Tips N Tricks

17 Lessons

About this course

This course contains short videos of some of the FileMaker tips and tricks that I've discovered or learned over the years; some of them are incredibly simple but none are hard to iunderstand or mplement.

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Eliminating Flashing Windows

Windows flash (which is really annoying) happens when you are running a script that is constantly opening and closing windows but this simple trick will show you how to eliminate them. All you have to do is open the new window off-screen leaving nothing to flash

Working with Table View

Table view in Filemaker is just like looking at a spreadsheet but there are some 'idiosyncracies' that you should be aware of.

Positively Negative

One of the most used and useful calculations I know is to multiple any number (positive or negative) by -1 (minus 1) which turns a negative into a positive and vice versa.

The difference between If and Case

Both If and Case are calculation functions that have been around FileMaker for a long time but what is the difference between them and why has IF fallen into disuse.

Trapping for Related Records

If you're going to a set of related records in order to perform an action on those records, i.e., delete, them, you MUST first trap to see if there are actually related records to go to. If you don't do this, the action that you were going to take will be performed on the table and records that the script started from with potentially disastrous consequences.

Displaying all records from a relationship

When you want to display all records from a table in a portal, there are two ways to create the relationship; one of them is absolutely the wrong way to do it, The right way is to use a cartesian join and the wrong way, because it's considerably slower, is to use a constant relationship with a calculated field (one) having a value of 1. I don't know why it is slower but that isn't important; knowing that it is, is.

Formatting percentage fields correctly

Many users don't know that percentages should be entered as a decimal, i.e., for 10%, you would enter .1; for 15%, you enter .15. Instead they enter it as a whole number which then has to be formatted to display the % correctly. This incredibly simple tip will prevent user error.

Go to related record

Go to related record or GTRR as it is more commonly known is a function that all FileMaker developers use all of the time because it is incredibly fast and efficient but what is FileMaker doing behind the scenes?

Re-using the same code

If you're tired of writing the same code over and over again, why not just write it once and then use it in multiple places?

Common mistakes new FileMaker developers make

People new to FileMaker™ often try to do things the way they are used to doing them and have difficulty embracing the paradigm shift necessary to successfully develop in FileMaker. This video shows some of the different approaches that are commonly used and disects them, showing the advantages and/or disadvantages of each. A fully unlcked example file can be downloaded at:

Join Tables

What is a join table; when do you need one and how do you set it up?

Global Navigation

All you need for a global navigation system is a single global field to store the different layout names and a single line of code in a script to go to the correct layout

Getting the accounting numbers

This short video describes how you can extract the numbers, out of FileMaker, to be posted to your accounting program as journal entries, It's a much easier way than integrating directly with Quickbooks and thus duplicating all entries. Let FileMaker handle the details and Quickbooks deal with the totals.

Building a Help system using popovers

This very simple technique will allow you to build a help system, using Popovers, that your users can turn on or off

Embedded vido tutorials in a popver

This very simple technique allows you to embed context sensitive video tutorials that your users can watch without ever leaving the screen they are on

Understanding and using GTRR

GTRR (Go to related record) is one of the most powerful tools in FileMaker. This videon expalins what it is/does and shows you how to use it, in combination with a series of value lists (normal and related) to quickly find records within a large set of records without using Find Mode.