Opening and Closing Database Files

Each database you create with FileMaker Pro is stored in a file on your hard drivejust like your Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and all the PowerPoint presentations you've ever created. This file contains all the information about how the database is structured, plus all the information stored inside it, which means you can open, close, copy, or back up a database as you would any other file. But if you need a bit more explanation, this section explains how to do those tasks, including some quirks that are particular to FileMaker files.

1.3.1. Opening a Database

To open a database that already exists, open FileMaker Pro and choose File Open Database. Now select the file you want to work with (Figure 1-6). If you prefer, you can find the file using Windows Explorer (Windows) or the Finder (Mac OS X) and double-click its icon.

When you open a database, you'll see one or more windows on your screen. If you've opened the Contact Management Template you created on Section, you have one database open, and that database has one window displayed.

Figure 1-6. When you choose File Open, you see the standard dialog box that lets you find the file you need. A drop-down menu lets you choose the specific type of file youre interested in opening. (As you can see, FileMaker can handle more than just its own files. You'll learn more about that in Chapter 17.)


1.3.2. Closing a Database

To close a database, close all of its windows in FileMaker: Choose File Close or press Ctrl-W ("images/command.jpg">-W) When you have more than one database open, it isn't always easy to tell which windows go with each database.

If you're not sure what to close, there's an easy way to close all the windows in all the databases you currently have open. Hold down the Alt key (Windows) or the Option key (Mac), then click the trusty File menu. In place of the Close command, you'll see the more powerful Close All. Choose it and FileMaker closes all its open windows, which also closes all your open databases.

The Other New Database Dialog Box

If you don't see the box pictured in Figure 1-4 when you choose File New Database, you may have told FileMaker to stop showing it to you (probably by turning on the "No longer show this dialog checkbox also shown in that figure). To get the template-filled box back, follow these steps:

  1. Click Cancel in the dialog box that did appear, if you haven't already. The imposter window goes away.
  2. If you're on Mac OS X, choose FileMaker Pro Preferences. If youre on Windows, choose Edit Preferences. The Application Preferences dialog box appears automatically, with the General tab in front by. At this point, you can change a handful of settings that apply to the FileMaker Pro program itself.
  1. Click OK. Bye-bye preferences.
  2. Choose File New Database again. Now the New Database window shows the full complement of templates.

every time you make a new database. Instead, just follow the steps above, but turn "Show templates in New Database dialog box" off. Now, when you choose File New Database youll see the template-free "Create a new empty file named" dialog box right away.

Part I: Introduction to FileMaker Pro

Your First Database

Organizing and Editing Records

Building a New Database

Part II: Layout Basics

Layout Basics

Creating Layouts

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

Advanced Calculations

Extending Calculations

Part V: Scripting

Scripting Basics

Script Steps

Advanced Scripting

Part VI: Security and Integration


Exporting and Importing

Sharing Your Database

Developer Utilities

Part VII: Appendixes

Appendix A. Getting Help

FileMaker Pro 8. The Missing Manual
FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596005792
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 176 © 2008-2020.
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