Document Preferences - File Maker

Now turn your attention to Document Preferences. The name of this area of preferences is a bit confusing. You won’t often hear of a FileMaker database being called a “document.” (FileMaker’s own documentation uses the term “file.”) Now you’re starting to see the struggle one has with terminology in the FileMaker world. This area of preferences should probably be called “Database Preferences.”

To set document preferences, you must have a database open. If you already have a database open, fine. Otherwise, reopen the Inventory.fp5 database that you created from a template earlier. Take a look at Figure below, and then read on about general document preferences.

Document Preferences — General.

Document Preferences — General.

Document Preferences — General

Use Smart Quotes
Smart quotes are quotation marks and apostrophes that “understand” whether or not they should be curled to the right or to the left depending on where they are located in a sentence or around a word. Smart open and closed quotation marks look like “ ”, where as “dumb” or “straight” open and closed quotation marks are identical to each other and look like this: "". If you check this box, FileMaker will automatically insert smart quotation marks and apostrophes whenever you type them in the current database, whether in a field or on a layout.

Store Compatible Graphics
When this option is checked, the database will store two different versions of any graphic (one Mac compatible, the other Windows compatible) that you paste or import onto or into a layout or a container field (a field that can contain graphics sounds, and other nontext objects). In this way, any user logging on to the database will see the graphic(s) regardless of what platform they’re on. If you are using a lot of graphics in your database, think twice about storing compatible graphics, as it will double the amount of disk space taken up by graphics in your database. Also note that any graphics that are already in your database prior to checking this box will not be altered or converted. Only graphics added to the database after you check this box will be affected.

The next three options have to do with what you want to happen every time you open a particular database.

Try Default Password x
To have FileMaker automatically try one particular password as a default every time a database is opened, check this box and specify a password. If you enter a password here that you later erase in Access Privileges (where you create passwords, groups and various access rights), FileMaker will ask the user for a password when the database is opened, ignoring the entered default password.

When opening a database, you can override the default password by holding down SHIFT on Windows or OPTION on a Mac, and you will be prompted for a password. It’s nice to have a default password entered automatically on a networked solution so that a user doesn’t have to type something every time they log in which prolongs the login process. FileMaker will enter their password for them so they don’t have to remember it or write it on a Post-It and stick it to their monitor to remind themselves. However, a stranger could then log in to the database from their system without a password, even if the default password has limited rights, so consider this when creating default passwords.

Switch to Layout x
If you would like a user to be automatically taken to a particular layout when a database is launched, like a Main Menu screen, you can check this box and specify a layout. If nothing is selected here, every time you open the database you’ll be brought to the last layout you were on when you last closed the database or you will be brought to a layout specified in an open script.

Perform Script x
If you want FileMaker to automatically run a script (automated routine) when you open a database, check this box and specify the script. Almost every database has an open script because you want to control what the user sees when the database is opened (what layout he or she is taken to first, whether the status area gets locked or turned on or off, the window size, and so on).

The following option has to do with what you want to happen every time you close a particular database.

Perform Script x
If you want FileMaker to automatically run a script (automated routine) when you close a database, check this box and specify the script. You will use close scripts a lot because an open script won’t run when a database is opened via a relationship. It often but not always makes sense to push that open script logic to the end of the session in a close script.

Document Preferences — Spelling
On the next and last Document Preferences tab, you can modify FileMaker’s behavior with regard to automatic spell checking of your records or layouts.

Document Preferences — Spelling.

Document Preferences — Spelling.

Spell Check as You Type
If you want to be notified as you go when you’ve made spelling errors, you can select “Beep on questionable spellings” or “Flash menu bar on questionable spellings,” whichever you prefer. You will probably prefer the less noisy selection.

In either case, you will be alerted just after you finish a word if there is no record of that word in FileMaker’s built-in dictionaries. (Of course, you can always add new words like your last name to your own custom dictionary.) To turn off automatic spell checking as you type, select Off.

Dialog Placement
If you select “Automatic” here, FileMaker will always position the spell check dialog in the bottom center of your screen when you run a spell check. If you select “User defined,” FileMaker remembers the last place you dragged the spelling dialog to when you were last spell checked and will remember to show the spelling dialog in that customized location the next time you spell check.


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