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Copying Record data: You can copy and paste the contents of an entire record by choosing Copy (Mac: command-C or PC: ctrl-C) with the record selected. When you paste what you've copied into another program, you get a tab-delimited text containing all of the data displayed in the current layout for that particular record.

You can also copy data from more records, not just the one you're viewing. Hold down the option key (Mac) or Shift key (PC) while choosing Copy (or press command-option-C (Mac) or ctrl-shift-C (PC)). This copies the data from all the currently found records. If you paste what you've copied into a word processor you get tab-delimited text. And if you paste the copied data into Excel, the data instantly transforms into a spreadsheet.

Calculation Tip

Get the last occurence:The function Position(text, search string, start, occurrence) scans the supplied text for the nth occurrence of a search string, starting where you indicate with start.Here's the neat bit: a negative occurrence value causes the scan to go in the opposite direction. The following gives the position of the LAST occurrance of string in text:

position(text, string, length(text), -1)

This can be safely optimised as:

position(text, string, 64000, -1)

Monitor a field modification date:Here's a way to automatically store the last modification date of a field: create a stored, Do Not Evaluate If... Unchecked, calculated field with the formula:

If(fieldName, Status(CurrentDate) , Status(CurrentDate))

Whenever the field's value is changed, the date in the calculated field will change. You can then search for records whose site field has been modified during the current month or other time period. (Thanks to Jon Rosen)

Layout Tips

Creating items with the same settings: When you are defining fields on a layout you can use the following shortcut to duplicate an object: Drag the object with the option key pressed. This will create objects with exactly the same settings, like Font, Size but also Field Formatting options.

Selecting similar objects: Select an object first, say a field, then press Command-Option-A. This will select all similar objects on the layout!

Make all layouts hidden or visible in one action: When you want to hide a set of layouts from the user it is not necessary to do that one layout at the time:

In layout mode go to the "Set Layout Order" menu. Now click on the V-symbol to the left of the name of the first layout that needs to be hidden, and drag the mouse to the last layout you want to hide. All the marks will be removed. The reverse is also possible: click on the same place (to the left of the layout name) and drag the mouse and all layouts will be visible.

Here's a tip for graphically enhancing your layouts: On a Mac, you can copy the repeating patterns from the desktop patterns control panel (desktop pictures on OS8), and paste it onto your Filemaker layout. Resize the image to fill your screen, and you have a cool background pattern for your layout, that has a minimal impact on filesize. I make a lot of solutions whose files get Emailed between locations, filesize may not be so relevant for someone who sets their files up in one location. Even so, it's more appealing than a solid background, and less distracting than an image. Contributed by Jim Main, jmain@NOSPAM.marmotmountain.com

And for a variant on this: In AppleWorks 5 you can copy any of the 3D textures (create a draw rectangle with lines set to transparent) into a layout for a lovely 3D background that takes around 10K. They all tile excellently - the brushed metal is my favourite. Does not seem to work in Windows too well, but for mac users they are the best. Contributed by Steve stevesil@one.net.au

 

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