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Tutor for Filemaker Pro 13: The Basics

Learn how to build a basic database solution to manage dynamic data efficiently and effectively in FileMaker Pro 13.
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Last updated 1/2015
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What Will I Learn?
Build a simple FileMaker Pro database solution to manage lists of data, e.g., lists of events and attendees or lists of customers and invoices.
View Curriculum
  • You'll need Filemaker Pro to build any database solutions as you follow the tutorial.

Learn the concepts and functions of a database to easily build your own database solution in FileMaker Pro 13. Effectively and efficiently manage customer relations, inventory, projects, events, and more using this easy to use database software. No programing knowledge necessary.

Learn the Fundamental Basics of FileMaker Pro 13 and Build Your Own Database in Minutes.

  • Learn the Concept of a Database
  • Quickly Build a Custom Database Solution
  • Create and Format Layouts and Reports
  • Create Relational Databases
  • Manage Dynamic Data

Begin Using a Powerful Data Management Tool Quickly and Effectively.

Knowing the basic concepts of a database and how to build and use one are skills that are in high demand in our technologically driven economy. FileMaker Pro is used worldwide by companies and organizations to manage everything from customer relationship management to inventory control. Many people think you need to know technical programming to be successful in database management. But, FileMaker Pro makes database design and management easy and achievable for anyone - especially those without any prior programing experience. We'll take you through what you need to get started in FileMaker Pro 13 in 48 easy-to-follow video tutorials. So let's get started!

Content and Summary

Noteboom Productions has designed this course for beginners and those having no prior database experience. Our instructor, Dan, will guide you through 48 videos in just over 3 hours, teaching you the basics of databases and FileMaker Pro 13. In addition to lecturing, Dan gives step by step demonstrations of each concept and topic covered. You are encouraged to have your own FileMaker Pro 13 application open so you can follow along and try implementing the steps yourself at the end of each lecture.

This course starts with the basics, giving an explanation of what a database is and why you would want to use one. You'll also learn the basics of FileMaker Pro terminology, including the different modes you'll use while building and using your database. Once these basics are covered you'll dive in to building your own database by creating your first tables and layouts.

Once you have your table(s) built, you'll learn how your data is stored in your database through individual records. Then we'll cover how to format your different layouts and create a unique look for your database. As we explore designing our new database, we'll demonstrate FileMaker Pro's very powerful tool called the "Inspector." This tool assists you in formatting everything in your database from where items are positioned to how data is entered into fields, making it easy to design a user-friendly and intuitive database.

While this course is designed for beginners learning basic database concepts and terminology, you'll also have the opportunity to learn about relational databases and entering and viewing data between tables or lists. We also cover creating buttons and scripts and how to save and share the data from your database.

Students completing this course will have the basic knowledge needed to build their own database solution in FileMaker Pro 13.

Who is the target audience?
  • This FileMaker Pro course is meant for students who are new to building a database. It is also helpful for students looking for instruction on making a basic relational database. No prior database knowledge is need. This course is probably not for you if you're looking to learn more advanced functionality in FileMaker Pro.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 48 Lectures Collapse All 48 Lectures 03:29:56
Tutor for Filemaker Pro: The Basics
1 Lecture 03:18

In this lecture we give a basic outline of what the tutorial covers - including the basic concept of Filemaker Pro, creating a database, working with records, layouts, and fields, defining relationships, creating scripts, and sharing your data.

Preview 03:18
Filemaker Pro Concepts
4 Lectures 08:28

In this lecture we give a brief overview of the lectures in this section which include defining a database, an overview of Filemaker Pro terminology, and the different modes used in Filemaker Pro.

Preview 00:20

In this lecture we define what a database is and why you would want to use one. We cover how using a database to organize lists of information can make your work more effective and efficient.

Preview 02:17

In this lecture we introduce common Filemaker Pro terms and their meanings - such as, solution, table, fields, records, and layouts.

Preview 04:17

In this lecture we introduce the different modes used in Filemaker Pro including browse, find, layout, and preview.

Filemaker Pro Modes
Let's Create a Database or Solution
4 Lectures 20:10

In this lecture we introduce the next section of videos covering how to create a database or "solution." We start with choosing whether we are starting a database from scratch or using and starter solution. Next, we cover adding tables and records. Finally we close this section with creating some layouts.

Let's Create a Database or Solution Introduction

In this lecture we cover how to launch the Filemaker Pro application and select which way we want to create our new database or solution. Once the solution is created we review the table and layout that are automatically generated by Filemaker Pro. There is a brief intro to the "Quick Start" feature as well.

Creating a Database or Solution

In this lecture we will show you how to add and manage tables in your database/solution. Within tables, data is contained in fields. We also cover how to add individual fields to a table and how these fields may be different "types" depending on what kind of data will be stored in them.

Adding Tables and Fields to a Solution

In this lecture we will show you how to create layouts to view and edit the data in our tables and fields. We start by demonstrating the different ways fields can be added to a layout then focus in on using the "Field Picker." Finally, we cover switching between layout mode, where we create and change layouts, to the browse mode, where we can actually begin entering data into individual fields.

