Layout Menu - File Maker

Now let’s look at the various items on the Layout menu that affect the creation and manipulation of layouts.

New Layout/Report
When you select this menu item, you will be taken through the same layout creation wizard you used when creating your detail view and other layouts. You can also create new layouts by typing CONTROL- N/ COMMAND-N.

Duplicate Layout
This option duplicates the current layout. It will append “Copy” to the layout name (you can rename it later) and add the duplicated layout to the end of the list of layouts. This is handy if you are creating many similar layouts in a row, like a series of reports.

Delete Layout
This option deletes the current layout. Be careful because there is no undo and you can’t revert to the last saved version. Deleting a layout is instantly permanent.

Layout Setup
Use Layout Setup to adjust the way a layout appears, as discussed earlier in the section on creating and using table views.

Part Setup
Use Part Setup to create, modify, and arrange layout parts, as discussed earlier in the section on creating and using summary reports.

Set Layout Order
This dialog (shown below) allows you to change the order in which layouts appear in the layout drop-down menu at the top of the status area. To move a layout up or down in the list, click it, then drag it up or down in the list.

Set Layout Order

You can also control whether a layout appears at all in the layout drop downmenu by removing or adding the check next to the layout’s name by clicking just to the left of the layout’s name or highlighting a layout in the list and checking the “Include in layouts menu” box. You may wish to keep certain layouts out of this list if they will not be used daily, and if the layout selector list is getting too long.

Set Tab Order
This option (shown below) modifies the current tab order or creates a new tab order from scratch. The tab order of a layout is the order in which a user will be taken by pressing the TAB key from field to field to enter data into a record.

Set Tab Order

After selecting this menu item, any fields on the layout are labeled with arrow boxes showing the current tab order. If fields overlap, the arrows will overlap as well, making it difficult to set the tab order for the overlapped field. (If so, move some of the overlapped fields temporarily so that the arrows don’t overlap.)

To start over with a new tab order, click the “Create new tab order” radio button in the Set Tab Order dialog. Then start clicking the little arrow-shaped white tab order boxes on the layout to set the tab order numbers. (You can also click into these boxes and set your own numbers.)

To leave a field out of the tab order (if it will not be part of the usual data entry scheme) remove the number from the arrow to the left of the field. When you click OK in the Set Tab Order dialog, you will see a message asking if you really want to leave some of the fields out of the tab order, and you can click Omit.

The default tab order proceeds from left to right and from top to bottom, starting from the upper left corner of the fields. You can return to this default order by choosing the Set Tab Order option and clicking “Revert to Default.”

Set Rulers
The default setting for this menu item is for rulers to show measurements in pixels. Because screens are measured in pixels, this is often the best setting for screen layout work. Changing this setting to inches or centimeters, though, often helps for print layout work.

In designing your layouts, you or your designer may decide upon a grid unit to assist in structuring your layouts. In FileMaker, the object grid is a system of evenly spaced horizontal and vertical dashed lines that appears in Layout mode. (You can show or hide the grid under the View menu by selecting Ruler Lines.)

Layout objects snap to the grid as you drag them around the layout, if the grid is turned on (under the Arrange Menu). The grid can help calm and unify your layouts, by creating a consistent expectation for users who work in Layout mode as to where layout objects will appear. The Set Rulers menu item lets you control the spacing of that grid.

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