Pictures - File Maker

Pictures digital graphics created in another application can be placed on a layout. The only pictures are on the “go to last record” and “go to previous record” buttons in the lower left corner of the layout. FileMaker supports the most common formats, including JPEG, TIF, PICT, and EPS, among others. To add a graphic to a layout, select Picture from the Insert menu, then locate the picture. Besides the Show/ Hide Preview button (which should be self-explanatory), there’s also a drop-down menu of picture file formats you can use to filter for certain graphic types.

You can copy and paste or even drag and drop a graphic from another application like Photoshop onto a FileMaker layout. Once the graphic is on the layout, it can be stretched and positioned however you like. You can double click the graphic to get the same Graphic Format dialog you would use to format a container field.

In the Insert Picture dialog, note the “Store only a reference to the file” checkbox. If you check this box, FileMaker will not import the graphic itself but just the path to the graphic wherever it lives on the network. Th upside to this is that to update the graphic you only need update the original outside of FileMaker and it will be refreshed automatically anywhere it appears in FileMaker.

Also, choosing this option doesn’t bloat the size of your databases by making them store thousands of bytes worth of graphics. The downside is that if you ever move or rename the original graphic, the graphic will disappear from your database, which is a big problem if that graphic happens to be a key interface element.

Referencing a graphic can also add a bit of delay because FileMaker needs to look for the graphic each time someone views the layout, which can add a few seconds to the screen redraw.

Where to Get Great FileMaker Icons
If you can’t find the right icons in the templates that came with your copy of FileMaker Pro, search the Web for folks who make icons for FileMaker databases.

Don’t overdo it with icons on a layout. One strip of icons used as buttons is probably about enough, with the occasional icon or button located somewhere in the middle of a layout that triggers an important or frequently used event.


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