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Part III: Creating & Designing Databases > Working with Objects in Layouts

Chapter 11. Working with Objects in Layouts

Whether it's text, a field, a field name, or a graphic, FileMaker treats them all as separate objects that can be selected, moved, rearranged, and grouped. Most of these functions reside under the Arrange menu, which appears only when you're in Layout mode. These objects also can be graphically embellished with shading, borders, and fills via the tools in the Layout status area. For more information on using graphics with objects, see Working with Graphics.

While FileMaker makes it easy to move individual objects around a layout, it also allows you to group objects and then treat them as a single object. By creating groups of groups, you can organize pieces of a layout into units that speed your work.

By default, FileMaker displays objects in the order they were created, with the most recent atop (or in front of) the earlier objects. Sometimes in designing a layout, it's useful to stack objects atop each other to create a special effect, such as the appearance of a three-dimensional object. While each object remains a separate object, rearranging the stack order changes the overall appearance.

To make it easier to build layouts, FileMaker comes with built-in rulers, T-Squares, and grids. For more information, see Using Layout Guides.


You may find it faster when arranging and grouping objects to use FileMaker's Arrange toolbar (Figure 11.1). To turn it on, choose View > Toolbars > Arrange.

Figure 11.1. Using the Arrange toolbar, which you turn on by choosing View > Toolbars > Arrange, can speed your layout work.

To move an object within the same layout

Switch to Layout mode ( in Windows, on the Mac), then select the object by clicking on it with your cursor. Keep pressing your cursor and drag the object to its new location in the layout. A set of dotted lines marks the object's position as you drag it (Figure 11.2).

Figure 11.2. To move an object within a layout, click on it and drag it. A dotted outline of the object appears as you move the object.

If you want to ensure that the object only moves horizontally (or vertically), hold down as you drag it.

Once you put the object where you want it, release the cursor (Figure 11.3). The object will now appear in the new location within the layout.

Figure 11.3. Once you've dragged an object to where you want it, release the cursor.



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