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 18.104.22.168, you have one database open, and that database has one window displayed.
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:
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
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