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Working with Bento Forms

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Bento, the database application for Mac OS X made by FileMaker Inc., lets you manage contacts, events, tasks, projects--everything. This chapter shows you how to work with fields and forms in Bento.
This chapter is from the book


  • Working with Forms
  • Customizing a Form with Themes
  • Customizing a Form’s Fields

Working with Forms

In Chapter 2, “Using the Bento Window,” you saw how to use the Fields list (Bento 1) or Libraries & Fields pane (Bento 2) to add fields. This chapter continues the discussion of fields and forms.

Every Bento library can be shown in a table view. At the top of the Bento window, you will see that for that library you can select either the table view or a form view. The table view is identified as “Table”; you can name the form views—and, yes, there can be more than one form view for a Bento library, but there can only be one table view.

This chapter begins by exploring the Classes template; its table view is shown in Figure 3.1. It contains a single record that is part of the template.

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.1 Display the Classes template in table view in Bento 1.

The table view in Bento 2 is much the same as you can see in Figure 3.2. The biggest difference is that in Bento 1, the table view looks like iTunes, whereas in Bento 2, it looks more like a spreadsheet.

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.2 Display the Classes template in table view in Bento 2.

The differences in functionality were described in Chapter 2. As far as the fields in the library that are shown in the table view, the difference is that the list is at the lower left in Bento 2 and at the right in Bento 1. In both cases, you select the fields to be shown in the table view by using the checkbox to the left of the field name. Because there is only one table view in a library, whether a field is displayed in that table view is an attribute of the field, and it can be set in the Fields list.

You can switch from table view to form view by clicking Form at the upper left of the Records area. The Classes form view is shown in Figure 3.3 as it appears in Bento 1.

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.3 You can view the data in form view in Bento 1.

There are more differences between Bento 1 and Bento 2 when it comes to form views. Compare Figure 3.4, the Bento 2 version of the form, with Figure 3.3, the Bento 1 version.

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.4 The Classes form view is shown in Bento 2.

First, note that in Bento 1, to the left of each field name is a small icon that indicates if that field can be dragged into the form. (The field is not already in the form because a field can only appear in a form once.) That icon appears in Bento 2 to the right of each field name. As you switch from one form to another, the icons are updated in both Bento 1 and Bento 2 to reflect whether you can add the field to the form.

Note that in Bento 2, the Fields list makes a distinction between fields in the current library and those in related data. You can see this clearly in the Assignments & Projects field, a field that shows related records from iCal. In Bento 2, it clearly shows up as a related records field, whereas in Bento 1, it and any other related records fields are displayed alongside the library’s fields.

In form view, you are able to rename a form, create new forms, and delete a form. (Except for the last one; there must always be at least one form in the library.)

To change a form’s name, double-click its name to open the dialog shown in Figure 3.5. (This is the name of the form itself; it appears to the right of Table and among any other forms. To change the name of the library, click its name—Classes in this case.) You can also use Forms > Rename Form. Here, the form in the template is called Form. For this chapter, you are modifying that form. The safest way to do that is to rename it “Original Form” and then to duplicate it and work on the duplicate. Thus, Figure 3.5 shows you the first step in the process.

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.5 Rename a form.

The second step is to duplicate the form by choosing Insert > Duplicate Form in Bento 1 or Forms > Duplicate Form in Bento 2. Bento then duplicates the original form; its default name has “Copy” at the end. The next step is to rename the duplicate form from “Original Form Copy” to “My Form.” Now you are ready to go.

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