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FileMaker Pro 11: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser, Stuart Gripman

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Chapter 7. Layout Tools

In Chapter 3, you learned how easy it is to lay out a database using FileMaker’s tools. You can start out with one of the program’s Starter Solutions, and then customize it by moving your fields around, adding text, lines, and other fancy stuff. In this chapter, you’ll delve deeper into the individual parts that make up a FileMaker layout.

By putting these parts together, you can build your own layout from the ground up. It takes longer—in some cases, a lot longer—than using a Starter Solution, but you get to pick your own fonts, colors, fields, and overall arrangement unencumbered by anyone else’s work. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to assemble layout parts; create field controls, like drop-down menus and date pickers; make your own buttons; and format fields exactly the way you want them.

Layout Parts

A layout is made up of one or more parts, each of which define how and where your data gets displayed. The Body part controls how much space to devote to each record. In Form view the Body part is usually fairly tall, so it can display fields from the same record from top to bottom. But in a list the Body will be quite short, because it generally only displays one row of fields per record. So while switching from Form to List view can help you see data in a slightly different form, it makes sense to create a list-specific layout with a very short Body part so you can see more records onscreen at a time that you could see using a layout with a large Body. ...

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