FileMaker Tips

FileMaker computes the value of every calculating and summary field that appears on a layout every time a change is made to any data affecting the computations. This can cause significant delays, especially with summary fields like checkbook or expense register totals that summarize a large number of records.

To avoid such delays, create separate layouts for groups of fields that you use together, placing those that involve lengthy recalculations on layouts where they can be used only when needed. That way, you will be able to use one layout for entering checks without delay, and another to check the balance.

To display or print a subset of the records in a FileMaker database in a particular order, perform the Find before you Sort the records. The Find automatically returns the records to the order in which they were entered, thereby negating the effect of any previous sort.

If you frequently want to present the same set of records in a particular order, as might be the case with t telephone directory of a set of mailing labels, create a script containing both the required Find and Sort. The script not only will save time, it also will ensure consistency from list to list.

don’t wait for FileMaker to recompute every calculating field when you open a database containing the "Today" function. Instead replace it with a manually updated date field.
  1. Create a Date field with a name like "As Of Date." To save typing, instruct FileMaker to auto-enter the creation date whenever a new record is added.
  2. Use this field in your time equations in place of the Today function.
  3. When you need to update these calculations, use the Find command to locate the records to be recomputed.
  4. Enter the current "As Of Date" in the first record in the found set.
  5. With the cursor in the "As Of Date" field, choose Replace (Edit menu). FileMaker will copy the new date into the remaining records in the found set, and recalculate the date equations for each of them.
  6. If you do this often, automate the process with a Script.
To make it easy to return to a key layout from anywhere in a database, create a script that takes you there with one simple mouse click or keystroke. To do so --
  1. Choose the ScriptMaker command from the Script menu;
  2. Enter the name of the script at the bottom of the ScriptMaker dialogue box and press the Create button;
  3. When the Script Definition dialogue box appears, press the "Clear All" button to erase the default entries on the right.
  4. Enter the script commands by selecting the following entries from the list of Available Steps and pressing the Move button;
    • Go to Layout [name of layout];
    • Enter Browse Mode
    • Scroll Window [Home].
  5. Press "OK" to close the Script Definition dialogue box;
  6. If necessary, move the script to the top of the list in the ScriptMaker window and make sure the "Include in Menu" option is turned on.

Now you can return to the designated layout from any mode and any layout simple by pressing Command or Control 1, or selecting the script from the Script menu.

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URL: / tips / tip_filemaker.html.
Updated August 31, 2010.