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A Journal For FileMaker™ Users 

Using QuicKeys With FileMaker 

By Joe Kroeger 

QuicKeys™ is a utility program from CE 
Software that originated in the very early days of 
the Mac as a simple key-assignment and text¬ 
typing program. In those days few Mac applica¬ 
tions were full of keyboard shortcuts for menu 
commands and QuicKey was used to fill-in and/ 
or alter them - adding keyboard substitutes was 
all the rage. It was also nice to type often-used 
phrases (like “The FileMaker Report” or “Polter¬ 
geists comprise the principle form of spontaneous 
material manifestations”*) with one keystroke. 

QuicKeys has evolved over the years to be¬ 
come considerably more capable and it now pro¬ 
vides much of what is needed from a serious macro 
utility. The recently-added ability to combine a 
sequence of discrete actions has dramatically ex¬ 
panded what can be accomplished. 

*Pogo, circa 1956 

QuicKeys works well with FileMaker and can 
be used as an adjunct to database operations in a 
variety of ways. Simple keyboard shortcuts for 
navigation within FileMaker are handy. Complex 
macros can save a lot of time with repetitive pro¬ 
cessing of database information. Between these 
extremes there are a lot of opportunities for utili¬ 
ty operations that make data entry and manipula¬ 
tion more efficient. And, for the future, linkages 
to other files and to AppleEvents may be a little 
smoother using QuicKeys. (This article uses 
‘QuicKey’ as the name of a QuicKeys macro and 
sometimes the more generic ‘macro’ as well.) 

While there are several things that, I think, 
make QuicKeys more difficult than it needs to be, 
nonetheless it is easy enough to learn to take ad¬ 
vantage of at least the basic functionality. The 
manual is quite brief but makes a good introduc¬ 
tion to the program. A recent book by Steve Roth 
and Don Sellers (The Little QuicKeys Book, Peach- 
Pit Press) is designed to turn a casual user into an 

Issue 48 


December 21, 1992 

Using QuicKeys with FileMaker 


*A r* 

Counting Words 


© 1992 
Elk Horn Publishing 

Monitoring PrintMonitor 


PO Box 1300 

Q & A: Fixing Changed Area Codes 


Freedom, CA 95019 USA 

Figure 2 Figure 1 


About UJriteNoLU... 



$ Alarm Clock 

QuickReference Card... 

Q Calculator 

Record Sequence 

'JS Chooser 

Record Real Time 

On Control Panels 

Stop Recording... 

PO Fast Find 

I! once! 

IfeJ FileMaker Pro 1.0 alias 


IfeJ FileMaker Pro 2.0 alias 

Image Grabber 3.0 

Record one QuicKey 

m kp.nFinrip.r 


accomplished QuicKeys expert. The book in¬ 
cludes a small contribution from your humble edi¬ 
tor and this present article is derived from the 
FileMaker chapter in that book. 

After installation, QuicKeys shows up in the 
ft menu (Figure 1) along with the constant com¬ 
panion CEToolbox. In addition, there are a 
bunch of QuicKeys support files stored in the 
Preferences (!) folder in the System folder and 
other places - at last count more than 40 files (!) 
plus one for each defined QuicKeys macro. 

Mapping F-Keys 

It is often convenient to map a few FileMaker 


File Edit Define Options 

- 1 

Type Name 


ft © 

0 36shift- tab 

P9 U P 


0 36-C 


0 36-v 


PH §§- tob 


0 36-x 


0 36-A 


£ Calculator 


£ Chooser 


£ Control Panel 



Hl^lml^ll®li^irnR1lEill&i ICTCIItiM 

[ Show all | 


Uniuersal Keyset ^ | 

CMD ft 0K j) 

commands to function keys on the extended 
keyboard, even when there are already key 
combinations defined. There are plenty of 
different ways to allocate the 15 function keys 
and you can come up with an arrangement 
that meets your particular needs. 

The ‘normal’ process of assigning a func¬ 
tion key to a FileMaker operation is: select 
QuicKeys from the Apple menu (Figure 1) - 
entering the submenu is not required - and 
use Define from the QuicKeys menu bar (Fig¬ 
ure 2). The Define menu then allows you to 
pick one of the several types of QuicKeys to 
implement (Figure 3) and specify the operation 
and the key. 

I don’t like to figure out all the strange little 
QuicKeys icons, so my preference is to use an 
alternative method and let QuicKeys do the work. 
When I want a key substitution, I just record it 
and let QuicKeys worry about the details. To make 
a key assignment this way, select the Record one 
QuicKey item from the QuicKeys submenu in the 
menu (Figure 1). If you then use the mouse to 
select a FileMaker menu command (like Omit 
Multiple), QuicKeys creates an appropriate 
QuicKey (from the list shown in Figure 3); if you 
use a keyboard equivalent (like Shift-Command- 
M), QuicKeys creates a different appropriate 
QuicKey; you don’t need to remember which 
to pick. To record a sequence of actions (like 
go to Find, click in a field, type “Client” and 
hit the enter key), select Record Sequence 
instead (Figure I). If I need to accomplish 
something that QuicKeys can’t seem to con¬ 
struct automatically, then I might dig into the 
documentation and see what I can do - or I 
might decide to not use QuicKeys. 

The control interface (Figure I) is relative¬ 
ly new and is much improved over a few years 
ago. QuicKeys are grouped into sets by appli¬ 
cations so you can use the same key for differ¬ 
ent actions in different applications. Figure 2 
shows that the Universal Keyset is active. 

Page 2 • Issue 48 • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing • The FileMaker Report 

Typ_e Name 

0 §§-c 
0 8§-x 
0 §g-v 

0 96-A 
'j=| Home 
^ End 




0 Home <3» File... 

'g) End F FKEVs 

QuicKeys Fl Menu/Dfl... 
★ QuickRef "(□) Mousies 
Toggle q ^Sequence... 

BBS! * Specials 

f Show all ] TTBHt... 

