There's a new capability in filemaker 11. You can use the Modify button to add a field to a table view without it first being added to the layout. That would match what you have described.
You can fix this by entering layout mode and using the field tool to add the fields to your layout.
thanks. I have been using FMPro for years (fairly basically self taught) and have always made new databases from Layout view in the manner you describe. it was only that i thought i would go through the tutorial and try and learn some new things that I could use in the future that i have discovered this problem. I am following the instructions to the letter on page 56 of the FMPro users guide and i cannot see my data in other views. it is driving me crazy.