I will be useful if you tell us what operating system and what version of Filemaker are you using.
Welcome to the forum.
It's all one Dbase, not different files. What you CAN do is lock them out of where they shouldn't be. Do this by defining where they can be in thier privelege set.
Take some time and look through the Records>Custom Privileges, Layouts>Custom Privileges sections of Privilege sets. They are pretty well self-described. you can choose what layouts/Tables/Records a privilege set has access to. You can also exclude the ability to edit layouts either in general, or layout by layout.
I would suggest that you run an opening script that looks at some feature of the user, whether PrivilegeSetName, AccountName or other, and sends them to the layout you want them to start at.
Is this what you're after?
Regarding: "I just still don't get how my user will actually turn their computer on, access the program, and have FM ask for a password then open the file so they only get into what I created for them and not into my file that allows me to make and edit layouts, etc."
You need two things, 1) Depending on your operating system you need a Startup Script or User Account Login Item to automatically open the database once you turn the computer. Because you already defined the users and privileges, the database will ask for login information. Then you need 2) A script defined in the document preferences (DB) to run at start up, that checks the name of the user and decide to which screen you will take them and as ninja well said, leave them out of what they don't need.
Thank you both for responding so quickly.
I'm on Windows XP and FM Pro 10.
I have worked through the privilege setups and am comfortable with that part. I believe the problem is what you both mentioned as far as a "Start Up" or "Opening" script. Since I am totally unfamiliar with scripts, I will be going through all my books and online to research how to go about this :-)
Does the script that I need to write go into Filemaker itself or is this something that has to do with the user's initial login to Windows?
You most definately need to read up on scripts. Scripts are lists of instructions that you create and are usually part of the same database file. You create them by selecting script manager from the scripts menu. I suggest presing F1 and researching scripts before you go much further. Once you've created a script you can use File/File Options to set up the script to run when the file is first opened.
Modesto Junk Company
I'm getting there...
I made a REALLY basic script to open the DB called "Open Database". The only step is "Enable Account[Account Name:"PDO";Activate]. (PDO is my user's initials)
Under File Options>Open/Close I have the perform script box checked with the "Open Database" specified.
After closing my DB and reopening, the screen displays asking for an Account Name and Password. (The cursor defaults to the Password box) I move my cursor to the Account Name box, enter PDO (my user's initials which I have previously set up under Manage Accounts & Privileges). There is no password.
My error message says "The account and password you entered cannot be used to access this file. Please try again."
Am I missing a step somewhere?
That's an unusual choice for a newbie trying to learn how to do stuff. I had to access help just to figure out what "enable account" is supposed to do. :smileyvery-happy:
What are you trying to do?
What have you set up under File/manage/Access Priviledges? (This is were you define accounts and passwords for different users.)