Real Time 

QuiCKEYS! Cat 

My personal scheme for as¬ 
signing extended keyboard func¬ 
tion-keys for use with FileMaker 
goes like this: 

• I use QuicKeys to assign F2, 
F3 and F4 to the conventional 
Cut, Copy and Paste commands. 
I make these QuicKeys part of a 
Universal Set instead of a File¬ 
Maker Set so that they can be 
used anywhere. See Figure 2.1 
don’t often use the Undo func¬ 
tion so instead of making FI acti- 

Key Q 6 <3 
F3 £ 

|| Apple® Euents 

§ CursorllJait™ 

H Frontier™ 
g Grab Ease™ 
fall Location 


|5Bg MenuUJait™ 




g Paste Ease™ 



|p Screen Ease™ 


/■Ij. Sound 

•U| SpeakerChanger 

^(System 7 Specials 
IpType Ease™ 

^ Which Printer 



✓ Browse 








Find Bll 






Omit Multiple.. 


Find Omitted 

Oefine Fields... 



Uieuj as List 

Application menu items. For me this usu¬ 
ally means: F9 = Calculator, F10 = 
Chooser, Fll = Scrapbook, F12 = Find¬ 
er, FI 3 = Image Grabber, F14 = Control 
Panels. These assignments are also in¬ 
cluded in the Universal Set. 

• That leaves F15 and F5 through F8 
which I use for FileMaker-specific opera¬ 
tions. I use F15 to select a FileMaker script. 
One of the nice things about FileMaker is 
that first-level navigation - moving into 
different modes - is accomplished via a 
single menu: Select. The Browse, Find, 
Sort, Omit and Layout modes are entered 
so frequently that the built-in FileMaker 
shortcuts (simple command-key equiva- 

vate Undo, I assign Select All to FI. In FileMaker 
I often use Select All in conjunction with Cut, 
Copy and Paste so it is nice to have all four close 
together. While it is easy to remember the com¬ 
mand-key combinations for Cut, Copy and 
Paste, I find that a single function-key stroke is a 

lents with suitable mnemonics) come readily to 
mind. See Figure 4. Even moderately active users 
know these keyboard shortcuts so a function key 
isn’t needed. 

Other Select menu items are not used quite as 
often and/or have awkward built-in keyboard 

little faster for my left 
hand, and two functions 
(like Select All then Cut) 
are especially quick - a 
fast two-finger roll. 

• I then assign F9 
through F14 to seven fre- 
quently-used # menu or 

| The Apple Extended Keyboard II includes a plastic f 

| overlay that fits over the function keys and is conve- f 


| nient for noting key assignments. I’ve marked one § 
| side with the designations for my FileMaker macros f 
| and the other for PageMaker™ macros. It would be f 
| nice if Apple would sell these overlays separately. 

shortcuts, so they can 
profitably be included in 
the F5 through F8 slots. 

I often use these four: F5 
= Define Fields, F6 = 
Omit Multiple, F7 = 
Preview, F8 = Find All. 

The Find Omitted 

The FileMaker Report • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing • Issue 48 • Page 3 

Figure 5 

and View as List items are usu¬ 
ally best left as menu selections 
only. Naturally, specific F5-F8 
selections will be governed by 
the requirements of individual 
users. With QuicKeys it is easy 
to make new designations as 
circumstances change - even 
just temporary assignments. 

Paging through the book icon 

A notebook metaphor is 
used by FileMaker to move from record to record 
in the found set (in Browse mode) or from layout 
to layout (in Layout mode). See Figure 5. File¬ 
Maker has built-in key commands for moving 
through the notebook from the keyboard as an 
alternative to mousing through it. Command-tab 
moves to the next record (or ‘page’) and command- 
shift-tab moves to the previous record. But I like 
to save all use of the tab key for moving between 
fields rather than between records -1 get less con¬ 
fused that way. 

The page up and page down keys on the ex¬ 
tended keyboard, so logically associated with the 
book icon, are quite tempting to use instead of 
tabs. But note that in FileMaker Pro 2.0 the page 
up and page down keys 
are now defined, though 
undocumented, to scroll 
through records displayed 
as a list in a FileMaker 
window without chang¬ 
ing the active record. 

This can be quite useful 
in many circumstances 
but for much of my 
work I prefer to use the 
page up and page down 
keys to page through the 
book icon. So I’ve creat¬ 
ed QuicKey assignments 
that do so. (A QuicKey 

can override other key assignments built into 
applications.) Rather than make mouse-click 
QuicKeys, I recorded QuicKeys to substitute for 
the existing built-in shortcut. Thus when I hit the 
page up key on the keyboard, QuicKeys intervenes 
and causes command-shift-tab to be sent to File¬ 
Maker, which responds by moving up one page in 
the book. Page up and page down have proven to 
be both habit-forming and very productive for 
my style of FileMaker work. 

Two other available keys on the extended 
keyboard are the home and end keys. It is often 
useful if they can be made to operate the notebook 
icon, taking the database to the first and last 
records, respectively, in the currently found set. 
FileMaker has no direct menu items or keyboard 
equivalents for moving to the top or bottom of 
the notebook; however, it does have button and 
script commands that can be used for such a task. 
Note that once again Pro 2.0 has implemented 
undocumented actions for the home and end keys: 
they now move the scroll bar of the currently 
active FileMaker window to the top (home) and 
bottom ( end) of the window. Neat indeed. But 
moving to the top or bottom of the notebook is 
usually more productive for me (and besides, I 
got accustomed to doing so with earlier FileMaker 

Page 4 • Issue 48 • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing • The FileMaker Report 

Figure 6 

versions and it is tough to change). 

You can create a script that moves to the top 
of the book by using the Go to Record script 
command. See Figure 6. (Figure 7 shows the 
parallel button command selection in Pro ^ 
1.0) It is then a simple matter to cause Quic- 
Keys to activate that script when the home 
key is pressed (even if the script is not one of 
the first nine scripts and thus does not have 
a keyboard equivalent assigned by FileMak¬ 
er). A script to go to the bottom of the book 
uses the same Go to Record command, ex¬ 
cept the record number specified should be 
larger than the number of records in the 
database: 9999 often works. In the process of 
trying to go to the large number, FileMaker goes 
as far as it can and stops at the last available record. 