Adding Fields to Layouts
Working with Records
5 Lectures 19:48

In this lecture we introduce the next section of videos covering how to work with records in Filemaker Pro. We'll start with reviewing how to create a record, then delete or duplicate it. We'll demonstrate the different ways to view and sort your records. We'll close the section with demonstrating how to find records.

Working with Records Introduction

In this lecture we demonstrate three different ways to create a new record. Records are created by entering data into fields in the browse mode. Once a few records are created, we'll cover how to permanently delete a record or duplicate it. We'll also cover how to switch between tables to add new records. Finally we'll cover how to simply browse all of our records in our new Filemaker Pro solution.

Creating, Deleting, and Duplicating Records

In this lecture we cover the three different ways to view our data/records. Starting in form view we demonstrate how to switch between the different views - form, list or table. We also explain the difference of each view and the advantages for using them. Finally we demonstrate some easy ways to add records or fields via the table view.

Viewing Data in a Form, List, and Table View

In this lecture we demonstrate how to sort our data/records. There are three different ways to get to the sort function of Filemaker Pro - each is demonstrated. How to sort by multiple field is also demonstrated. We wrap up this section by showing how to tell if your data is sorted, then demonstrating how to return our data to its original unsorted order.

Sorting Records

In this lecture we cover the different ways to search our data using the find mode or "quick find." We demonstrate how to enter the find mode, enter a find "request" and save that request for future use. We wrap up with demonstrating how to enter multiple requests and how to omit specific records from our find requests.

Finding Records and Saving Requests
Working with Layouts
8 Lectures 31:34

In this lecture we introduce the next section of videos covering working within the layout mode. We'll start by going over the different parts of the layout, how to change the theme and how to make a new layout. From there we will cover how to add text and graphics, how to use the format painter, how to add tab controls and popovers.

Working with Layouts Introduction

In this lecture we introduce the different parts of the layout - header, body, and footer - and how to resize these parts. We also cover layout setup and all of the options available for the general setup, viewing, and printing.

Layout Parts and Options

In this lecture we cover changing the look or the "theme" of the layout including colors and text size.

Changing Layout Themes

In this section we demonstrate how to create a new layout. We also spend some time reviewing how to use the "Field Picker" as it is a useful tool for selecting which fields we want to add to our new layout.

Creating New Layouts

In this lecture we cover how to add pictures or images, text in text boxes, and shapes to our layout. We demonstrate selecting images from your computer and iPhoto library, inserting text boxes and formatting the text within the text box, and drawing shapes. We also demonstrate moving these items between parts of the layout.

Adding Images, Text, and Shapes

In this lecture we cover how to locate and use the format painter. The format painter is a tool used to copy formatting you've applied to your layout and reuse it in other places. We also briefly demonstrate formatting using the "Inspector" but, will cover that more thoroughly in the next section of videos.

Copying Styles with the Format Painter

In this lecture we demonstrate how you can use tabs to organize your data within your layout using the tab control tool.

Adding Tab Control to Layouts

In this lecture we demonstrate how to add a "popover" window to a layout. Popovers, like tabs, are another way to view and organize your data within a layout.

Adding Popovers to Layouts
Working with the Inspector
5 Lectures 17:02

In this lecture we introduce the next section of videos covering how to use the "Inspector" - a tool with options for position, style, appearance, and data. The inspector is a very powerful tool in Filemaker Pro.

Working with the Inspector Introduction

In this lecture we focus specifically on the position options in the inspector tool. The position options allow you to make your layout uniform and user-friendly. Options in the position inspector tool include adding a tooltip to a field, autosizing a layout, aligning, resizing, grouping, arranging, and locking fields, sliding and visibility, and using a grid to arrange a layout.

Position Inspector

In this lecture we focus specifically on the style options in the inspector tool. The style options are another way to format text and objects in a layout. Instead of formatting each text box or object individually using the format painter, you can use the styles inspector to change the look of the layout. The style options make it easy to keep a consistent look throughout your database/solution.

Styles Inspector

In this lecture we focus specifically on the appearance options in the inspector tool. The appearance options allow you to format the different objects in a layout. Maybe you want to round out the corners on a button or add a fill color to a field - depending on what object you have selected, different appearance options are available. Appearance options also include additional options for text, paragraph, and tab formatting.

Appearance Inspector

In this lecture we focus specifically on the data options in the inspector tool. The options within the data inspector are grouped into three sections - field, behavior, and data. The data options allow you to change or customize the attributes of fields or buttons in a layout. The data inspector also allows us to format the data within the fields - how a date or time is displayed.

Data Inspector
Working with Fields
8 Lectures 42:25

In this lecture we introduce the next section of videos covering how to work with fields. All of the data in a database/solution is entered into fields. In this section of videos we go over field options, adding conditional formatting to fields, adding drop down calendars or web viewers, creating value lists or charts, and wrap-up with setting the tab order.

Working with Fields Introduction

In this lecture we cover individual field options and attributes in more detail. There is more to setting up a field than setting it to be a text, date, or time field. We cover additional options including auto-entry, validation, and storage.

