Layout Conventions - File Maker

The following conventions deal with how to name and arrange layouts.

Naming Conventions
First you’ll learn the naming conventions.

Name layouts using a brief, descriptive word or two such as Sales Report or Find View. While naming more than one layout the exact same thing is allowed, it generally should not be done (except for divider layouts, obviously). Give each layout a unique name.

You should only use the ASCII 32–126 characters when naming layouts. Spaces are also okay in layouts. The reason for this is, if you need to reference a layout when sharing a database on the Web, you usually use a separate layout optimized for the Web and that layout shouldn’t have spaces in its name (use only the letters a–z, A–Z, or the numbers 0–9 for Web layouts).

Also, users often have access to the layout menu and it’s more user-friendly to see spaces between words in layout names such as Detail View or List View or Annual Sales Report #2, as opposed to something like SpecialLayoutForFindingCustomers.

Other Conventions
Organize your layouts in an intelligent and logical way. For example, keep all screen views together, all reports together, and all developer layouts together. And don’t show any internal or developer layouts in the layout menu if users have access to that menu.

The general look and feel of layouts in any given database should be consistent across the database and, usually, across the whole database system. Buttons should look the same, you should use the same color scheme, you should use the same fonts (and only two to three different ones per layout), and standard items should appear in the same place (navigational buttons, portals, and so on).

Do not use layouts that mimic a dialog box. You can use FileMaker script steps, plug-ins, and AppleScript to create “true” dialogs.

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