FileMaker is a rapid application development (RAD) tool. As with any tool, how "rapid" it really is depends to a great degree on a developers mastery of the tool. Its one thing to know how to get something doneanother to know how to get it done quickly. There are many aspects to knowing how to work quickly in FileMaker, from using the new Copy Table/Field/Script step commands in FileMaker 8 Advanced, to using custom functions and script parameters to abstract and automate frequently used logic. But we have also observed over the years that the fastest users of the tool tend to be those who also make fairly heavy use of keyboard shortcuts.
Like any modern software application, FileMaker has many keyboard shortcuts hidden under the hoodprobably about 400 by our count, though that number is not exact. Of those, wed list a couple dozen or so as being critical to working quickly in FileMaker, and perhaps another dozen as very desirable to master.
This chapter is divided into two broad areas. In the first, we examine a number of important areas of FileMaker development and discuss the shortcuts we feel are most important in each area. The second section is a comprehensive listing of keyboard shortcuts for menu items.
With the arrival of FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced and its Custom Menus feature, its possible to alter the landscape of FileMaker keyboard shortcuts almost beyond recognition. Its for this reason that the About FileMaker dialog box now includes the words Custom Menus Active in the Info section if you e working in a file that has a custom menu set active. (If you e trying to provide phone help to someone, and their copy of FileMaker doesn respond to "normal" commands, you can have them check this dialog to see whether custom menus may be in effect.) So just be advised that all information in this chapter assumes the standard FileMaker menu set is in effect.