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FileMaker Pro 9: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser, Geoff Coffey

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Chapter 5. Creating Layouts

The last chapter introduced a lot of layout concepts, but you worked on only one layout. Most databases use many layouts, each designed for a different task. Your People database has a great detail layout, but what else could it use? For starters, a neatly arranged list of people would be nice. And how about a way to print mailing labels? You probably have some ideas about what you'd like your database to do, and FileMaker itself has some ideas of its own to help you along.

In this chapter, you'll learn the two main ways of designing and implementing your own layouts in FileMaker. You can create a unique new layout from scratch, in case you want to print all your worldly information on index cards (you know who you are). Or, if your needs are more down-to-earth, you can let a layout assistant save you some time. Just answer a few questions, and the assistant plugs your answers into standard forms like mailing labels. You'll also learn about special FileMaker layouts called reports, which sort, filter, or summarize your data before presenting it.

The Lowdown on Layouts

Although you can create an infinite variety of layouts in FileMaker, they all boil down to a few basic types. You get a chance to try each of them as you proceed through this chapter. Here's a brief overview of each.

Standard Form

The "Standard form" choice creates a layout just like the one FileMaker creates automatically when you start your database—a simple detail layout (see Field Types

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