In this video, learn the basic elements that make up the user interface in FileMaker Pro.
- [Instructor] So you've installed FileMaker, you've taken a quick look at the preferences, and if you've never worked with FileMaker before this is going to be the last stop before we start actually building apps. I want to take you on a quick tour of the interface, which is really vital for anybody that hasn't used FileMaker before. If you have, you can just skip over on to the next chapter. But if you're unfamiliar, let me give you a quick tour where everything is. So first of all, the area on the top of the screen is what we refer to as the status area. And the status area section is broken into the status toolbar, which you see is the top part of it, and in this section we can find out information about records like you see in the upper left hand corner. I don't have any records in this sample app right now, otherwise we would see the number of records and when we get into later chapters on doing finds in FileMaker, we'll see that we'll be able to determine the found set versus the total number of records that are stored. We'll save that conversation for that chapter. But you can also control whether or not you reset the found set or show all records in the Show All button. You can create new records and delete records, or at least one of the ways that you can do that is either in the status area or the corresponding quick keys or menu options that'll do the same. You can enter find mode by clicking on the Find button. We'll talk about that in a later chapter. And when you have a found set of data, you'll be able to sort or reorder them as you wish. Now the bottom section is the layout bar that you see here. That allows you to navigate from layout to layout, although I will tell you that it's probably better to create buttons with script actions assigned to them to help your users navigate around rather than to have to rely on the dropdown that you see for the layout bar. But you have different ways to control things like views, form view, list view, and table view. Those are also found here under the View menu. And then you can enter two different modes. You've got preview mode here, and then layout mode over here. But before we get to those, I want to show you the last part of the status toolbar area in browse mode, and that is the formatting bar. You don't see the formatting bar? Just click on the icon here, and that'll pop up the fonts and styles so that when you're selecting any text that's inside of fields in your database, you can change them as you wish. So FileMaker allows you to change the font in a certain record or field, and that way you don't have to change all the records. You can just kind of select one piece of data and make it red, or bold, or whatever it is that you want to do. Before we look at the other views, I want to show you how you can customize these toolbars, and that goes for browse mode, which we're in right now. So first to establish what browse mode is. This is the mode that's the default mode, this is where you're working with data, editing it or just looking at it, and right now the status toolbar that you see is the browse mode status toolbar, but I can change it if I'd like to by right clicking or going under the View menu and choosing Customize Status Toolbar, and I can put all sorts of different buttons on here, different functionality, keeping in mind that these will only show up on my version of the application. This will not travel along with the custom app. So as you get more familiar with FileMaker, you might want to add some of your own icons and text as you see fit, but again just keep in mind that'll just be changing your work environment. So quickly looking at the other modes just so you're familiar with them, preview mode is meant to give you a preview of what something's going to to look like when it prints. You'll notice across the top of the screen, you still have some actions that you can do here. You can save whatever you're viewing in preview mode as Excel or a PDF, or you can print it or do a page setup. So that's really meant for your users or for you to see what something's going to look like before you print it. Also find mode, you'll notice by clicking on Find or going under View and Find, or using the corresponding quick keys, will get us to find mode. So find mode looks exactly like browse mode does except that none of the fields have any data in them and your users will be able to click into the fields and put in search criteria. We'll cover that in Finding Data later in this course, but I just wanted to show you how you get into that mode. You can get out of that mode by hitting Cancel Find. Now you can also get into layout mode by selecting Edit Layout, or you can also go under View to Layout Mode or use the corresponding quick keys. Layout mode is where all the designing happens. The first thing you'll notice when you're in layout mode is there's no data, it's just all the layout objects and all the tools for you to be able to design what the interface is going to look like. You'll also notice that in FileMaker 17, that you have these new panes. So this is functionality that was in previous versions, but now they're embedded into your layout view to make it easier for you to be able to manipulate the design of your layouts. If you don't see either of these panes, just go in the upper right hand corner where you can show or hide the different panes. On the left pane, it's a combination of what used to be the field picker and the layout objects window, now embedded together in what's called the Fields tab. So you can get access to all your fields, drag them onto a layout if you want to, or you can work with the objects and the z-order of the objects, and we'll talk about those in upcoming chapters. And on the right hand side you see the inspector pane. This used to be a floating window and you can still open up a new inspector if you want to and have that float around if you'd like. We'll talk extensively about the functionality in the inspector pane when we get into the chapters on layouts. So really it's just important to know how you can navigate around from browse, find, layout, and preview mode and to know where everything is, so that when we cover creating your applications in upcoming movies, you'll be familiar with how to navigate to each one of the modes. So now that we're familiar with where everything is on screen and where we can find it, it's actually time to start using some of these tools by creating some FileMaker custom apps.
- What is a database?
- Getting to know the FileMaker interface
- Using starter apps
- Creating tables
- Defining fields
- Using container fields
- Creating, editing, and deleting records
- Importing and exporting data
- Building layouts
- Applying themes to layouts
- Searching for data
- Sorting data
- Creating reports
- Performing calculations with functions
- Creating scripts
- Using new features in FileMaker 18