The new ScriptMaker™ in Pro 2.0 is quite 
remarkable and continues the FileMaker tradition 
of making sophisticated capabilities easily avail¬ 
able to users. To create a new script for the home 
key, open ScriptMaker, enter a script name and 
click Create to arrive at the dialog shown in Fig¬ 
ure 6. Clear from the large right-hand sub-box 
(labeled with the name of the script being edited) 
any actions not needed for the new script and 
then scroll through the left-hand sub-box to 
locate the Go to Record/Request command. A 
double-click on the command moves it into the 
right-hand box. When any line in the right-hand 
script box is highlighted, the options for that line 
are displayed in the box below, as shown in Figure 
6. In the case of the Go to Record/Request com¬ 
mand, Perform without dialog can be specified 
and the destination record number can be entered. 
When the Specify Record... button is clicked, the 
sub-dialog shown in Figure 8 pops up. Once the 
record number is entered, click OK, click OK 
again, and click Done. 

If you don’t want to use script slots for home 
and end, it is also possible to create buttons that 
execute the same commands (Figure 9). Place the 
buttons in a standard location if you want to use 

Define Button _ 

In Browse or Find mode, cl 
set of objects will 

□ perform a script: j_1j 

g] perform a command: 

^ without showing < 

□ switch to layout: j L 

Go To Preuious Field 

New Record 
Duplicate Record 
Delete Record 
Delete Found Set 
Paste From IndeK... 
Paste From Last Record 
Paste Current Date 
Paste Current Time 
Replace _ 

Spell Check Selection 
Spell Check Record 
Spell Check Found Set 

Find nil 

Omit Multiple... 

Find Omitted 

Toggle Status Rrea 
Toggle Uiew-fls-List 

Go to record out of 33 records 

in the current found set. 

them on more than one layout. A couple of mouse- 
click QuicKeys will then allow the home and end 
keyboard keys to click the buttons and activate 
the associated commands. Don’t worry about 
putting such buttons on a layout intended for 
printing: FileMaker buttons can be made non¬ 
printing for such uses. 

Here is a procedure for 
making the home button 
(the end button is similar): l U gout * 5 ] 

- 1 —v [ er>d j 

* Enter Layout mode and [r 

f t --f— 

go to a layout where the *^1 * 

home button will appear. LZZI1 

• Create a graphic or a text —^ 

block (or both, grouped) 51 



The FileMaker Report • ©7992 Elk Horn Publishing • Issue 48 • Page 5 

Figure 9 Figure 8 Figure 7 

macros that execute those finds for me. Example: if I 
hit command-option-t on my keyboard, the seven- 
step QuicKeys macro shown in Figure 11 is exe¬ 
cuted. These types of macros save me a lot of time. 

FileMaker is good at locating all records that 
have, say, duplicate namecodes. But then what? In 
some cases it is necessary to sort the found set and 
then go through it, record by record, examining 
the individual duplicate pairs or sets to see if one 
should be deleted. But we can use QuicKeys to 
automate some of these tasks. Flere is a procedure 
that works: 

1. Use FileMaker to Find all the records that have 
duplicate entries in the field of interest. For an 
address file it is usually quite effective to create a 
field just for this purpose - 1 call mine NameCode 
which is a combination of parts of the last name and 
the ZIP code. 

2. Since locating all the dups in a file may take a 
long time and it is necessary to access the dup set 
repeatedly, mark the found set of records that 
have duplicate NameCodes with, say, an “a” in 
the Temp field. This makes it easy to locate the 
rest of the dups after dealing with each subset. 

3. Find all records with “a” in the Temp field. 

4. Find all records containing the same Name- 
Code contents as the NameCode field in the first 

no additional button 
definition work is needed. 


There are many types 
of repetitive actions that 
are performed in typical 
address-processing opera¬ 
tions and that can be auto¬ 
mated with QuicKeys. 

I often look for dupli¬ 
cates of last names, tele¬ 
phone numbers, record 
numbers, and namecodes. 

So I have simple QuicKeys 

Page 6 • Issue 48 • ©7992 Elk Horn Publishing • The FileMaker Report 



Phone Dup 



( Record More 
[ Import ) 

[ Literal ~] 

[ Timer Options j □ Include in QuicKeys menu |__0K__jJ [ Cancel ] 

that will be used as a button object. Make them 
small in order to use less layout space. 

• Select the button object (click on it once) and 
execute Define Button... from the Scripts menu. 
In the resulting dialog box, select the desired com¬ 
mand and the associated options (Figure 10). 

Indicate that 
record number 
1 is the destina¬ 
tion. Accept the 
dialog. Go to 
Browse mode. 

• Record a 
QuicKey that 
simply clicks on 
the button 
you’ve created 
in FileMaker. 
Give it a name 
and specify the 
home key as the 
activating key. 
Save the result. 

Figure 10 

Once the button is defined, it can be copied 
to the clipboard (from Layout mode) and pasted 
into other layouts that need it. When a FileMaker 
button is copied, FileMaker carries with it the 
associated command so 

Figure 11 

record marked “a”. 

5. Examine the resulting set of records and decide 
on their disposition. Mark an “x” in the Temp 
field of those that will be deleted later, and re¬ 
move the “a” from the Temp field of those to keep. 

6. Repeat steps 3 through 6 until all the “a” records 
have been processed. 

A QuicKey macro can be used instead of man¬ 
ual execution of steps 3 and 4 above. The number 
of discrete QuicKey steps in this macro will de¬ 
pend on your particular file design - mine is cur¬ 
rently 13 steps. If you record it you will not need 
to be concerned with the type of QuicKey actually 
used at each point. Here is a list of the actions 
performed by QuicKeys in this macro: 

• Enter the Find mode. 

• Tab to the Temp field. 

• Type “=a”. 

• Press the enter key. 

