As exciting as it is to enter data into a databasewell, the first time anywaychances are you'll also want to look at those records again at some point. In fact, some might say that's the whole point of building a database. But first, you need to learn how to navigate around the records in the database, which this section explains. Fortunately, moving around a database isn't nearly as tough as following maps and highway signs in a foreign country. FileMaker makes it easy to skip from one record to the next, all the while keeping you abreast of where you are.
Tip: As you go through this section on navigating, it helps to have a database open in front of you so you can follow along and try some of these techniques. Since you probably don't have many records in the Contact Management database you just created, there's a sample one for you to download on the "Missing CD" page at www.missingmanuals.com (Section 3.4.5).
1.6.1. Navigating Record by Record
In the Contact Management database, you can add as many records as you want. But you can view only one at a time in the window FileMaker displays. To tell FileMaker which record you want to look at, you have three options:
1.6.2. Keyboard Shortcuts
FileMaker also has a few keyboard shortcuts to make record navigation painless. If you haven't used a database program before, you'll notice that some keys act in ways you might not expectlike the Enter key, as described below. Still, spending a little time getting used to using these keystrokes will save you hours of time down the road.
Finally, bear in mind that you can change these things on a field-by-field basis when you're designing a database, as you'll learn in Chapter 3. For instance, FileMaker lets you decide that Returnnot Tabshould move you from field to field. If you make that choice, Tab types a tab into a field, and Return doesn't insert a blank line. There's unfortunately no way for you to tell which key does what by looking at a fieldyou just have to try some of these keys to find out.
1.6.3. Finding Records
When your database really gains some size, you'll realize that even keyboard shortcuts aren't the fastest way to get to the record you want. You need to tell FileMaker to pull up the record for you. For example, you have a season's ticket holder whose last name is Spinnet and who just renewed her subscription for a year. You need to find her record and make the update, and you don't have all day.
Suppose you have 126 records in your Contact Management database; it could take ages to find the one you want just by clicking the Book icon. Instead, switch to Find mode and tell FileMaker what you're looking for, and the program finds it for you. This section explains how to use Find mode to search for a record or group of records, and how to edit your search if you don't get the results you anticipated. (If you downloaded the example file discussed on Section 1.6.1, you can open it and try out Find mode now.)
You can get to Find mode in four ways:
The Mode pop-up menu, Mode tabs, and View menu all indicate what mode you're currently in. Once you're in Find mode, your window should look like Figure 1-11.
Find mode looks just like Browse mode (where you've spent all your time up until now). The best way to tell that you're in Find mode is to look for clues in the Status area or Mode pop-up menu. Find mode also seems to work the same wayyou can edit data in your fields and add, delete, or navigate through records. But don't be deceived: Find mode is very different from Browse mode.
Note: Another subtle clue indicates you're in Find mode: The borders around fields have a dashed-line appearance when the record is active. In Browse mode, active fields are bordered by a dotted line.
Even though it may seem like you're editing records in Find mode, you're actually notyou're editing requests instead. Requests describe what certain records look like, so FileMaker can find them for you.
|UP TO SPEED
Numbers Sometimes Lie
When you first create a database, FileMaker numbers each new record as you add itwith a record number that appears in the book icon (see Figure 1-10). You may think that this number is a great way to locate a particular record later: "I need to call and wish Mom happy birthday. I remember I put her contact information in record #79. I'll just go to that number." Since record numbers may change as you add and delete records from a database, though, the record number isn't necessarily a reliable way to identify one particular record.
For instance, if you delete the first record in a database, every record below it moves up one slot. Now, what used to be record No. 2 becomes record No. 1, what used to be No. 3 is now No. 2, and so on. Your mom could have a few more candles on the cake before you find her number that way. If you want to assign every record its own number, and have that number stay with the record forever, then you want a serial number. They're discussed in Chapter 3.
You just need to enter enough information to tell FileMaker what you want. It then looks for records that have the same information you entered, much like searches you conduct using other programs.
188.8.131.52. Performing a Find
Say you want to find every person in your Contact Managements database whose last name is Spinnet. Here's what you would do:
Type Spinnet into the Last Name field.
This works just like Browse mode: Simply click to place your cursor in the field and then type. (Remember, you aren't editing a recordyou're editing a request.)
(You can also choose Requests images/U2192.jpg border=0> Perform Find or simply press Enter.)
FileMaker then looks for any records that have "Spinnet" in the Last Name field. If the program doesn't find any, you see the message pictured in Figure 1-12. On the other hand, if FileMaker did find some records, you wind up back in Browse mode, presented with the records FileMaker found. (Technically, these records are called a found set. You'll learn much more about found sets in the next chapter.)
After you perform a find, FileMaker displays the set of records that matched your find request (in this case, all the records with the last name Spinnet). You can see how many records you found by looking at the count in the Status area, as shown in Figure 1-13.
Although you're in Browse mode, you can't look through every record in the databasejust the ones FileMaker found.
Tip: If your find didn't come out exactly the way you wanted, don't just return to Find mode. If you do, you'll have an empty request, and have to start all over again. Instead, choose Records Modify Last Find, which takes you to Find mode and displays the request you used last. Now you can simply make any necessary modifications and perform the find again.
GEM IN THE ROUGH
Don't Forget You're in Find Mode
Find mode looks so much like Browse mode that it's easy to forget which mode you're in. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can be a real drag if you think you're in Browse mode and you start entering data. Since find requests look a lot like records, you can make quite a bit of progress entering records and never realize your mistake. When you finally do figure it out, it's a rude awakening: None of the requests you've just entered can be turned into real records; you must re-enter them all in Browse mode.
Luckily, FileMaker is nice enough to give you a warning if it thinks you might be confused. If you create more than ten find requests while in Find mode, FileMaker shows this message. If you were entering data in Find mode by mistake (at least you're finding out now, not after you've typed for three hours), just click No, switch to Browse mode, and start over with your data entry. If you know you're in Find mode, and you really want to add all these requests, just click Yes. FileMaker won't bother you again.
Say you need a list of everybody in the Contact Management file who has an email address from Hogwarts School. Flip to any record with a Hogwarts.ac.uk email address. Drag to select the word "hogwarts." You can do the whole Hogwarts.ac.uk if you're feeling vigorous, but "hogwarts" is enough to find the records you need. Right-click the highlighted text (Control-click on the Mac).
From the shortcut menu that pops up, select "Find Matching Records (Figure 1-14)." Bam! FileMaker shows you a found set of all your Hogwarts email contacts.
Part I: Introduction to FileMaker Pro
Your First Database
Organizing and Editing Records
Building a New Database
Part II: Layout Basics
Advanced Layouts and Reports
Part III: Multiple Tables and Relationships
Multiple Tables and Relationships
Advanced Relationship Techniques
Part IV: Calculations
Introduction to Calculations
Calculations and Data Types
Part V: Scripting
Part VI: Security and Integration
Exporting and Importing
Sharing Your Database
Part VII: Appendixes
Appendix A. Getting Help