Working with Records - File Maker

Here you’ll learn how to add, duplicate, and delete a record in a database or related database.

Adding a Record
In order to add a company record to the database make sure you are in browse mode (CONTROL- B/ COMMAND-B) then press CONTROL-N /COMMAND-N or select New Record from the Records menu. A new blank record will be created, and your cursor will be in the first field in the tab order, in this case the Company [Name] field, where you can start entering data. Type a fictitious company name, then press TAB, and you’ll be taken to the next field in the tab order, where you can enter the street address data in the Address1 field, and so on.

Duplicating a Record
It is often useful to create a record based on another record in the database, especially if the data in a majority of the fields in the existing record is the same as the data to be entered in the new record. For example, when creating records for many contacts at the same company, many will use the same mailing address, main switchboard phone number, and so on. By duplicating an existing record you save yourself data entry time.

To duplicate a record, find the record you want to duplicate and type CONTROL-D /COMMAND-D (or use the Records menu). A new record will be created in the found set of the current database, which looks identical to the record that was just duplicated.

New or duplicated records will appear at a different place in the found set depending on whether the current found set of records is sorted. If the records are currently sorted, a new or duplicated record will appear immediately after the current record in the found set and the found set will become “semi-sorted.”

If the found set is not sorted at the time of new or duplicate record creation, the new or duplicate record will appear as the last record in the current found set.

Duplicating a record in one database does not duplicate any of that record’s related records. For instance, when duplicating a company record in Company.fp5 FileMaker doesn’t go out and duplicate any of that company’s contacts and attach them to the newly duplicated company record. In most cases, this also is a good thing, as the contacts for one company are usually unique to that company and should not be attached to a new company record. However, sometimes you do want to duplicate a record and bring some or all of its related records with it, as in the case of an invoice or quote and its related line items.

Deleting a Record
To delete the current record, press CONTROL-E/COMMAND-E or select Delete Record from the Records menu. To delete all records in the current found set, select Delete All Records from the Records menu.

For all practical purposes, deleting a record in FileMaker Pro cannot be undone. Once you delete a record it is gone forever, and if any relationships allow the deletion of related records when the master record is deleted, the related records will be gone forever as well. However, depending on your memory settings in Application Preferences, you may be able to quick force quit FileMaker Pro before the deletion is saved to disk, in an attempt to prevent deletion, though this could corrupt any open database beyond repair and could affect other users on the network if you force-quit as the host with other people logged on to your database. The best plan is to allow only certain users to delete records or else to turn off record deletion for all users via Access Privileges. An admin can always come into the database from time to time and get rid of records “marked for deletion” by users using a field called DeleteMark. Another good policy is to regularly make backup copies of your database to some type of removable media so that you’ll always have safe copies of your databases in case some catastrophe should befall its primary copy.

From the Field: Navigate Records and Fields Using Your Voice!
You should be well aware by now of how to navigate records using the keyboard and mouse. But did you know you can navigate through FileMaker with your voice, too? You can!

The company MacSpeech makes a product called iListen, a powerful and popular dictation and voice recognition application for Macs only. MacSpeech also makes plug-ins for iListen, called ScriptPaks. In general, the plug-ins extend the functions of iListen by mapping application-specific keyboard shortcuts and menu commands to voice commands. In FileMaker’s case, it allows you can do all kinds of things from setting data alignment to navigating between layouts to duplicating records. This product is a must-have for those of you who need to add hands-free operation and navigation to your database system.


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