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Chapter 4. Viewing Records > Opening a File

Opening a File

If you're working alone and this is your first time using FileMaker, you may not have any records to view. Never fear. To spare you the bother of having to create some records just for viewing, we'll be using some of the existing records that came with your copy of FileMaker. If you already have a FileMaker database to work with, feel free to use it.

By the way, when you first open a FileMaker file it automatically appears in Browse mode, which enables you to look at a record without worrying about the layout or how it'll print. For more on each of FileMaker's four modes, see page 20.

To open a FileMaker database file:

If you haven't started the FileMaker program, do so now by either choosing Programs\FileMaker Pro 5\FileMaker Pro from the Start menu (Windows) (Figure 3.30) or double-clicking the FileMaker Pro icon in the FileMaker Pro 5 folder (Mac) (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1. To launch the FileMaker Pro application, double-click its icon in the FileMaker Pro 5 folder.

A dialog box will appear asking whether you want to create a new file using a template, create a new empty file, or open an existing file. Select Open an existing file… and click OK (Figure 4.2). See Using Templates and Scripts to learn how templates can save you time in creating your own databases.

Figure 4.2. When FileMaker's opening dialog box appears, choose Open an existing file… and click OK.

If you've turned off the opening dialog box (see Tip on page 32), you still can open an existing file by choosing File > Open (Figure 4.3). Or use your keyboard: (Windows) or (Mac).

Figure 4.3. You also can open an existing file via FileMaker's File Menu.

At this point, you can open a FileMaker file you may already have, in which case navigate your way through the dialog boxes to find it. If you don't have your own file, see the next step to open the example file featured in this chapter.

Navigate your way down to the file Sample02.fp5, nested inside these folders: FileMaker Pro 5\FileMaker Tutorial\Sample Files\. Open the file by double-clicking it, clicking the Open button, or using the keyboard commands: (Windows) or (Mac). Now that you have the Sample02.fp5 file onscreen (Figure 4.4), we'll use it to explain how to view records, move from one record to another, and get around within individual records.

Figure 4.4. Figure 4.4 FileMaker's existing file.

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