What Is a Layout ? - File Maker

Simply put, a layout is a view into your data. A layout can be a simple screen where a data entry clerk types names and addresses into the database or it can be a list of every single record in the database. A layout can look like a table or an Excellike grid. A layout can also be a complicated summary report that gives you, for instance, a company’s sales totals for a given year, sub-summarized by (or “broken” on) country, state, city, and sales rep.

A layout itself can be divided, top to bottom, into many different layout parts, including several different types of headers and footers, a body, and summary parts. Layout parts affect the way data is displayed or summarized on the layout and on printouts generated from layouts.

For example, information in a header layout part appears on every page of a printout (printed layout), while information or data in a title header layout part appears only at the top of the first (title) page of a printout. You will learn the many features and uses for different layout parts shortly, when you begin building some layouts.

Everything that you put on a layout is called an object. An object can be any number of things including fields, text blocks, buttons, shapes, lines, graphics, or portals. Besides fields, all objects essentially exist to create the look and feel of a layout, to give the layout meaning to a user, to add functionality as in the case of buttons or portals, or to organize and separate data on the screen or on printed reports. For example, you might put the words “Data Entry” in bold letters at the top of a layout to mark the layout as the one to use when creating new records in a database by tabbing through fields to fill them with data. Or you could put a big gray box around the phone, fax, and email fields in a contacts database to set these “methods of communication” fields off from other fields so that anyone wanting to get in touch with a contact in the database could do so quickly by scanning the fields inside this gray box. Or, you might insert a horizontal line between the lines of a summary report.

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