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2,001 Tips

FileMaker Pro 3.0

Pause that Refreshes

To find the problem in a troublesome script, use the Pause/Resume step. Create a field to test for a returned value and use Paste to insert the field; follow this with Pause/Resume Script.

[previous script steps]

Paste ["test field"]

Pause/Resume Script []

Break It Up

To troubleshoot a long script, break it into smaller, logical scripts. For example, one script would locate records, the next would sort them and the third would export the sorted records.

Objects and Properties

In layout mode, press Ctrl and click on any layout object to set its text attributes.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your script doesn't run properly, one of the following could be the culprit: The script is accessing the wrong layout; the field you're trying to copy or paste isn't on the current layout; conditionals or loops are out of place; the script's Find isn't locating the expected information; or a second Find is interrupting the primary Find. It's also possible that there's a descending Sort where you really want an ascending Sort; a user's password conflicts with the script's actions; an errant IF is producing unexpected branching; there's a Find that doesn't make any matches; or a calculation that your script requires is producing the wrong value or the wrong type of value.

The Importance of Export

When exporting data to a word processor, use "Format output using current layout" to preserve the formatting of number, date and time fields.

Three-or More-on a Match

Separating values in a match field with return characters allows you to match a single record with many different, related records.

Lovely Layouts

To color a part on a layout, select the tab and choose from the color palette.

Shifty Selection

If you select an object and press the Shift key while choosing Select All from the Edit menu, all similar objects on the layout will be selected.

Clandestine Data

Add an underscore to the end of a FileMaker filename (for example, INVOICE_.FP3) to make it invisible over the network. The file will still be accessible via scripts and relationships.

Forbidden Fields

You can prevent users from clicking into a field by setting its Field Format to bar entry. A script, however, will be able to enter the field.

Shortcut to Net Apps

When working in Windows 3.x, use FileMaker Pro 3.0 to create shortcuts to network databases. Create a new FileMaker Pro 3.0 file to automatically run a script using the Open step to access a specific network database.

Mail of the Species

To speed sending an e-mail message to everyone on a mailing list, create a FileMaker Pro 3.0 database with records for the addressees, and global fields for the subject and message. Using ScriptMaker, type in the subject and message once.

Spaced Out Buttons and Boxes

To add spacing and separators within a field formatted with check boxes, radio buttons or a pop-up list, add a blank line between check boxes or radio buttons in a field, and add a blank line between each value in the value list.

Click Clique

To select multiple entries from a pop-up menu or radio button field, press the Shift key as you click on radio buttons or make choices.

Field Fashions

To change a field on a layout, double-click on the layout and then use the New Field dialog box to redefine the field.

Paste a Hasty Report

You can quickly export a report by viewing it in Preview mode and copying the page to the Clipboard. The page's image can then be pasted into another program.

Add Hues

With FileMaker Pro 3.0, you can fill an entire layout part with a background color. In Layout mode, click once on the part label to select it, then choose a fill color from the palette.

Pop Quiz

To format a pop-up menu, right-click on a field to display Format, and choose from the various options.

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