If the tables form the heart of a database, layouts give it a face. When you design a layout, you feel like you're working in a graphics program: You can change the fonts, paste in your logo, make the background light fuchsia, and drag the fields around as though they're little onscreen Lego blocks. A single database may look like a White Pages, a "Hello! My Name Is" name tag, a glossy brochure, or a library card catalog index card. FileMaker displays the same informationbut how it displays that information is up to you.
Better yet, a single database can contain as many layouts as you want; each shows the data in a certain way for a specific purpose. Figure 4-2 shows the People database with two layouts.
4.1.1. Types of Layouts
You can make layouts for just about anything. Most databases start off with a few common kinds of layouts for the most basic needs. Then, over time, you usually add more layouts to meet specific needs. When thinking about layouts, you should be thinking about how you'll want to see the datawhat kinds of information should be onscreen at the same time, for exampleand how you want to print your data (printable lists, name tags, special forms, envelopes, statements, reports, and so on). Here are some common kinds of layouts:
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Views and Layouts
FileMaker learners often confuse views and layouts. Both affect the way FileMaker displays your data. You can switch from layout to layout or view to view with ease. And you hear a lot about lists, tables, forms, and so forth when talking about either. So what's the scoop?
First of all, in every FileMaker window, you have a layout and a view selected at all times. Each layout is usually designed to work best with a certain view. Detail layouts are usually shown in Form view, while list and report layouts usually use List view. For instance, if you have a Client List layout, you typically use List view.
Most of the time, the layout tells FileMaker how each record should look on the screen: where different fields appear, what fonts, sizes, colors, and pictures show up, and how much space it all takes up. When you pick a layout, FileMaker uses it to decide how things look.
The view, on the other hand, tells FileMaker what to do with the layout. In Form view, it shows one record, using the layout to decide how that single record should look. In List view, it shows all the found records, each below the one before it. The layout dictates how each of those records should look, and you use the scroll bar to zip through them. In Table view, FileMaker ignores the layout almost entirely. It pays no attention to how fields are arranged, or what colors or pictures you've used to decorate things. Instead, it shows a clean, simple list just like a spreadsheet. The only say the layout has in how things look is in which fields you see, and how FileMaker formats each individual field.
Very often, you create both a detail layout and a list layout for each table in your database. The list provides an easy way to scroll through records and find what you're looking for without getting data-overload. When you're ready to see all the data, you switch to the one-at-a-time detail layout.
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