• Tab to the NameCode field. (Or click in it if 
necessary. Save time by using the FileMaker Tab 
Order command (from the Arrange menu) to 
minimize the number of tabs it takes to move 
into the NameCode field.) 

• Select All. 

• Copy. 

• Enter Find. 

• Tab into the NameCode field. (Be careful: this 
may be a different number of tabs than in the 
fourth step since Find is active instead of Browse.) 

• Type “=”. 

• Paste. 

• Press the enter key. 

Any key assignment that you find comfortable 
to remember will work well for this macro. Once 
defined, the time it takes for execution of the 
macro will depend on the size and complexity of 
the database being exercised and on the speed of 
the computer being used. Two seconds or so is 
about right for a modest-sized file and a medium- 
speed processor. This is many times faster than 
doing the process manually. (And it saves wear 
and tear on the wrists as well!) 

Now that we have some help with steps 3 and 
4 above, step 5 can also take advantage of another 
QuicKey. When the first record of the set found 
in step 4 is usually saved and the second is usually 
marked for deletion, and if the QuicKey is always 
initiated when the second record is active, the 
sequence would look like this: 

• Tab to the Temp field. 

• Select All. 

• Type V\ 

• Page to the previous record. 

• Select All. (The cursor will still be in the Temp 
field so field selection is not necessary.) 

• Press the delete key. 

Other variations are possible. You may want 
to transfer information into the keeper record 
from the record to be deleted. Copy-and-paste 
works, but QuicKeys can take advantage of the 
FileMaker Paste Ditto function which can paste 
from one record to another without repetitive 
movements back and forth between records. 

Data entry 

Another productive area for using QuicKeys is 
when completing repetitive forms or orders. File¬ 
Maker is quite good at providing automatic and 
semi-automatic field fill-in with auto-entry, look¬ 
ups and popups. Even so, there are cases when 
QuicKeys can, with one triggering keystroke, type 
for us a series of entries in a series of fields. Even 
the tabs that move the cursor between fields can 
be included in the QuicKeys sequence. Data en¬ 
tered by QuicKeys may go on to trigger subse¬ 
quent FileMaker lookups. 

A key to efficient use of such macros is to real¬ 
ize that while individual records may be quite 
distinct overall, nonetheless sometimes there are 
subsets of information that tend to be entered 
together. In an order-entry form, it may be that 
most customers who buy item 1023 usually also 
buy items 2204 and 2310, so it makes sense to 
enter all three with a QuicKey, even if once in a 
while it is necessary to go back and change or 

The FileMaker Report • ©7992 Elk Horn Publishing • Issue 48 • Page 7 

delete an item. On a personnel form, once a new 
employee is designated as an ‘engineer’, she auto¬ 
matically becomes ‘salaried’ and ‘shift 1’ and her 
employee number starts with ‘E’. QuicKeys can 
enter all this for you. 

QuicKeys can help when entering a fax phone 
number in addition to a voice phone number. 

The fax number quite often has the same area 
code and even the same prefix as the voice phone. 
A simple macro can highlight the voice number, 
copy it, tab to the fax field, paste, and delete four 
digits, thus preparing the field for manual entry 
of the rest of the number. 

Temporary QuicKeys 

In addition to fixtures like those described 
above, there seem always to be recurring data- 
editing situations where a QuicKey or two can be 
created just for a specific short-term task and 

then disposed of. Since recording a QuicKey is 
now so easy, temporary tasks invite temporary 
macros, even strange and convoluted ones. 

To make a temporary QuicKey easy to identi¬ 
fy later for deletion, use a unique naming scheme 
(like putting an x in front of the name) or use a 
unique key combination. 

QuicKey is a useful supplementary tool that 
interacts well with FileMaker and often makes 
synergistic combinations for improved productivity. 

Some of the material in this article appeared 
as a chapter in The Little QuicKeys Book by Steve 
Roth and Don Sellers. The book is published by 
Peachpit Press in Berkeley, CA at 510-548-4393. 
The QuicKeys program is published by CE Soft¬ 
ware Inc. CE Software can be contacted in Des 
Moines, IA at 515-224-1995. 

QuicKeys Wish List 

Now don’t get me wrong: there is a lot to like 
in QuicKeys and I use it regularly. Nonetheless, 
much confusion about the program continues to 
reign in my head. The splintering of the QuicKeys 
files and subprograms gives me a headache and 
makes housekeeping difficult. Too much of 
QuicKeys is spread all over the place making it 
tough to keep straight. 

If I wanted to be a QuicKeys guru I would 
love it and I would be involved enough to get all 
the patchwork figured out. But I just want to use 
some QuicKeys to make my life a little easier 
when I’m doing my real work. 

There are evidently capabilities in QuicKeys 
that I am not taking advantage of. To go beyond 
my present level of usage I’d have to learn more 
about all the little files with their multifarious 
icons and I’d have to remember quite a few new 
things. I have little time to devote to this. 

Why are there hidden keystroke combina¬ 

tions? Why is there a separate extensions manag¬ 
er? Why are extensions not integrated more fully? 
Indeed, why does the user need to know that ex¬ 
tensions exist in the first place? Why is there a 
control panel? Why is CEToolbox separate? Why 
can’t I remove CEToolbox from the # menu? 

Why would I ever want to pop up a CEToolbox 
menu? Why is there a whole separate program 
called DialogKeys? Why is the text editor called 
“Display”? Why are there ‘types’ of QuicKeys and \ 

why so many little icons? f 

If CE Software wants users like me to take 
better advantage of the program, they need to 
make it easier to grasp and use. (Like FileMaker!) 

I only started making real macros with QuicKeys 
after it acquired the ability to record sequences. In 
sequences at least QuicKeys does not burden me 
with decisions that are not needed. Power users f 
and the people at CE Software are often too close \ 
to it to have a casual-user viewpoint. f 


Page 8 • Issue 48 • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing • The FileMaker Report 

Counting Words with FileMaker Pro 

By Leah Brooks 

A^Iost people are aware of the revolution that 
Macs have led in the field of desktop publishing. 
But in my experience as a database consultant, the 
Macintosh (using FileMaker Pro, of course) can 
be utilized in other aspects of the publishing busi¬ 
ness, as well. I have set up editorial deadline 
tracking systems, advertising sales systems with 
complex rate lookup files, reader response card 
information tracking systems, and so forth. My 
latest challenge involved creating a set of File¬ 
Maker Pro files to keep track of classified and 
personal ads that run in the back of a magazine. 
The system was operated previously on an IBM 
machine using a dBase program. The client wanted 
to simplify the system. 

