Create Your First Layout: A Detail View - File Maker

Now we’ll create a layout from scratch. It’s much easier than it sounds, especially when using the New Layout/Report wizard. To begin, make sure Company.fp5 is open then go into Layout mode.

While in Layout mode, notice that you’ve got two menus that are specifically used for layout design: Layouts and Arrange. If you use FileMaker’s toolbars, you’ll notice that you can turn on an Arrange and/or a Tools toolbar, which you may dock on any side of the application window/screen or keep as floating palettes.

These toolbars have tools specific to building and organizing layouts. At the top of the status area, you’ll see the layout drop-down menu, which you can use to navigate between all existing layouts. In Layout mode, this allows you to flip up and down through all layouts.

Now select New Layout/Report from the Layouts menu. You will be presented with the following dialog:


Type the name of your first detail view layout, “Detail View 1,” in the layout name box. You’ll see here a list of all the types of possible layouts: standard form, columnar/list report (view), table view, labels, envelope, and blank form. For your Detail View 1, select standard form and make sure that the “Include in layout pop-up menu” box is checked to ensure that the layout will appear in the layout menu located above in the status area.

Feel free to click the different types of layouts on the first dialog of the New Layout/Report wizard. You’ll see a thumbnail preview for each layout as well as a brief description under the layout type list. Now click the Next button and you’ll be taken to the Specify Fields dialog shown here:

New Layout report

Here’s where you can choose the fields that the new layout will start off with. (You can always add more fields later.)

By default, there are no fields selected. To add fields to this layout, click a field in the left-hand list (Available fields) and then click the Move button, or double-click one of the available fields.

On the right-hand side (Layout fields), you can double-click a layout field to remove it from the current layout. The Move All and Clear All buttons will move all of the fields in the left-hand list to the current layout and all currently selected fields off the currently selected layout, respectively. As usual, you can CONTROL click/ COMMAND- click fields or SHIFT-click a range of fields in either list to select more than one field at once.

Use the up and down arrows in the right-hand list of fields, to the left of the field names, to reorder fields by dragging them up and down in the list. This is useful because the order in which you’ve arranged the fields in the right-hand list is the order in which they’ll appear to start off with on the new layout once it’s created.

One final point: The drop-down menu above the left-hand list of fields allows you to add fields to a new layout from other databases via relationships.

In the case of your detail view, we want all of the existing fields to appear on the detail view to start with, so add all of the fields in Company.fp5 to the righthand list and sort them alphabetically.

Once you’ve added all the fields and sorted them, click the Next button and you will see the “Select a Theme” dialog shown here:

New Layout report

A layout theme is basically a predefined color and font combination that you can use to quickly add color, style, and consistency to your layouts. Once you become adept at creating layouts you’ll rarely select anything here other than Default because you’ll figure out how to create much more sophisticated and functional layouts yourself. But for now, select the Soft Gray Screen theme. You’ll see a preview of your selected theme appear on the right. (The main reason I’ve chosen this perhaps somewhat boring color combination for your first layout is that it reproduces well as a halftone. However, you may opt to choose a more colorful choice because you’ll be viewing your database on a color monitor.)

Once you’ve selected a theme, click Finish or press ENTER or RETURN, and your new layout will appear on the screen in Layout mode, something like this:


Albeit, this is not the prettiest and most intuitive Detail View layout you ever will see, it’s definitely decent enough considering the amount of time it took to create it.

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