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Chapter 1. Using FileMaker Pro 5 > What's New in FileMaker 5?

What's New in FileMaker 5?

If you're a brand-new FileMaker user, all of FileMaker 5 is new. FileMaker veterans will discover lots of refinements and tweaks in version 5, especially in the appearance of FileMaker's menu bars and dialog boxes. But you'll quickly adjust since most of the changes make immediate sense. (By the way, while FileMaker's official name is FileMaker Pro 5, we'll just call it FileMaker throughout this book.) Here's a quick rundown of FileMaker's new features:

Revamped interface

  • Microsoft Office look and feel: From its top-of-the-window menu bars and its extensive use of toolbars, right on down to its dialog boxes, FileMaker has been revamped to mirror the interface of Microsoft Office (Figure 1.1). The intention is to make it easier for those already familiar with Office to get straight to work in FileMaker. FileMaker users'reactions to the change tend to reflect how much they use, and like or dislike, Microsoft's ubiquitous program.

    Figure 1.1. FileMaker's menus and toolbars (top) have been revamped to mirror those of Microsoft Office (bottom).

  • Resizable dialog boxes, multiple selections: The ability to resize columns in dialog boxes and select multiple items within dialog boxes isn't earthshaking (Figure 1.2). But it's a perfect example of the kind of small, but effective, changes made in FileMaker 5.

    Figure 1.2. Small but telling improvements: You now can resize columns and select multiple items in FileMaker dialog boxes.

  • Enhanced contextual menus: FileMaker's context-sensitive menus have been expanded to let you directly edit objects and data with a right-click (Windows) or -click (Mac) (Figure 1.3). While FileMaker 4 included contextual menus, the feature has been beefed up in FileMaker 5.

    Figure 1.3. FileMaker's context-sensitive menus—triggered by a right-click (Windows) or -click (Mac)—have been expanded to let you directly edit objects and data.


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