The FileMaker Pro Environment - File Maker

Application Window
Whether you are browsing, editing, previewing, finding, or designing your databases, they will appear in the application window in the Windows environment.

The FileMaker Pro environment.

The FileMaker Pro environment

Database Window
Each database that you open will appear in its own database window.

Status Area
The status area contains some other elements in this list, but is essentially an area of the screen that serves many purposes. Among other things, it shows you how many records are in the database and allows you to navigate through them; it prompts you when you need to click a button to continue a script (also called an automated routine or macro) that is running or choose options when finding records; it tells you the current sort status of the database records; and, in Layout mode, it gives you access to all the tools you use to design and lay out all the screens the user sees like data-entry screens, labels, and reports. The status area can be hidden by clicking the status area control (see the Status Area Control on the following page) and can even be locked away for security reasons.

Menu bar
Depending on what mode you are in, the menu bar gives access to just about all the commands that are available in FileMaker Pro. In browse mode, for instance, the top- level menu items are File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Records, Scripts, Window, and Help. Many menu bar commands can be locked out for security reasons (you may not want some users to be able to create scripts, for example).

Standard toolbar
The standard toolbar allows one-click button access to most of the useful commands which are also available in the menu bar and via shortcut keystrokes.

Available buttons on the standard toolbar will change depending on which mode you are in (Browse, Find, Layout, or Preview). There are also different toolbars available in addition to the standard toolbar, depending on what mode you are in. Toolbars can also be locked away for security or aesthetic reasons.

Mode pop-up menu
Allows for quick switching between the four modes: Browse, Find, Preview, and Layout. Access to certain modes can be taken away via access privileges.

Status Area Control
Turns the status area on and off. If the status area has been locked by a developer, this button will do nothing and be grayed out.

Zoom controls
The zoom in and out buttons (the right and middle buttons) let you zoom into and out of your layouts and allow for a maximum zoom in of 400 percent and a minimum zoom out of 25 percent. The zoom toggle (furthest button to the left) will toggle between the current magnification level and 100 percent zoom. If you are already at 100 percent magnification, the zoom toggle does nothing. Zooming is allowed in any of the four modes and can be locked/disallowed by a developer.

Layout Drop-Down Menu
Allows you to select any accessible layout (entry view, list view, report, and so on) you wish to go to in your database. Some layouts can be hidden from view in Browse, Find, or Preview modes. All layouts will appear in this drop-down menu in Layout mode.

Book and Bookmark
Often referred to as the Rolodex, the book and bookmark allow you to quickly flip through records, layouts, and pages, depending on what mode you are in. In browse mode, clicking on the top or bottom book page will flip backward and forward through records in the found set. In Find mode, it will flip through the current find requests you’ve created, if any. In Preview mode, it will flip through the printable pages that appear just as they will when they roll out of the printer (what you see is what you’ll get), of the current found set of records.

In Layout mode, the book flips through all layouts in the database. The bookmark, by clicking it and dragging it up or down, allows you to quickly move backward and forward between records, requests, pages, or layouts. You can also click the number that appears just below the book and type in a new number to jump directly to that record, request, page, or layout. You know immediately whether or not there is more information available up or down in the book because its top or bottom page will have faux writing on it if there is more information in that direction.

Counts
Just below the gray bar below, you will see a count of the current number of records, requests, pages, or layouts in the database, depending on what mode you’re in. If you are in Browse mode and you have just performed a find on the records in the database, you will also see a count of the found set below the record count, which is the number of records in the subset of records you’ve just isolated by performing a find or by omitting some records.

Sort Status
In browse mode only, if you have sorted the found set of records, by last name or zip code for example, you will see the word “Sorted” below a gray bar below the record count. If the records are not sorted, you will see the word “Unsorted” instead.

Status Bar
Play around with these controls and interface elements until you get comfortable with them. Many of them have shortcut keys that you can find under the menus in the menu bar.

We will refer to useful shortcut keys throughout this (CONTROL- SHIFT- S or COMMAND -OPTION- S, for example, will toggle the status area on and off, assuming it hasn’t been locked by a script). You will find many of these shortcuts to be real time-savers.


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