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FileMaker Pro 12: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser, Stuart Gripman

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Chapter 7. Layout Mechanics

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 all the components 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 Types

When you created the List layout in Chapter 3, you used FileMaker’s Layout Assistant to speed the process along, but FileMaker fans are split on whether the assistant is the best option. Some people love the quick start you get from FileMaker, but others prefer to build a layout by hand, starting with a clean slate.

But whatever your preference, the Layout Assistant is critical for some layout types—like labels and envelopes—where lining everything up yourself can burn a lot of hours (and paper). So before you start building a layout, the following pages give you a brief introduction to each of the kinds of layouts FileMaker can build for you. To use them, ...

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