Chapter 3. Creating a Custom Database

In Part 1, you learned that you can work organically, flowing smoothly from finding, to sorting, and then to editing data as your needs dictate. In Part 2, you’ll learn that FileMaker lets you create databases in a natural order, too. For starters, you’ll create some fields for storing data about your property leasing business, and then you’ll learn how to control layouts so they display data the way you want to see it.


The tutorials in Part 2 serve as a general introduction to database creation. You’ll go through the basics of all the major tasks associated with creating most databases. Later sections go into more detail on the bigger topics, but you’ll get a solid foundation by reading Chapter 3 and so on straight through.

Creating a New Database

When you create a database from scratch, you’ll see both familiar territory and some brand new concepts right away. For example, when you launch a word processing program and then open a new document, you can type a lot of text before you remember to save your document. But when you create a database, you need to give your document a name and some basic structure before you can enter any data. That’s partly because of the automatic saving feature you learned about on Saving a Copy of Your Database. Another reason is that you have to tell FileMaker about the fields you’ll be using to store your data.

Here’s how to get started creating a new database file:

  1. Double-click the FileMaker Pro icon to launch ...

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