Reporting gotchas in FM 12 & 13

FileMaker 13 has been with us for a few weeks now and with it comes a new set of gotchas.

I thought I would share a couple of things to watch out for when producing printed (pdf) reports (one of which was introduced in 12).

In FileMaker 12 in the Layout Setup dialog we were given a new option called ‘Delineate fields on current record only’. This gave us a nice way of seeing which record we were viewing in List View, rather than just using the little black marker to the left. However with a printed report this option turns all the formatting we might add to our fields.

For example if we have a sub summary report of sales for customers. The sales are the body and customer name is the sub summary. In the sub summary we have a summary field to show the total sales for the customer and we want to put the boards on the top and bottom of the field to make it stand out. With the ‘Delineate…’ option on the formatting does not show. Turn if off and we get our boarders back. This is the same for field backgrounds and all the other formatting, so for any printed material turn the option off.

Whilst we are on the Layout Setup dialog you can now remove the little black marker from the list view which pushes the whole layout over my 3 pixels by unchecking the ‘Show current records indicator in List View’ option.

In FileMaker 12 we were given Themes which was nice but for print material generally of no use. If you added a part to a layout and got a theme you could click on the part and in the Inspector on the Appearance Tab under Style you could click the box with a red strip through it and this would remove the style, in FileMaker 13 this option has been removed.

What you have to do now is make sure the correct Theme is selected. In the menus under Layout there is the option to Change Theme. The Theme you need is called Enlightened Print. This will give you plain old black Arial text 12point on a white background. If you are really old school you could use the Classic Theme to get Helvetica 12 point.

When you have made your report look nice with the correct size and font don’t forget to save the style for use on the next report.

If we want our list to make every other line a different colour before we could go into the Part Definition and select ‘Alternate background fill:’ and select the colour. This has now been removed and replaced with ‘Use alternate row state’ and ‘Use active row state’. To get the same effect we need to check the ‘Use alternate…’ option and go to the Inspector again. On the appearance Tab under Theme we have two popup lists the top one should be showing Body and the second Primary. Change this to Alternate and select the colour below under Graphic. The ‘Use active row state option’ works the same way but has no effect in Preview or when the document is printed.

Hope this was of some use, and I’ll love to hear if anyone has found any other little ‘gotchas’.



Simon Ward

Simon has been developing FileMaker databases since the late 90s and joined Linear Blue in 2006. Over this time he has developed database systems for clients in many different industries from Order Processing to Book Publishing. Simon’s BSc in Chemistry from Thames Valley University comes to the fore in his analytical skills and he is certified in FileMaker versions 7 through 12.

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