Beginning FileMaker 03 — Layouts

Once you’ve established your design, tables, and table occurrence groups (TOG) you’ll need to create layouts.

According to longtime developer John Mark Osborne, “FileMaker is structured around find, list and form. A user performs a find, is presented with a hit list of matches and then clicks to display details.”

Each of these requires a layout; four of the most common layouts are:

Interface layouts – for data entry and/or viewing data

Utility layouts – for new windows, loops, and other processes

Printed layouts – for generating reports

Developer layouts – for internal developer use only

In Osborne’s scenario above, a user would view an interface layout, perform a find, be presented a list of results, and then click on one of the line items to open another layout (e.g., a card window) with additional details for that record.

There are many sources devoted to designing effective layouts:

Claris has 10 tips for creating great looking layouts.

Matt Petrowsky has several videos available on his website.

Alexis Allen’s FileMaker Design University offers many useful blog posts. I’d recommend reviewing her articles on lines, space, and shape.

For additional discussion on layout types, see this post.