At this point, you’ve defined your tables and fields, but there’s no way for the user to add data or to interact with existing data. What's missing are the user interfaces, which in FileMaker Pro are visual screens that the user manipulates using the mouse or touch surfaces. FileMaker Pro calls these screens layouts.
As discussed earlier, we recommend that you start with the classic design pattern of three interfaces: a list layout, a detail layout, and a reporting layout. In typical List-Detail solutions, the solution often starts by displaying the list layout to the user, since this allows the user to scan through the data quickly and find what they need. For that reason, let’s add that layout first.
This goal will outline the process of creating a typical list layout, using the “Contact List” layout in the example solution as a model. It’s followed by two more goals that will take a similar approach to your detail and reporting layouts.
But how do you choose the fields to put into a list layout, or decide where they go? And what are typical choices that users expect to see? The example solution provides a good model for addressing these questions. Below is a screenshot of its list layout in layout mode. We’ll cover the concepts noted in the diagram, starting at the bottom with the body since it’s the most important part of the layout, then working upwards to the subsummary, and finishing with the header:
Note: before you start working on your first layout you may want to take a moment to learn FileMaker Pro’s Snap to Grid feature. This training is optional but will help you make your layouts more visually consistent.
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Create the Main List screen
- Change the theme
- Build the Main List screen - body fields
- Build the Main List screen - body navigation
- Build the Main List screen - subsummary
- Build the Main List screen - header text
- Build the Main List screen - header buttons