One of the features of the old system that works 

well is the capacity to get an accurate word count. 
The magazine charges their customers a certain 
rate per word, not per line or character. There are 
special rules about what constitutes a word; for 
example, hyphenated words count as two words, 
and a phone number counts as one. The client 
indicated that these rules might change at any 
time, depending on special rate changes or at the 
whim of a supervisor. 

To get FileMaker Pro to count words (and to 
understand all that are considered words) did not 
at first seem an easy task. However, I have come 
up with a solution that I believe will solve all the 
problems, and still allow the client to be flexible 
in deciding what word count to assign to each 
“questionable” phrase. 

I considered several solutions to this problem. 
Using the FileMaker spell checker, I could get a 

Editor's Note: Last year in these pages we reported 
on the development of “CrimeBuster”, a FileMaker 
template from Watertechnics for a San Jose, CA 
| pilot project to evaluate laptops and software for 
writing crime reports. The results, summarized here, 
indicate a preference for the Mac and for FileMaker. 


Update: Clean Sweep for PowerBook and 

CrimeBuster 1.0 was designated as “equal or 
markedly superior in all categories” during evalu- 
| ation by the San Jose Police Department. The data 
for the evaluation was provided by forty officers 
| using three different systems over a period of four 
months. The final results of the project were pre- 
| sented by Professor Stephen Kwan of the San Jose 
State University School of Business. 

In the Statistical Analysis Report, Kwan indi¬ 
cated “The Apple PowerBook was rated as good 
and superior in almost all of the criteria. In a pre¬ 
ponderance of cases, the PowerBook was rated 
higher than the IBM PC-compatible laptops and 
pen-based systems” and “The results and the analy¬ 
ses warrant a recommendation that the SJPD con¬ 
sider the purchase of the Apple PowerBook and 
associated software as the platform for use by 
their officers in preparing reports in the field.” 

Watertechnics will be demonstrating Crime¬ 
Buster and other templates in the FileMaker 
Resource Center, Room 212, at MacWorld Expo, 
January 6 to 9 at Moscone Center in San Fran¬ 
cisco. At other times Watertechnics can be | 

reached at 408-761-3987. \ 


The FileMaker Report • ©7992 Elk Horn Publishing • Issue 48 • Page 9 

word count if the field with the ad text was the 
only field in a record. However, the information 
about how many words checked is not available 
except visually on screen, and can’t be automati¬ 
cally entered into a field. Also, the spell checker 
won’t count phone numbers as words, and can’t 
deal with the problem of hyphenated words. 

I mused with the idea of nesting the position' 
function in a long calculation that would find the 
position of the spaces in the ad text, but rejected 
that. It might have been fun to attempt such an 
equation, but no one could predict exactly how 
long the ad text might be, and I didn’t want to 
build in limitations to the program. 

Another complicated solution might be to 
make a number of separate text fields, one for 
each word, and build a calculation field that ex¬ 
tracts the words, one at a time, and assembles 
them in a separate text field for use in the ad. 

Then I would need another calculation to count 
how many of the word fields contained entries. 
Again, the number of separate text fields would 
be an artificial limit on how many words could be 
entered as ad text. And it would still require some 
work to decide which entries would be counted as 
words and which would not. 

I finally hit upon a solution that takes advan¬ 
tage of MakeRepeats+, a desk accessory designed 
by Kim Hunter and sold through The Elk Horn 
Library. I have used this utility program to resolve 
several complicated data transfer problems, and it 
came in handy in this case, too. 

The trick is to use a repeating field for the 
entry. Each line of the repeating field constitutes 
one word. This gives the entry person flexibility in 
deciding, according to the rules of the day, what 
makes up one word. If a space is to follow the 
word, it is entered also, on the same repeating 
line. If no space is required, as in the case of hy¬ 
phenated words, no space is entered. 

Depending on the user experience , I can sim¬ 
plify data entry later with a calculated field that 
automatically adds a space unless there is a hyphen. 

NewWord = 

If (Right (Word, 1) = Word, Word & " ") 

Once the repeating Word field is set up, a 
calculated field called Word Count is defined. 

The formula reads: 

Word Count = Count (Word) 

This will figure out how many lines of the 
repeating field Word are filled in - or, more sim¬ 
ply, how many words are in the ad. Note that 
whatever may be defined as a word is controlled 
by the operator - whatever is entered in one re¬ 
peating line is a word. 

Once all the data has been entered (one ad per 
record), the repeating field is exported to a com¬ 
ma-separated text file called Ad Text. Then, using 
the MakeRepeats+ desk accessory, the Ad Text 
file is run through the MakeReturns function, 
which creates another text file. MakeRepeats calls 
this file “Returns Ad Text.” It is this second file 
that is then imported back into the original File¬ 
Maker Pro file, into an empty text field called 
Complete ad text. The import option to Update 
rather than Add records is used. There can be no 
records added or deleted between the process of 
exporting and importing, and the records should 
be sorted before beginning the process. Then, 
when the file is imported, the current records can 
be updated in the correct order. 

The final step is to export the Complete ad 
text field into a text file that will be poured into a 
page layout program. If you are using Page¬ 
Maker™, I recommend a software product called 
Data Shaper (published by Elsewhere) to format 
the data with the styles that you have previously 
set up. Alternatively, you can append some Page¬ 
Maker style information within FileMaker and 
then export. This is a real time saver for those of 
us involved in database publishing. 

Leah Brooks is a FileMaker consultant in 
San Francisco and can be reached 
at Resolutions, 415-648-6756. 

