FileMaker "Placeholder Text”

Hi All,

We have been using FileMaker "Placeholder Text” more and more and wrote this up to send to customers to help them get the most out of the platform…

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FileMaker 14 (and up) allows you to specify "Placeholder Text" to be displayed inside an empty field while in the Browse Mode and/or Find Mode.

Use cases for "Placeholder Text":
• Use instead of a field label (only when space is tight)
• Provide a hint, suggestion, or guidance to the user
• Input mask, for example, ###-###-####
• Misc. additional instructions

Placeholder Text can be static or calculated (including text formatting options).

Placeholder text is specified in the Inspector > Data tab > Field section

Some user interface ideas are…
• Color Placeholder Text grey #888888, so that it looks different than field data.
• For a drop-down menu field, use the Apple User interface convention of adding additional an ellipsis (…) suffix, for example "Type…"
• Calculate the text to turn red to indicate required entries

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How do you use "Placeholder Text"?

1 Like

I have 1 Field ‚unrelatedTable::empty‘ which serves for unlimited use with the Placeholder Formula editor to evaluate Formulas for GUI purposes and also for temporary tests.
I assume that everybody knows that Placeholder text (if field is empty) don’t get printed.


Re: "• Use instead of a field label"
I discovered the other day that this is now a built in option available on the fields pane in Layout mode. Not sure when it came in:
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 16.36.39


Placeholder text was a FileMaker 14 feature.

I think @Keywords is wondering when the built-in option was added to the Labels button set.

Hasn't it been there since we got the layout controls in wings?

Gotcha. Looks like it was added in 14. The field picker was added in 13. The option is there in 14, but the "Drag Options" are closed by default in 14. That would be very easy to miss.