Field Options

In this lecture we cover how to change the format of a field so it acts differently based on the data entered in the field. We demonstrate how a field will react based on adding different rules or "conditions" to its formatting.

Adding Conditional Formatting to Fields

In this lecture we cover how to add a drop-down calendar to a field that is formatted to contain a date. This is a helpful tip to make your database/solution more user-friendly.

Adding a Drop-down Calendar

In this lecture we demonstrate how to add a web viewer field to the layout. A web viewer gives us a window to the internet. The viewer can be set to be interactive or just a view. In this example we add a Google map and a Wikipedia page based on the city and state fields in our database.

Adding a Web Viewer Field

In this lecture we cover the different ways to add a value list to a field. Value lists are especially helpful in maintaining consistency of values entered into specific fields. There are a few different ways to format value lists including drop-down menus, check boxes, or pop-up menus. We demonstrate all of these and more in this lecture.

Creating Value Lists

In this lecture we cover how to make a chart from the data in your database/solution and place it in a layout. We demonstrate how to make a pie chart specifically, how to format the chart, and how to change the chart type after it is created.

Creating Charts

In this lecture we cover how to add and adjust the tab order of fields. When entering data into fields the user typically clicks in a specific field to make the cursor active in that field. If a "tab order" is set, the user can simply hit the tab key to advance to the next field. We demonstrate how to set the tab order automatically with Filemaker Pro or by entering it manually.

Set the Tab Order of Fields
Working with Relationships
6 Lectures 36:37

In this lecture we introduce the next section of videos coving working with relationships in FilemakerPro. We start off by explain what a relationship is and why they are useful. From there we talk about setting up relationships and creating key fields. We'll then relate two tables/lists of data together and demonstrate how to use portals. Finally we'll talk about setting value lists between portals.

Working with Relationships Introduction

Relationships are a way of connecting records between databases and are a very powerful tool in managing your data. In this lecture we define the three different types of relationships - one-to-one relationships, one-to-many relationships, and many-to-many relationships. This is a great tool for managing databases of events and attendees or invoices and customers.

What are Relationships?

In this lecture we define key fields. There is a primary key field and a foreign key field. We use a basic visual graphic as a basic example of how key fields work to relate data between lists together.

Key Fields

In this lecture we demonstrate relating two tables together. First we set up a third table where the relationships are made. Then we create the primary and key fields described in the last lecture. We wrap-up by demonstrating how all three tables are connected.

Relating Two Tables Together

In this lecture we cover placing relationship portals into the layout. Through the portals, we can see what records are related between databases. This is also a basic explanation to illustrate the concept of how portals work..

Relationships and Portals

In this lecture we cover how to add value lists to our portal views. We learned in the last video how to add a portal between databases but it was only showing the serial numbers that connected them. In this video we demonstrate how to show the actual data values through the portal view.

Value Lists and Portals
Using Buttons and Scripts
3 Lectures 12:58

In this lecture we introduce the next section of videos covering how to create buttons and scripts. Buttons are used to activate a certain action. Scripts are used to active multiple actions at once.

Using Buttons and Scripts Introduction

In this lecture we cover why we would want to add a button to a layout and then demonstrate how to do it. Again, a button activates one single action such as finding or deleting a record. We also cover how label and format a button.

Creating Buttons

In this lecture we cover how to make a script. Scripts are a collection of two or more actions. We demonstrate how to create a script and then how to activate it - either using a button we've assigned the script to or by activating the script through the "script menu" at the top of the window.

Creating and Organizing Scripts
Saving and Sharing Data
4 Lectures 17:36

In this lecture we introduce the next section of videos covering how to save and share data. We begin with creating a basic report, then demonstrate exporting data out of the database and importing data into the database, and wrap-up with saving and sending records from the database.

Saving and Sharing Data Introduction

In this lecture we cover how to create reports from your database. This lecture is similar to creating a new layout as a report is basically a new layout. After naming the report and selecting how it will be viewed, Filemaker Pro automatically steps you through setting up a report. We also demonstrate how to run a report and how to activate the script function within the report.

Creating a Basic Report

In this lecture we cover how to export data from and import data into a database. There are many options for selecting and formatting data that you export. When importing data into a database, the data needs to be "mapped" to make sure the data is imported into the correct fields. In this lecture we demonstrate a basic export and import.

Exporting and Importing Data

We wrap-up this Filemaker Pro tutorial by demonstrating some basic options to share your data and your database. Options for sending data include sending it in an Excel file, as a PDF, or with a "snapshot" link - if the recipient has access to your database. Sending the entire database may be done via email. Options for sending your database include - sending a complete database, send a compressed file or sending an empty, cloned file.

Save and Send Records
About the Instructor
4.6 Average rating
86 Reviews
940 Students
10 Courses
Producer of Easy-to-Follow Video Tutorials

Dan Wassink of Noteboom Productions and Tutorials has been creating and producing videos on how to use various software for over 6 years. With over 20 tutorials available in the App Stores, his tutorials have received close to 700 five-star ratings and reviews and have been recommended by new users, advanced users, and teachers. He looks forward to helping you learn more with his tutorials!

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