value lists
- Printing and saving
- Building reports, including subsummary reports and quick charts
- Using the Calculation dialog
- Creating and triggering scripts in the Script workspace
- Working with script triggers