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Introduction

Introduction

The Visual QuickProject Guide that you hold in your hands offers a unique way to learn about new technologies. Instead of drowning you in theoretical possibilities and lengthy explanations, this Visual QuickProject Guide uses big, color illustrations coupled with clear, concise step-by-step instructions to show you how to complete one specific project in a matter of hours.

Our project in this book is to create a simple (but elegant) FileMaker Pro 7 database for recording and reporting business mileage. If you’re required—either by the company you work for or by the IRS—to keep a log of mileage driven for business, you’ll find this database very useful. But even if tracking business mileage isn’t one of your needs, the other purpose of this book is to teach you about FileMaker Pro; that is, you’ll learn by doing. By creating the database, you will see how to use FileMaker to create databases that are of interest to you. You’ll define fields, set field validation and auto-entry options, create data entry and report layouts, define value lists that will pop-up when you tab or click into certain fields, and automate database functions with scripts and clickable buttons.

Different platforms. Most of the screen shots in this book were taken on a Mac running OS X. However, FileMaker Pro is a cross-platform product. If you’re a Windows user, you’ll find that the dialog boxes you see onscreen are similar to the Mac ones shown here. In the rare instance where there’s an important difference between the platforms, I’ll point it out. For example, keyboard shortcuts used by the two are different. Whenever a keyboard shortcut is included in this book, it will be presented in Mac/Windows order, such as .

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