Page 10 • Issue 48 • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing »The FileMaker Report 

Monitoring PrintMonitor 

By S. C. Kim Hunter 

Do you get tired of the PrintMonitor notice 
dialogs when printing FileMaker mailing labels by 
manual feed? Until recently, I wasn’t aware of the 
Preferences settings that can be modified for 
PrintMonitor; the purpose of this article is to 
reveal them so you too can turn off any dialogs 
you find annoying. 

First some background discussion. Print- 
Monitor is Macintosh system software that pro¬ 
vides background printing. With System 6, 
PrintMonitor only works when MultiFinder is 
active. If you aren’t currently running with Multi- 
Finder and you have sufficient RAM, I suggest 
that you turn it on so you can get used to it be¬ 
cause it is the permanent mode when running 
with System 7 - the wave of the future as they say. 

When a document is printed when Print- 
Monitor is inactive, that print job must be com¬ 
pleted before any other work can be done. When 
PrintMonitor is active, the application will com¬ 
plete printing very quickly but nothing comes out 
of the printer. PrintMonitor intercepts the print 
commands and stores them. Later, the commands 

f— ..' .......1 

ij By the way, if you find MultiFinder or System 7 
| confusing when there are several applications 
open, you may want to try the system Apple is 
| shipping with the Performa versions of the Classic f 
I and IILC. This system, denoted as 7p, has auto- 
| matic “Hide Others”. That is, any application 
| which is not in front has its windows automatical- 
| ly hidden. I wish Apple had made this an option 
!j in all the systems and I hope it becomes one soon, 
f You can do this manually in the “non-p” System 
7 by choosing “Hide Others” from the Applica- 
jj tion Menu at the right end of the menu bar. 

are played out to the printer while the system is 
free to do other chores. 

I should mention that with System 6 and Sys¬ 
tem 7 prior to System 7 Tuneup there are prob¬ 
lems with PrintMonitor. A bug caused frequent 
and random crashes. This bug materialized when 
a print job was started, PrintMonitor took over 
and then the user quit the application that did the 
printing before PrintMonitor had finished the 
print job. This caused garbage to be written into 
parts of the system file which later caused crashes. 
A temporary solution was to turn PrintMonitor 
off and reinstall the system. Installation of System 
7 Tuneup has apparently repaired this problem 
and the fix has been made a permanent part of 
System 7.1. 

A further note about installing System 7 which 
doesn’t appear in Apple’s instructions: It is im¬ 
portant to update the hard disk drivers before 
installing System 7. If you don’t update the driv¬ 
ers, hard disk problems can occur. Updating is 
done by running Apple HD SC Setup which is 
found on the Disk Tools System 7 diskette, and 
you must make sure it is the System 7.0 version or 
later by using the Get Info command on the 
Finder’s File menu. Operation of Apple HD SC 
Setup is explained in the Apple system manuals. 
Briefly, Apple HD SC Setup has an Update but¬ 
ton which performs the driver update. If that 
button is dimmed, your hard disk is not an 
Apple-produced drive; you must obtain driver 
update software from the original hard disk ven¬ 
dor, or backup and reinitialize the hard disk with 
independent SCSI disk management software, 
such as La Cie’s Silverlining or FWB Hard Disk 
Toolkit or Casa Blanca Works Drive 7. Be very 
careful when updating a driver to make sure you 
do not accidently initialize your drive instead. 

The FileMaker Report • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing • Issue 48 • Page 11 

Figure 2 _ Fi 9 ure 1 


Select a LaserWriter: 

Background Printing: (•) On O Off 
® Active 


O Inactive 


PrintMonitor is activated and deactivated 
from the Chooser on the Apple Menu. When the 
Chooser is open (Figure 1), and a printer icon 
chosen, Background Printing appears along with 
On and Off radio buttons. Click On to turn Print- 
Monitor on. Some printer driver software doesn’t 
have background capability and in those cases. 
Background Printing won’t appear. 

After Background Printing has been activated 
and the Chooser is closed, the next print task will 
be done through PrintMonitor. When the job 
involves manual feed, such as for printing laser 
labels, PrintMonitor performs a series of notifica¬ 
tions which can be annoying. (In the following 
sequence, I assume the use of an Apple Laser¬ 
Writer. Other printers may behave differently, or 

have different lights or other 
methods for indicating time 
to insert manual feed paper. 
Hopefully you can adapt my 
comments to your situation.) 

First, the icon at the far 
right end of the menu bar 
starts flashing and then the 
dialog in Figure 2 appears to 
alert you that the printer is 
waiting for paper. This mes¬ 
sage is not quite correct; the 
printer isn’t really waiting yet 
because the red light won’t 
yet be on. This message tells 
you to choose PrintMonitor 
from the Application menu. 

After you click OK in the dialog in Figure 2 
and choose PrintMonitor in the application 
menu, you get another dialog, shown in Figure 3, 
which tells you to insert the paper, then click OK. 
But it still really isn’t time to put the paper in - 
you should wait until the red light comes on. If 
you followed Figure 3 to the letter, you would go 
to the printer, put the paper in (even though the 
red light wasn’t on) and come back to the Mac to 
click OK. I have found that, for the Apple Laser¬ 
Writer II NT at least, it is best to wait for the red 
light to come on before inserting paper. 

Fortunately, Apple has provided a convenient 
way to deactivate these dialogs. PrintMonitor has 
a Preferences settings which can be set via the 
dialog in Figure 4. But this 
dialog is not particularly easy 
to find. PrintMonitor can be 
selected from the Applica¬ 
tion menu at the far right 
end of the menu bar when it 
is running. When selected 
PrintMonitor comes to the 
front and you now have 
access to the PrintMonitor 

The LaserWriter is waiting for a sheet of paper. 

Please choose PrintMonitor from the Rpplication 

II 0I( II 

Page 12 • Issue 48 • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing »The FileMaker Report 

File menu which you probably never 
noticed before. On the File menu is a 
Preferences... selection which opens the 
dialog of Figure 4. 

