Sometimes you put lots of information in a field. For example, suppose you decide to keep track of all your correspondence with your customers. You might make a database to store letters and emails so you can search them or print them out, as needed. In a database like this, you usually end up typing (or pasting) long blocks of text into a field, where you need to control more than just the font, size, style, and color.
2.6.1. Align Text
Text alignment is perhaps the most important aspect of your document's appearance. You can have text rigidly justified on both right and left, or with a loose right margin for a more casual look. If you use FileMaker to send party invitations to your contacts, you can use centered alignment for an attractive, social look. People may not think about text alignment much, but it really sets the whole tone of a document. FileMaker puts these settings right on the Format menu.
The Format images/U2192.jpg border=0> Align Text menu offers four useful choices:
Note: The Format Align Text menu also has three perpetually disabled items: Top, Center, and Bottom. These items control vertical alignment of the text within the field. The reason they're gray is that you can choose them only when you're designing your layouts (Chapter 4), not when you're entering data.
2.6.2. Line Spacing
Format Line Spacing lets you single- or double-space the text. Text is singlespaced normally, and if you choose Double instead, FileMaker spreads out your lines of text, giving them a little breathing room. This menu also has a Custom option, which is primarily just a shortcut to the Paragraph dialog box. As youll learn on Section 2.6.4, you can use the Paragraph dialog box to control several aspects of text formattingincluding more fine-grained control of line spacing.
Note: Unlike the other format options, alignment and line spacing apply to an entire paragraph, not just the selected text.
2.6.3. The Text Ruler
A FileMaker field is much more than a mere container for plain text. Like a mini word processor, you can set left and right indents and FileMaker makes sure your text stays between them. You can even set a first-line indent so the first line of each paragraph is automatically indented a little more (or less) than the rest of the text. Finally, you have complete control over tab stops: where they are and which direction the text goes when you tab to them.
The Text Ruler (View Text Ruler) lets you set indents and tab stops for instant visual gratification. The ruler has an arrow icon for the Left, Right, and First Line indent settings (Figure 2-16), which you just drag to the spot on the ruler where you want the indent set. (For greater precision, you can also set indents in the Paragraph dialog box, as discussed in the next section.) Youll learn how to set tab stops on Section 22.214.171.124.
When you turn on the Text Ruler, FileMaker adds a space along the top of the window to hold the ruler. When you're in a field, the ruler itself appears in the portion of this space that is directly above the field, with the zero point on the ruler lined up with the left edge of the field. (When you're not in a field, the ruler just measures the width of the content area.)
2.6.4. Detailed Formatting in the Paragraph Box
This multitalented window offers three groups of settings: Alignment, Line Spacing, and Indents. You can get to the Paragraph dialog box in one of two ways. Either choose Format images/U2192.jpg border=0> Line Spacing images/U2192.jpg border=0> Custom, or choose Format images/U2192.jpg border=0> Text and then click Paragraph. The dialog box opens, as shown in Figure 2-17.
Warning: When you click Paragraph in the Text Format dialog box, FileMaker immediately applies any formatting settings you've made. To avoid unintentional reformatting, make sure you don't have any text selected when you choose Format Text. (Better yet, bypass the Text Format dialog box altogether by choosing Format images/U2192.jpg border=0> Line Spacing images/U2192.jpg border=0> Custom instead.)
When your text is positioned and aligned just the way you want it, you have two options: Click OK to make the changes and close the Paragraph dialog box, or click Apply to inspect your changes so far. The Apply button leaves the Paragraph box open, so you can peek at your database window and see how it looks, then continue tweaking. Click OK when you're satisfied.
Since a field can hold just about any kind of text, you might eventually need to use tab stops within a field. For example, you could have a nice large field into which you paste rows of text from a spreadsheet. To make things line up properly, you can set tab stops for each column of text. To move the insertion point to the next tab, press Ctrl-Tab (Option-Tab). This is a special keystroke, obviously, because in FileMaker pressing Tab jumps you to the next field. See Section 6.4 to learn how Field Controls make plain old tabs work the way you're used to.
Like most word processing programs, FileMaker provides two ways to create tab stops: the Text Ruler described on Section 2.6.2, and the Tabs dialog box.
126.96.36.199. Setting tabs in the Text Ruler
To insert a new tab stop, simply click anywhere in the ruler. A small right-pointing arrow appears where you clicked, representing a left tab stop. (The arrow shows you what direction text will go when you start typing.) FileMaker also supports other kinds of tab stops, but to get them, you have to visit the Tabs dialog box, described next.
In the pictures shown here, the Indent options are specified in Inches (you see "in" next to each text box). FileMaker actually has a setting for the unit used here and other places. FileMaker comes factory-set to inches, but it's nothing if not flexible. You can use inches, centimeters, or pixelsthe choice is yours. If you're used to the Metric system, by all means tell FileMaker to use centimeters. Or choose pixels for really precise control over text positioning. Here's how to change how FileMaker displays measurements:
If the Paragraph dialog box is open, click Cancel. The remainder of these steps will work only if your database's main window is in front.
188.8.131.52. Setting tabs in the Tabs dialog box
The Tabs dialog box is a laborious way of setting tabs, but it gives you more options because you can control all aspects of each tab stop manually. Here's the drill:
The Paragraph dialog box makes its entrance.
Ta-da! You found the Tabs dialog box (Figure 2-18).
Note: If the Text Ruler is showing (Figure 2-19), you can get to the Tabs dialog box quickly. Just double-click any tab stop in the ruler. The Tabs dialog box opens with the clicked tab preselected.
To make a new tab stop, simply select the appropriate options as described below, and then click New. A new entry will appear in the list named after the Position you specified. You can create up to 20 tab stops, after which the New button becomes disabled. If you try to add a tab stop at a position where one already exists, the new stop simply replaces the old one.
184.108.40.206. Editing tab stops in the Tabs dialog box
Once you've created tab stops, you can change them anytime using the same Tabs dialog box. Select a Tab stop in the list to see its settings. The Type radio buttons, as well as the Position and Fill Character fields, change to reveal the settings for the selected stop. To change them, modify the values in any way, then click Set. To delete the selected tab stop, click Clear.
Finally, you've probably noticed that the Tabs dialog box has an Apply button just like the Paragraph dialog box, and it works the same way. Click Apply, and the tab stops showing in the list will be reflected in the current field. Sometimes it can be tough to position your tab stops in just the right place. Use the Apply button to see how things line up. When you're satisfied with the tabs, click OK.
Type. A Tab stop's type effects how text entry behaves when you tab to that particular stop. Figure 2-19 shows how these different tab stops look in action.
Position. In addition to a type, every stop has a position, which is measured from the left edge of the field, in the same units used for Indent settings (such as inches and centimeters). For example, if you're storing a little two-column list in a text field, you might set tab stops at .5 inches and 2 inches.
Fill Character. FileMaker also accepts a fill character for each tab. This character is repeated as many times as necessary to fill the blank space leading up to a tab. Most often you use a period for the fill character (as shown in Figure 2-20), but any character is allowed.
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