Jump to content

Secrets -- What's not in the manual


This topic is 7136 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Recommended Posts

In just about every product, there are tips, tricks and "QUIRKS" shocked.gif -- the stuff that isn't in the manual and one only discovers it through trial and error or because someone clued you in on the secret handshake.

For example in one DOS RDBMS application, you were never to define a field starting in row 1, column 1 -- It would do srewey things to the application (not in manual).

Another: In the same table, if you set two fields to unique, you didn't end up with two unique fields but a concatenation of the two defined the uniqueness (not in manual).

If you could offer to me, an FMP newbie, FMP's quirks or hidden traps that one ought to stay away from, I'd be much appreciative. Or if you have a list, please send. Or if there's a list or book or whatever that you could point me to, I'd appreciate it very much.

Much easier if one knows ahead of time what one could step into versus discovering that you've already stepped in it.

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FMPro has a feature "repeating field". Avoid its use in probably 99.9+% of the temptations.

Be very careful in your layouts of how you arrange portals in portal rows and subsummary fields in the sub-summary fields by category (trailing). Over-reaching the bounds will cause printing problems at the very least.

ScriptMaker is single-threaded.

There are a lot of tools with which to work and often they provide options. A good solution is mostly good design.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by danjacoby:

Gee, Oak, I think we should let him in, and everyone else (call me "Prometheus"...). Here are the first two:

If you create a database with three text fields and one number field, then in the second record, enter "%56hl" into the second text field (it's case sensitive, so be careful), you can then use this database to program your coffee maker to start at 7:30 a.m.

If you then add three more records, then delete record number four, then delete the contents of the field in record number two, you can go a week without showering or brushing your teeth.

OK, those are the first two tricks; I'll pass others on as I feel you're ready for them.

laugh.gif

So I am not the only one using this frown.gif

Anatoli

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kind of like the Dilbert cartoon. "Teach me to be an engineer. I don't care if it takes all afternoon." wink.gif

FM is pretty well behaved for a program that is so complex. Most "bugs" reported in this forum are user misconceptions about how some feature works. This is not to say that there are not some "undocumented features". I'll give you a couple:

1) Portals don't always refresh after some changes. You'll need to script say Enter Preview Mode then Enter Browse Mode.

2) In multipage documents, test breaking across page boundaries can be split in half.

There is, of course, much more. A lot of it falls into the class of knowing how to use the tool. The biggest "traps" in any database program are not understanding database theory and improperly structuring a solution. A bad design for a house is a lot harder to fix than a door painted the wrong color.

For tips and tricks, take a look at Scriptology by Matt Petrowsky and John Mark Osborne.

-bd

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gee, Oak, I think we should let him in, and everyone else (call me "Prometheus"...). Here are the first two:

If you create a database with three text fields and one number field, then in the second record, enter "%56hl" into the second text field (it's case sensitive, so be careful), you can then use this database to program your coffee maker to start at 7:30 a.m.

If you then add three more records, then delete record number four, then delete the contents of the field in record number two, you can go a week without showering or brushing your teeth.

OK, those are the first two tricks; I'll pass others on as I feel you're ready for them.

laugh.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Firstly, read Scriptology. Then read it again and again and again. Copy all of the sample files to your computer and go through them one after the other. Do not leave a chapter or demo file until you fully understand it. If you have a serious problem getting something to work, create a new file and work just on this one problem. Keep these files.

Secondly: Visit this forum as much as you can. Look at every question and answer. Ask yourself, can I do that, if not try and find a way. For example Barry, your alphanumeric serials: I’d never thought about it before, as I’d never needed it. Your question interested me so I tried to find a way to do it. It was nice to be able to help you, but really I was helping myself. LOL

Thirdly, and this might sound dumb, but I use the following method. I buy big notebooks every month and perform the tasks I want to do on paper. I ask myself, how would a person deal with this problem. If, for example, I find myself creating different piles of information on my desk, or using more than one notebook for one solution, I know its time to start thinking about related files.

Fourthly, I try out calculations in Excel a lot.

Fifthly, Play Counter Strike! LOL! It won’t improve your FMP skills, but it’s fun.

One last tip: If I have very long calculations using several variables (Fieldnames) I tend to use a text program –(MS-Word) as the search and replace function is great!

Rigsby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rigsby observed, "Secondly: Visit this forum as much as you can."

This is very good advice. And as your first FMPro project construct a db file in which you can store some of the things you find here (I do). The titles to the threads are often no indication of what the issue truly is. In your db file you can set a title line which relates to specific clues, e.g., portal, exact find, relation, global, etc. Copy and paste stuff into a text field. Even though you may not need it today, when you need it tomorrow, you will be able to find it (a useful answer) quickly.

Example: In the Define Fields forum today is a useful answer by Russell Baker to "Calculation to change field color". You could store this with the words "field color", "Text color", "Calculation" and "overlay". You may not need this answer right away, but if you have it in a quickly searchable db file, it is there when you need it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by BobWeaver:

Dan, I tried your coffee maker trick, but at 7:30, instead of making coffee, the coffee maker caught fire and nearly burnt the house down. What did I do wrong? Is this one of those Windows vs. Mac issues?

Heh heh heh. smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's so good to see that everyone has such a wonderful sense of humor smile.gif and still willing to help. It'll take me a while, but I'll get up to speed on FMP. Just ordered Scriptology ($79 BUCKS from Amazon -- YEOW!!!)

This is like buying a Microsoft NT Book. An unlike our friends at MS, I sure hope it's better written and really has useful stuff in it tongue.gif

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is 7136 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.