To get at the Preferences dialog with¬ 
out having to print something, open the 
System Folder, and (in System 7) open 
the Extensions folder, then double-click 
the PrintMonitor icon. This launches 
PrintMonitor even though it has nothing 
to print and allows access to the Prefer¬ 
ences selection on the File menu. 

(This is also the only way I know - 
awkward though it may be - to assign a 
later print time to a document when 
there are no other printing jobs in the 
print spool. Launch PrintMonitor, 
switch to the document to be printed, 
print it, immediately go back to Print- 
Monitor and click on the Set Print 
Time... button. You then should be able 
to schedule the document to be printed 
later. An alias of PrintMonitor placed on 
the desktop helps a little. Perhaps Apple 
can improve the interface for us.) 

The PrintMonitor Preferences dialog 
has three buttons that relate to manual 
feed jobs. For the least annoyance just 
click Give no notification. The print job 
will proceed without interruption, except that 
you still have to go to the printer to put the paper 
in - just use the red light as a guide for inserting 

The second button, Display icon in menu 
bar, avoids the dialog in Figure 2. But you still 
have to respond to the dialog in Figure 3 before 
printing starts. 

The third button, Also display alert, is the 
pre-set standard which we are trying to avoid. 

There are cases when you would want to have 
all the alerting. When you are using a computer 
on a network with several other computers shar¬ 

mmmmmmesemmmmmmmmmmmsmmimmmtmk The FileMaker Report • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing • Issue 48 • Page 13 

ing one or more printers, you do want to be alert¬ 
ed when your print job is ready to start. You 
should select the Also display alert option to 
make sure you get the message. Just having the 
Display icon in menu bar probably doesn’t give 
you enough warning and if ignored would delay 
other print jobs, with the potential for an angry 
mob to descend upon you. 



Show the PrintMonitor window when printing: 

<•) No O Yes 

IDhen a printing error needs to be reported: 

♦ O Only display ♦ in Application menu 
Q ♦ O Also display icon in menu bar 
II II ^ Also display alert 

When a manual feed job starts: 

® Giue no notification 
^ ♦ O Display icon in menu bar 
II II |JD| ♦ O Hlso display alert 

f Cancel 1 ^ 

Figure 4 Figure 3 

Q&Si : Fixing Changed Area Codes 

I have a name and address file with more 
than 10,000 records that include tele¬ 
phone numbers. Our local phone company re¬ 
cently split our area code and added a new one. I 
have a list of the three-digit prefixes within our 
old local area that need to be converted to the 
new area code. All of the phone numbers outside 
the old local area have 10-digit numbers already 
entered using the format “(888) 555-1234”. All 
existing numbers from the old local area have 
only 7-digit entries. The problem is to devise a 
calculation that: 

• ignores existing 10-digit phone numbers; 

• checks the prefix of the remaining numbers and 
for those that match the list, append “(310)” to 
the front of the number. 

• for the rest of the 7-digit entries add “(213)” to 
the front of the number. 

- K. Z., Los Angeles, CA 

All the requirements of this problem can 
be accomplished in one equation if the 
prefix list is not too lengthy. The answer requires 
more work if the prefix list is longer than perhaps 
a dozen items or so. 

Let’s say there are three prefixes that are being 
moved out of the local area code: 555, 666, and 
777. The old phone field is called Phone and the 
new phone field is called NewPhone. Then an 
equation to make the changes looks like this: 

NewPhone = {text result} 

If (Length (Phone) = 14, Phone, If (Length 
(Phone) = 8 and Left (Phone,3) = 555, "(310) " & 
Phone, If (Length (Phone) = 8 and Left (Phone,3) 
= 666, "(310) " & Phone, If (Length (Phone) = 8 
and Left (Phone,3) = 777, "(310) " 8c Phone, If 
(Length (Phone) = 8, "(213) " 8c Phone, If (Phone 
= "Error")))))) 

If the number of characters in the Phone field 
is 14 (10 for the actual digits and 4 for format¬ 
ting) then no changes are made. If the number of 
characters in the Phone field is 8 and if the first 
three digits are one of the targeted prefixes, then 
310 (with parenthesis and a space) is appended as 
an area code. The remaining 8-character phone 
numbers have 213 appended as an area code. 

Note that the three-digit prefixes of the phone 
numbers to be moved to the 310 area code are 
entered directly in the calculation. 

In this example all Phone entries that are not 
14 or 8 or zero characters long will generate an 
Error result. Once the equation has been entered, 
the operator can Find all records with Error in 
the NewPhone field and make appropriate cor¬ 
rections in the Phone field. (The equation detects 
format errors that make the length non-standard, 
but does not attempt to indicate all possible diffi¬ 

If the list of prefixes that must be moved is too 
long to include in the calculation shown above, 
another approach is needed. There are several 
ways to accomplish the task. One is to split the 
calculation into two separate equations and re¬ 
structure them so that is easier to enter more pre¬ 
fix values. 

Another more general approach is to build a 
lookup table that contains all the prefixes to be 
changed. Then we need to (a) extract the prefix 
from the Phone field; (b) use the extracted value 
to look up the appropriate area code from the 
table; (c) append the looked-up value as the area 
code in the newly-constructed phone number. 

Q & A Motto 

"If it can't be done with FileMaker, 
it's just not worth doing." 

Page 14 • Issue 48 • ©1992 Elk Horn Publishing »The FileMaker Report 

There are a couple of ways to make the lookup 
table work. The objective is to discriminate be¬ 
tween the two sets of prefixes and the first step is 
to build the lookup table. Use two fields: Prefix 
and AreaCode. It would be straightforward to 
enter all the prefixes and an associated area code 
for each one. But since there are only two possible 
area codes and thus only two possible lookup 
results, knowing one set allows the other to be 
known by elimination. This means it is easier to 
enter just the shortest list of prefixes into the 
lookup table plus it allows Replace to enter one 
area code in parallel into all the lookup records, 
also minimizing data entry in the lookup table. 
The FileMaker facility for entering data in un¬ 
found lookups (see the lookup definition dialog) 
can then be used to include the alternate area 
code. To simplify later calculations involving the 
phone number format, the area codes in the look¬ 
up table are surrounded by parentheses and have 
a space following. 

