Basics of FileMaker

Modified from the FileMaker Pro 11 help and glossary sections


Database = comprised of one or more database files.

Database file = comprised of one or more tables.

Table = comprised of one or more records pertaining to a subject, such as customers or stock prices.

Record = one set of fields in a table. Each record contains data about a single activity, individual, subject, or transaction.

Field = the basic unit of data in a record. It holds a specific, discrete category of data, such as Last Name, and can be predefined to allow data to be entered as text, number, date, calculation, etc. Field can also refer to the object on a layout that displays the data, such as an edit box, checkbox set, or pop-up menu.

Value list = list of predefined values for a field that helps to save time and ensure accuracy during data entry.

Layout = the arrangement of fields, objects, pictures, and layout parts that represents the way information is organized and presented when you browse, preview, or print records. You can design different layouts for entering data, printing reports and mailing labels, displaying web pages, and so on.

Relationships provide access to data from one table to another. Relationships can join one record in one table to one record in another table, one record to many other records, or all records in one table to all records in another table, depending on the criteria you specify when you create the relationship in the relationships graph.

Modes: four different environments (Browse, Find, Layout, and Preview) that you use to work with your database file.

Browse mode (Ctrl+ B) is where you enter and edit information in fields. You can either view one record at a time (click Form View in the layout bar), or view your records in a list (click List View), or view records arranged in a spreadsheet-like table (click Table View).

Find mode (Ctrl+F) is where you search for records

Layout mode (Ctrl+L) is where we design how your information is displayed on the screen and for printing

Preview mode (Ctrl+U) will allow you to see how layouts will look when they’re printed.

Other keyboard shortcuts

Ctrl+N new record/find/layout depending on the Mode you are in

Ctrl+D duplicate record/find/layout depending on the Mode you are in

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