2.9. Printing and Preview Mode
All this talk about the wonders of an
database may leave you thinking FileMaker has nothing to do with paper, but that's not true. It's a
fact of life that eventually you'll need to put your data on paper. You might want mailing labels for all your customers in Canada, or a special printed form prefilled with patient information for insurance filing. Sometimes you just need your data with you when you're away from your computer. As you'll learn in Part 2, you can arrange the data any way you want in FileMaker, and make certain
that are particularly suitable for printing. But for now, remember that FileMaker lets you print
you see onscreen (just choose File
Print). Its Print dialog box has a few special options, as shown in Figure 2-25. (In Mac OS X, you have to choose FileMaker Pro from the pop-up menu to see them.)
FileMaker's Print dialog box gives you all the Windows (right) or Mac OS X (left) standard options, depending on what kind of computer and printer you're using. It also lets you decide which records you want to print (every record in the found set, or just the current record). To see the FileMaker-specific options on Mac OS X, you first have to select FileMaker from the unlabeled pop-up menu in the Print dialog box.
Records being browsed
FileMaker to print every record in the found set (Section 188.8.131.52). If you want to print all your Canadian customers, choose this option.
will print just the current record, which comes in handy when you just want to print
thing: your doctor's contact information to keep in the car, perhaps, or maybe Aunt Edna's candied yams recipe.
Blank record, showing fields
causes FileMaker to print what's onscreen with no data at all. You can change the look of each field to a box or an underline if you want (just pick your choice from the pop-up menu shown in Figure 2-25). You would choose this option if you wanted to hand out pages for people to fill out with a pen (it's a kind of antique writing device), and later type their responses into the real database.
To see how the printout is going to look without committing trees to it, you can use
(Figure 2-26). You access Preview mode via the View menu, the Mode pop-up menu, or the Mode tabs.
Preview mode shows you what your database looks like as though it were printed on paper. For instance, you can see whether FileMaker's going to chop any information off to fit on the page (anything beyond the width of the page simply isn't printed). Preview mode also indicates the margins and lets you flip through the file page by page using the Book icon.
In Preview mode, FileMaker reveals how your data will look when printed. You can't edit records in Preview modeonly view them. Also, the Book icon moves you a page at a time, instead of one record at a time, and the status area shows you the current page (not record) number and the total page count. The gray border around the page displays your page margin.
When you first go to Preview mode, the page count says "?" instead of the number of pages. FileMaker actually doesn't know how many pages it's going to print until you force it to count them. To do so, just drag the Record Slider all the way to the right, which tells FileMaker you want to see the last page. On its way there, FileMaker counts the pages, too. The process may take some time but FileMaker will catch up eventually.
All the standard page-setup options (Section 2.9) affect what you see in Preview mode. For example, if you change the paper orientation, Preview mode reflects the change right away. On some computers and printers, you can reduce the printout by a percentage.
When you reduce or enlarge in the Page Setup dialog box, Preview mode shows the page proportionately larger or smaller so you can see how the content area will fit on the page. (Which of these options are available to you depends upon the computer, operating system, and printer you're using.) The Zoom controls (Section 184.108.40.206) work in Preview mode, too. If the full page is too big to fit on your screen, just zoom out a bit to see the whole thing.