This lookup-table approach requires two new 
fields in the destination file. In addition to Phone 
and NewPhone there should be a field to receive 
the looked-up value - call it NewArea - and a 
lookup key field which is the extracted prefix - 
call it Prefix. Define NewArea to lookup from the 
table based on Prefix as the lookup key. Define 
Prefix as the leftmost three digits of Phone. 

Prefix = Left (Phone, 3) 

The NewPhone calculation changes to: 

NewPhone = If (Length (Phone) = 14, Phone, 

If (Length (Phone) = 8, NewArea & Phone, If 
(Phone = "Error"))) 

(If your telephone format is different - per¬ 
haps 888/123-4567 - then you will need to adjust 
the length constants in the equations.) 

The operating procedure is (a) click in the 
Phone field and execute a Relookup from the 
Edit menu, (b) confirm that the NewPhone con¬ 

tents are what is desired and attend to any “error” 
results, (c) delete the lookup file and the main-file 
fields that are no longer needed. Note that New¬ 
Area will not have a proper area code for the old 
14-character phone numbers - only for the 8- 
character ones - and that Prefix will not be the 
proper prefix for numbers that already have an 
area code. The equation takes care of these situa¬ 
tions by ignoring this information when the 
Phone field is long. 

If desired, once the phone change procedure 
has been concluded, change NewPhone to a text 
field instead of an equation, delete the Phone 
field, and rename NewPhone to Phone. Replace 
the new Phone into layouts where the old Phone 
had been used. 

If you are sensitive about messing about in 
your address and phone file, you might choose to 
perform the phone conversion in a separate file. 
This will also be handy if you have several files 
that need to be converted. 

Create the same lookup file as above. Create a 
new Fix file with these four fields: Phone, New¬ 
Phone, NewArea and Prefix, usingthe same cal¬ 
culations as earlier. Define NewArea as a lookup 
field using Prefix as the lookup key. Procedure: 

(a) Import into the Fix file all the phone numbers 
from the original address/phone file. Do not 
change the sequence of the records in the original 
file or in the Fix file until the update is complete. 

(b) Execute a Relookup and check NewPhone for 
correctness and to handle any “error” cases, (c) 
Export just the NewPhone field into a tab-delim¬ 
ited text file, (d) Import the text file into the orig¬ 
inal address/phone file being sure to specify to 
update the original records, (e) Delete the records 
in Fix and repeat the procedure for all other files 
with phone numbers that need to be adjusted. 

(If you are using Pro 2.0, steps c and d can be 
combined by directly importing from the Fix file 
into the original address file.) 

- Joe Kroeger 

The FileMaker Report • ©7992 Elk Horn Publishing • Issue 48 • Page 75 

The FileMaker Report 

A Journal for FileMaker™ Users 

About the Journal 

Published by Elk Horn Publishing 

PO Box 1300 
Freedom, CA 95019 USA 

Voice Phone: 700-355-4676. Fax Phone: 408-761-5468 
America On Line: ElkHomPub 
AppleLink: ElkHornPub 

Editor: Joe Kroeger 

Publication design by: Kathy Tomyris and Joe Kroeger 

The Library of Congress ISSN number for The FileMaker 
Report is 0896-0313. The first issue was published in Jan¬ 
uary, 1987. Issues are numbered sequentially and with¬ 
out volume divisions. The issue number is printed on the 
cover and at the bottom of inside pages. The date on the 
cover associated with each issue is the last date that edit¬ 
orial changes are made before going to press. The File¬ 
Maker Report is published ten times each year at variable 
intervals ranging from about three to about eight weeks. 

Other publications from Elk Horn Publishing: 

FileMaker Tools & Templates Catalog 
FileMaker Application Notes 
RISC Management Newsletter 

Fine Print 

Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of The File¬ 
Maker Report are copyrighted by Elk Horn Publishing 
and may not be reproduced in any form without explicit 
written permission. All rights reserved. 

Elk Horn Publishing is an independent organization not 
affiliated with Claris Corporation or with Apple Com¬ 
puter, Inc. Various trademarked and copyrighted names 
and symbols are used in this newsletter. Instead of add¬ 
ing a trademark symbol at every occurrence, the publish¬ 
er hereby states that it is using such names only in an 
editorial fashion and for the benefit of the trademark or 
copyright owner with no intention of infringement. 

About Subscriptions 

All subscriptions to The FileMaker Report are delivered 
via first class mail (in the U.S.) or air mail (outside the 
U.S.). Ten issues are published each year. Subscription 
lengths are based on a number of issues, not a length of 
time. Subscription rates are subject to change without 
notice. Rates shown are in US dollars and include postage. 

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About FileMaker 

The latest version of FileMaker is FileMaker Pro 2.0 v2 
with a release date of November, 1992. Previous versions 
of FileMaker include: 

Version First Release Date 

FileMaker 1.0 
FileMaker Plus 
FileMaker 4 
FileMaker II 
FileMaker Pro 1.0 vl 
FileMaker Pro 1.0 v2 
FileMaker Pro 1.0 v3 
FileMaker Pro 2.0 vl 

May 1985 
August 1986 
July 1988 
October 1988 
October 1990 
April 1991 
March 1992 
October 1992 

About Claris 

Claris Corporation is the publisher of the FileMaker pro¬ 
grams. The FileMaker logo and name are registered 
trademarks of Claris Corporation. The main address for 
Claris (see below for mail stops) is: 

Claris Corporation 
PO Box 58168 
Santa Clara, CA 95052 

The Customer Relations mail stop is M/S C-l 1. 
Technical Support is M/S C-l2. 

Software Registration is M/S C-71. 

The Claris Technical Support phone number is 408-727- 
9054. Tech Support hours are 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Mon¬ 
day through Thursday and 6:00 am to 2:00 pm on Friday, 
Pacific Time. The Claris recorded help line is 800-735- 
7393. The Claris Support Fax line is 800-800-8954.