FileMaker Discoveries

FileMaker 8 Field Control Setup Bliss

Field Control Setup

I remember one day long ago when it became possible to respecify a field by double-clicking on it. Can’t remember the version but whenever that happened it sure helped. I could double-click to find out what field I was on and read the full field name and I could option-drag a field to get a duplicate and then redefine it.

Well, life has taken another leap forward for us long-toiling FileMaker developers. FileMaker 8 gives you a lot more than specify field when you double-click a field now. You get the entire Field Format dialog too. It came in the nick of time because some other OSX keyboard shortcut had recently stolen my Cmd-Option-F for Field Format and I haven’t sussed it out yet. But now I don’t have to. Double-click! What a concept?

You’ll notice in my screen shot two other cool features. These both only work in 8, but at least you’ll be able to use them for your own databases immediately.

Auto-complete using value list. Yay! Clairvoyance like Quicken! This works lightning fast and works best for value lists that are long such as industry, category, specialty, title, model. It’s implemented to perfection. Fixes the capitalization for you too. Just turn it on by clicking the checkbox for any field that has a value list. This will be a selling point that might help convince your customers to upgrade.

Include arrow to show and hide list. I’m just getting used to this one so don’t know if I understand it’s full value yet. But for a start, you can choose to put a visual cue (an arrow we are used to in *real* applications) on pop-down menus. You give the user the option to use the pop-down or not. It looks and feels 10x better than most of the work around graphics we’ve used in the past to get this effect.

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