Replicating Objects - File Maker

Now you’ll learn a few of the timesaving mouse and keyboard tricks you can use to create, duplicate, and stylize objects on a layout.

  • Select all like objects on a layout with CONTROL- SHIFT /COMMAND -OPTION -A. First, select a layout object by clicking it and then press this combination. All like objects on the layout are selected. You can now format or move them en masse.
  • Set the default styles for selected objects with CONTROL- SHIFT /COMMANDOPTION- click. While holding down this key combination and clicking a layout object you are setting the default styles of all future objects to the styles of the object you’re clicking. For instance, hold this key combination and click a field that has a red fill and is set to a 72-point Comic font and all future fields created using the field tool or otherwise will also have this default style and effects applied to it.
  • Create an instant copy of an object with CONTROL- drag/ COMMAND- drag. While holding down this key and dragging a layout object, you get an instant copy of that object. If you CONTROL- drag/ COMMAND- drag a field, the Specify Field dialog will come up, allowing you to quickly pick the new field. This is much faster and more precise than copy/paste.
  • Temporarily disable the object grid with COMMAND /ALT. While holding down this key you can temporarily disable the object grid for precise object sizing or arranging.
  • Select objects within a certain area with CONTROL- SHIFT /COMMAND- OPTION drag. While holding down these keys and dragging the cursor diagonally across a layout (the initial click must not start on a moveable object), any object that falls even partially within the area you drag around will become selected.
  • Select multiple objects with SHIFT-click. Using SHIFT-click you can select multiple individual objects at the same time.Now use these shortcuts while adding some fields to a layout!

Replicating Object Formats
You can use Format Painter, which is new in FileMaker Pro 6, to quickly copy the format of a field or other layout object from one object to another. For example, you can use it to give several fields on one layout the same font, font style, point size, field borders, and background color as a field on another layout in a different database with only a few clicks.

  1. Navigate to any layout in any database and go into Layout mode.
  2. Make sure that the Standard toolbar is turned on using the Format >
  3. Toolbars > Standard menu item, then click any layout object like a field.
  4. Click the Format Painter (paint brush) icon on the Standard toolbar (it’s to the right of the Paste icon and to the left of the Undo icon). The Format Painter is also available under the Format menu. The pointer will turn into a pointer with a paintbrush attached to it.
  5. Now click any other layout object that’s formatted differently than the first one you clicked (with a different font, background color, and such). The second object will instantly be “painted” with the formatting of the first object.

Once you’ve selected the object from which you want to copy the format, you can double-click the Format Painter icon to lock the tool and then rapidly click multiple objects in rapid succession, applying the formatting to each. You can also apply formats to multiple objects by dragging your cursor around all of the ones you want to change.

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