Views

In the Contact Management database example, you learned how to add to and edit your new database with only one record onscreen at a time (Section 1.5.3). This view is a common way to look at your information, but it's far from the only way. In fact, there are three possible ways to look at a database: Form view, List view, and Table view.

The one-at-a-time approach to viewing records you saw in Chapter 1 is called Form view. In List view, you see lots of records in, well, a list. If they don't all fit in the window, you can use the vertical bar to scroll through them. If you've used a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, the Table view will look familiarit looks a lot like a spreadsheet, with one row for each record and one column for each field.

To switch among views in any FileMaker database, use the View menu. Choose View images/U2192.jpg border=0> As Form, View images/U2192.jpg border=0> As List, or View images/U2192.jpg border=0> As Table. Figure 2-1 shows the same database in all three views.

Figure 2-1. Same database, same layout, different views. In Form view (top) you see just one record at a time. List view (middle) has the same look, but it shows every record in one scrolling list. Table view (bottom) ignores the design completely and displays just the information.


Note: When you design a database, you can add clickable buttons, tabs, or other handy means to switch among views. For example, the Contact Management database you used in Chapter 1 has View tabs built into the template (see Figure 1-5). You can even turn off certain views if you want. If your database holds mostly digital photographs and makes no sense in Table view, then you can make sure no one ever sees it that way. (You'll learn how in Chapter 5.)


2.1.1. Form View

In Form view, you see only one record at a time. If you want to see the next record, you must click the pages of the Book icon, press Control-down arrow, or use some other method of switching records (see Section 1.6.1). Most of the database work you've done so far has been in Form view. You might use Form view when you have a lot of information to see about one record, or if you want to focus on just one record without being distracted by all the other records.

2.1.2. List View

List view works almost exactly like Form view. It shows your layout complete with its pretty design, but instead of limiting you to one record at a time, it shows you multiple records in a scrolling list. It also adds another element of feedback to the status area, as shown in Figure 2-2.

When you're working with a group of recordsupdating one field in several records or browsing through all your records in search of somethingList view comes in handy.

Figure 2-2. The little white strip along the right edge of the status bar tells you you're in List view. Its job is to show you which record is currently selected. The strip is filled with black along the edge of the current record. In this example, the first record is selected.

 

2.1.3. Table View

If List view looks a lot like Form view, then Table view…well…doesn't. This view appeals to spreadsheet fans since it offers a consistent rows-and-columns design, the ability to sort with the click of a button, and the freedom to rearrange columns by dragging them around. Of course, like any self-respecting view, you can use Table view to add, edit, delete, and find records too.

When you put your layout into Table view, any graphical embellishments disappear. Instead, FileMaker displays the fields of your layout in a no-nonsense, spreadsheet arrangement (Figure 2-3).

Each column represents one of your fields, and the order of the columns matches the order you go through the fields when tabbing. For example, the first column is the field you wind up in if you press Tab for the first time. Another Tab takes you to the second column.

Figure 2-3. In Table view, FileMaker ignores your layout's extra pictures, text, and other embellishments and shows you just the fields. Like a real spreadsheet, you can drag columns around to rearrange them. You can also click the header at the top of any column to instantly sort the records by that field. Table view shows the same vertical white strip that you see in List view.

In Table view, you can move columns around by dragging them. To switch the First Name and Last Name columns, for example, do the following:

  1. Point to the words Last Name and hold down the mouse button.

    FileMaker darkens the column header to show you it's selected.

  2. Drag the column to the left of the First Name column.

    You see a black line extending from the top of the window to the bottom. This line shows you where the column will land when you let go. All the other columns will shift around to make room. In this case, you want the black line to appear to the left of the First Name column.

  3. Let go of the mouse button.

    FileMaker moves the Last Name column to its new home, swapping the columns.

The column headings also make it easy to sort your data, as shown in Figure 2-4.

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

Security

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

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