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Opening, Closing, and Saving Files

Opening and closing files in FileMaker works like most programs. Unlike many programs, however, FileMaker automatically saves data as you enter it. If by habit, you type ctrl_s.gif or cmd_s.gif , the Sort dialog box will appear. Just click Done and you'll be back to where you were with no harm done.

To open a file

  1. If you haven't started the FileMaker program, do so now by either choosing All Programs > FileMaker Pro from the Start menu ( Figure 3.30 ) or double-clicking the FileMaker Pro icon in the FileMaker Pro 8 folder (Mac).
    03-30.jpg

    Figure 3.30 To launch FileMaker, navigate to the icon from the Start menu (Windows) or double-click its icon (Mac).

  2. 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 ( Figure 3.31 ). Make your choice and click OK.
    03-31.jpg

    Figure 3.31 When FileMaker's opening dialog box appears, you may open a new template-based file, a new empty file, or an existing file.

  3. Depending on your choice in step 2, a dialog box will appear asking you to create and name a copy of the selected template ( Figure 3.32 ), open an existing file, or create and name a new file.
03-32.jpg

Figure 3.32 If you use one of FileMaker's templates, a dialog box will ask you to create and name a copy of the selected template.

To create a new file

  • Choose File > New Database ( Figure 3.35 ). A new database with no fields or records will appear.
    03-35.jpg

    Figure 3.35 To create a new file, choose File > New Database.

Closing a file

Because FileMaker automatically saves your data, closing a file is simple. You can close a file several different ways.

To close a file

  • Choose File > Close ( Figure 3.36 ). The keyboard equivalents are: ctrl_w.gif (Windows) or cmd_w.gif (Mac).

    03-36.jpg

    Figure 3.36 To close a file, choose File > Close.

    or

    Click the close button in the record's upper-right corner ( Figure 3.37 ) or click the FileMaker icon in the upper-left corner of the menu bar and choose Close ctrl_4.gif ( Figure 3.38 ).

    03-37.jpg

    Figure 3.37 To close a Windows FileMaker file, click the close button in the upper right of the document.

    03-38.jpg

    Figure 3.38 You also can close a Windows FileMaker file by double-clicking the FileMaker icon at the far left of the menu bar.

    Click the red button in the left corner of the record's title bar ( Figure 3.39 ).

    03-39.jpg

    Figure 3.39 To close a Macintosh FileMaker file, click the close icon in the upper left of the document.

Saving files

Though FileMaker saves your work as you go, you may want to make a copy of a database right before making a lot of changes to the original.

To save a copy of a database file

  1. Choose File > Save a Copy As ( Figure 3.40 ).
    03-40.jpg

    Figure 3.40 To make a backup copy of a record, choose Save a Copy As under the File menu.

  2. When the dialog box appears, you can either accept the default name or type in a new name. Choose where you want to store the copy by navigating through the folder icons at the top of the dialog box. At the bottom of the dialog box ( Figure 3.41 ), you also have the option to save the copy as a regular database file, a space-saving compressed file, or a clone. The clone option lets you save a database's layout, scripts, and field definitions but without any data.
    03-41.jpg

    Figure 3.41 When making a backup copy, you can save it as a regular record, a compressed version, or a layout-only clone. Choose one and click Save.

  3. Once you've picked your file name, destination, and file type, click Save.

To quit FileMaker

  • Choose File > Exit (Windows) or FileMaker Pro > Quit FileMaker Pro (Mac OS X) ( Figure 3.42 ). The keyboard equivalents are: ctrl_q.gif (Windows) or cmd_q.gif (Mac).
    03-42.jpg

    Figure 3.42 To quit FileMaker, choose File > Exit (left, Windows) or File > Quit FileMaker Pro (right, in Mac OS X).

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