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Chapter 7. Creating Simple Scripts

Chapter 7. Creating Simple Scripts

Databases are powerful things, but they sure can be tedious to set up and manipulate. Sometimes it seems as if you're using the same darned combination of mouse clicks and menu commands over and over. Why can't FileMaker learn how you work and do some of these functions for you? You may be surprised to discover that it can, if you're willing to take just a little time to train it by using scripts.

At its most basic level, a script is just a list of things you want FileMaker to do for you, written in exactly the order you want to have them done. It's like leaving a To Do list with an efficient helper, so that you can mentally “walk away” and return to find the tasks crossed off.

FileMaker scripts are patient, so if you need one to wait for more information before proceeding, you can build in a pause. They're also modular, so you can start with very simple lists and add more items to them as they occur to you. One script can be used together with other scripts, making a complex master script that efficiently automates many actions with one simple button. And once you've created a working script, it's foolproof. You'll never have to start over again because you chose the wrong drop-down menu, or forgot to change your page setup before printing.

We think scripting is addictive. Once you grow accustomed to planning them out, hundreds of different script combinations will occur to you. For instance, you can move records automatically between different files, click one button to sort and print files in a monthly report, and then export the result to Excel. If it can be done manually, chances are there's a script command to do it for you.


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