The ability to create a table view layout was a welcome addition to FileMaker Pro in version 5. Before this, the closest you could get to a true table view (which looks pretty much like an Excel spreadsheet) was a list view.
The process of creating a table view is essentially the same as creating a detail view. Start a new layout with the New Layout/Report wizard called “Table View” and select Table View in the list of available table types. Next, place the same fields on your table view that you placed on the list view you created earlier, namely CompanyName, Address1, City, State, and Zip, in that order. Finally, select the Soft Gray Screen theme. When prompted, begin by viewing this new table view layout in Layout mode. It will look like this:
What the heck? Where’s the table? This looks like a detail view, not a table view, doesn’t it? Yup, a table view looks like a detail view layout in Layout mode. It would seem the idea is that, since you can’t do anything to the body part of a table view in Layout mode (resize rows or columns, for example), there’s no point in showing you a table view’s grid while in Layout mode. The main thing to know is that the order in which you place fields on a table view in Layout mode (first from top to bottom, then from left to right) is the same order in which, from left to right, the fields will appear on the table view in any other mode.
Now switch into Browse mode and look at your new table view.
You’ll notice a few things right away. First, this looks pretty much like a list view on which you can add or alter data right in the fields of the table. To resize a column, hold your cursor over the right edge of the column head of the column that you want to make wider or thinner. When the cursor turns into a left and right arrow click and drag the right edge of the column head until the column is the size you want.
To move columns, click and drag the column head that you want to move to the left or right. You will see a black vertical bar appear between the columns as you drag the column head left and right indicating where the moved column will be once you release the mouse button. To move more than one column left or right at the same time, SHIFT-click a range of column heads or CONTROL- click / COMMAND-click two or more non-adjacent columns and drag one of the highlighted column heads left or right.
The above is about all you can do to a table view. The other settings available for table view are only available in Layout Setup, which you’ll find under the layout menu or by CONTROL- clicking / right- clicking a layout in Layout mode. We’ll look at the Layout Setup menu next.
Layout Setup is where you can set detailed options for any layout.
The General Tab
On the General tab (shown below) you can name or rename a layout in “Layout Name”; decide whether or not a layout should appear in the layout menu in all modes (leave “Include in layouts menu” unchecked and the layout will only appear in the layout menu in Layout mode); set the number of columns for a layout (used for such things as mailing labels); and set up page margins.
The Views Tab
The Views tab (shown next) allows you to select which views are available to users in Browse and Find mode (form, list, and table view). A view is just a way to format data on the screen: a form view shows only one record per page, a list view shows many records per page (in a scrolling list), and a table view shows data in a scrolling table.
The boxes you check here apply only to the current layout. What does it mean to make a certain type of view available on a layout? If you’ve got a detail view layout, why would you want to allow someone to view that layout as a scrolling list? Well, if someone is on a detail view and they go into the View menu and select View as list, they will be able to scroll down through all records in the found set, seeing detail view after detail view, like this:
The above illustration shows your original Detail View 1 layout, halfway scrolled between two of the records (the arrow cursor is sitting between the two records). You can also view a list view as a form view, where you would only see one record per page, which amounts to just one line showing up on the list view per page. (Usually, you would turn off the ability to view a layout like a list view as anything but a list view to avoid confusing your users.)
Table View Properties
The Table View Properties dialog (shown below) can be accessed by clicking the Properties button on the Views tab. It sets properties for table views.
In the “Grids” section you specify whether to show horizontal or vertical grid lines in the table and, if so, their color and pattern. A solid color (no pattern) is recommended.
The “Header and Parts” section controls how the table appears and its functionality.
Here is a brief run-down of its various options:
Include header part: Allows the header, set in Layout mode, to be seen at the top of the table view.
Include footer part: Allows the footer, set in Layout mode, to be seen at the top of the table view.
Include column headers: Allows the column headers, which contain the names of the fields that each column represents, to be seen at the top of each column.
If you include column headers on the table view, then you may also specify the following options:
Resizable columns: Allows a user to resize a column on the fly by dragging a column head’s right edge left or right.
Reorderable columns: Allows a user to change the order of columns on the fly by selecting one or more column heads and dragging left or right.
Sort data when selecting column: Allows a user to have the records in the found set sorted by a field when selecting the field’s column head. When this option is checked, the first time a user clicks a column head, records will be sorted in ascending order. If the column head is clicked again, the records will resort by that same field in descending order.
The Rows section allows you to set a fixed row height, in inches, centimeters, or pixels.
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