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FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser, Geoff Coffey

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Chapter 6. Advanced Layouts and Reports

Believe it or not, Layout mode has even more tricks up its sleeve. In the last couple of chapters, you’ve learned how to use the basic layout tools to position fields, create text labels, add graphics, and more. You’ve experienced stress-free layout creation with the layout assistant and seen reports in action. You even know how to design full-fledged layouts from the ground up.

Now, you’re ready to learn the more advanced layout concepts: controlling how fields look and act, and adding buttons to perform customized tasks. You’ll also learn how to develop massively powerful reports by using summary and sub-summary parts to add groups, subtotals, and grand totals.

Setting up Field Controls

You flirted a bit with the Field/Control Setup dialog box in Chapter 4, when turning the Goodness Rating field into a pop-up menu (Section 3.4). Fields can be more than pop-up menus, though. The six main field styles are Edit Box, Drop-down List, Pop-up Menu, Checkbox Set, Radio Button Set, and Drop-down Calendar.

Each style (except Edit Box and Drop-down Calendar) lets you associate a value list with the field. Value lists limit the information you enter to a few, frequently used terms, numbers, dates or times. Using a value list, you can then easily enter a value from the value list into the field. You tell FileMaker how you want these choices presented, by selecting one of the field control styles.

Using a value list–based field control helps in two ways. First, ...

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