The Support Group Blog

Dynamically naming a variable in FileMaker Pro

One of the things I find I need to do frequently is create a variable using a calculated name.  For example, I can use the FieldNames function to get the list of fields on a layout. I might want to then declare a number of variables that have the same names as the fields, and then populate them with those fields’ values.  Later, I can loop through the fields again, perhaps updating them with a Set Field By Name step, and reference the variable with the similar name.

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Find the preceding Sunday (or Monday, or…)

Often we are asked to produce reports that show total sales (or student attendance, or whatnot) by week. In order to produce these reports, we need some value that allows us to group our records by week. What we can use is the Sunday—the start of our week—that occurs before our activity date.

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Knowing when a user is logged in through Instant Web Publishing

From our Get ( Answers ) newsletter archives, updated for FileMaker 11:

We’ve been asked this many times, so it’s worthy of repeating: How can you tell if a user is logged in to a solution through Instant Web Publishing rather than through the FileMaker Pro client? The answer is to use the Get(ApplicationVersion) function.

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Printing “Records Being Browsed” by Default

From our Get ( Answers ) newsletter archives, updated for FileMaker 11:

Michael in Illinois asks: “When some users go to print a record the drop down print box will says ‘Current record’, while for others it says ‘Records being browsed’. Any idea how to make the latter the default? Is it a FileMaker setting?”

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Quick notes on Quick Find

One of my favorite new features of FileMaker Pro 11 is Quick Find, which allows you to perform a find the way we’ve been trained by search engines: you can search for your criteria anywhere in the record, regardless of which fields the data is in.  Here are a few things to keep in mind about Quick Find:

  • Quick Find only searches the current table, the same way you search when using Find mode.  If you’re on the Company Detail layout, and search for Peter Parker, you might find a company record for The Daily Bugle, but you won’t find Peter’s contact record.
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Highlight the Active Field with Conditional Formatting

This is one of my favorite tips, which we first published in August 2007 when conditional formatting was introduced in FileMaker Pro 9.  A not-uncommon request we’ve received over the years is to highlight the current field with something more than slightly darker field borders.  Conditional formatting seems the perfect answer: there must be a way to change a field’s background fill from its default to another color on entering the field, right? Turns out… no.  You cannot use conditional formatting to change a field’s fill color on entering it.  It’s just not possible.  Never.  Conditional formatting does not work in any way whatsoever while focus is in the field in question. 

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New Functions in FileMaker Pro 11

FileMaker Pro 11 introduces three new functions: Get(AccountPrivilegeSetName), Get(AccountExtendedPrivileges), and Get(QuickFindText).  Get(QuickFindText) obviously returns the contents of the Quick Find field in the status toolbar; its main use will be in scripts for custom menus that override the default Quick Find behavior.  But those first two… didn’t we already have Get(PrivilegeSetName) and Get(ExtendedPrivileges)?  Those are still there as well, renamed as Get(CurrentPrivilegeSetName) and Get(CurrentExtendedPrivileges).

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