FileMaker Layout Parts Explored

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
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Layouts are made up of one or more layout parts. Many of the layout parts are automatically put in place when a new layout is created. For example, when creating the standard layout, the header, body and footer parts are automatically created and placed into the positions they need to go.

You can add and delete layout parts as necessary. Adding layout parts is done by clicking the layout part icon in the status area and dragging it to where you want to place it on the layout. There are some limitations in where you can place a layout part. You cannot place a footer at the top of a layout and the header at the bottom. FileMaker simply will not allow you to perform an invalid action. Deleting a layout part is even easier. You simple select the layout part you want to delete and hit the delete key on your keyboard. Now you will be warned that deleting a layout part will also delete all the layout parts within that body part. You can choose to heed that warning or delete both the part and objects in one smooth stroke.

Here is a quick recap of the various layout parts.

Title Header - The information within this layout part will only appear on the first page of a multiple page printout. As you might have guessed, you can only have one title header per layout. You can format the title header to allow your users to know what your report is about. You can even make this layout part large enough to become a title page.

Header - This layout part will appear at the top of each layout being viewed or being printed. The only exception is if you use the Title Header (described above). In the case of a title header part in a layout, the title header will appear on the first printable page instead of the header ( if included in the layout ).

Leading Grand Summary - As you might have guessed, this is a layout part that can be used in reporting. It is designed to appear before the body, sub-summary and footer layout parts. It is normally used to show off the data in summary fields ( the ones that can hold totals, counts, averages and such data ). The totals will reflect the records in the current found set.

Body - The body is the most popular FileMaker layout in use but isn’t that commonly used in reports. In intermediate to advanced FileMaker reports, you will want to see information summarized for a set of records in the found set. In list view, the body can be used to show a list of records in the found set. If there are calculated values in the body, then this can be considered reporting data.

In most cases, the layout body is used for data entry ( in Browse Mode ) and to enter in Find criteria ( in Find Mode ). In fact, that is the only layout part you can perform those actions in.

Sub-summary - Now we are talking about the meat and potatoes of FileMaker reporting. You can produce hundreds of reports without sub-summary parts in a layout ... but ... odds are against it. A sub-summary part is used to summarized data in a found set into smaller sets. The classic example is a monthly report. You can do a find for all invoices for a particular year ( 2003 for example ). Then you can add a sub-summary part for the month in each record. The month data would be what is called a break field. When you sort by the break field, the individual totals for that month can be viewed in print preview or on a print out.

Trailing Grand Summary - This is the kissing cousin of the Leading Grand summary. This layout part is found after the layout body and any included sub-summary parts. So it really comes down to the developers preference to show grand totals at the top of the report, at the bottom of the report or even in both places.

Footer - This layout part is much like the header layout part. This layout part will appear at the bottom of each layout being viewed or being printed. The only exception is if you use the Title Footer (described below). In the case of a title footer part in a layout, the title footer will appear on the first printable page instead of the footer ( if included in the layout ).

Title Footer - The information within this layout part will only appear at the bottom of the first page of a multiple page printout. As you might have guessed, you can only have one title footer per layout. You can format the title footer to summarized what you are telling the user in the report.

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© 2008 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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