Introducing layout themes and styles in FileMaker Pro 13

Macworld Australia Staff
19 September, 2014
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FileMaker Pro, help, inspector, macworld australiaIf you are reading this, you are most likely aware of the benefits offered by FileMaker Pro 13, from streamlining your business’ data to organising projects, but how do you make your FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go database solutions look the part?

This is where layout themes and styles come in.

Would you like the layout to show your business logo when your employees are entering data into the database? Would you like to create conformity across all pages, maybe with a colour theme that matches your business?

In order to increase usability for your database, a well-designed layout will make the solution both appealing to look at, but also more efficient – as those entering or viewing data will be able to easily navigate the fields in front of them.

What is a style?

In FileMaker Pro, a style is the way a layout object, layout part and the database’s background appear. This encompasses the colour or transparency of objects and backgrounds, the style of line used within the layout, the borders of objects and parts, the shape of objects, the shadows outside or inside an object’s border, and the display state of an object.

For example, when your draw a square on your layout, the initial appearance of the square will be determined by the theme currently being used by the layout. The colour of the square, the lines that define it and any shadow that appears are all differing styles that add up to make a theme.

The initial theme is called the default and ensures that all objects added to the layout carry a similar look. So, if you add a second square to the layout, it will have the same colour and borders. Though this does not have to be the case if you would like to differentiate them.

And a theme?

A theme is the collection of a number of styles used in a layout. Themes are the full picture of how your layout or report appears, and encompass all of the individual styles applied to objects, parts and the background. The theme does not affect the way a layout functions, but when you apply a theme to a layout it will alter the way it looks and feels.

Making alterations

Adjusting a style in a theme is very simple. If you click on the object, layout part or background you would like to alter, open the Inspector and head to the Appearances tab, you will see the Style label field at the top. This indicates the current style.  If no changes have been made, it will likely read as ‘Default’.

Alter the style of the object, layout part or background by editing the property settings on the Appearance tab of the Inspector. Once you have made your layout look the way you would like, select the red arrow that will have appeared as you were making your changes and click ‘Save As New Style’.

Type in a new name for your style and press OK. Continue to create as many additional styles as you would like in your layout. If you would like to apply a style to multiple objects or modify a style slightly between two objects, your previous styles will be available in the Styles list on the Style tab of the Inspector.

Once you have made all of the changes you would like, you have the option of creating a new theme or saving the changes to the current theme.

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