FMPRO Session 5 ScriptMaker: About Scripts
- A script is a user-definable set of instructions (called script steps) that is used to automate tasks in FileMaker Pro. Really it is a high-level programming language, but the term "programming" scares novices. Two common script systems are the HyperTalk programming language used by HyperCard and Apple Script for Apple events. Microphone also uses the term.
- Scripts can do simple tasks like setting print orientation or complex tasks like preparing a mailing.
- For example, you could define a complex set of scripts that creates a thank you letter to clients in your Client database who have made a purchase in the last week. The script composes a letter tailored to the client by using different standard paragraphs but combining them based on information in the client's record in the database. The script switches to Preview mode and pauses so you can see what the letter looks like before it prints. The whole task is initiated by clicking a button on the Sales Entry layout.
- You use the ScriptMaker feature in FileMaker Pro to build scripts by selecting (pointing & choosing) from a list of FileMaker Pro commands, called script steps, specifying options (if needed), and arranging the steps in the correct order to perform the task.
- Note: FileMaker Pro scripts are only available to Web users when you publish your database using Custom Web Publishing.
- FileMaker Pro has the ability to remember a series of commands (usually certain commands you always do) given to a file whereby it can play back those commands exactly in the order requested.
Scripts can do simple tasks, like:
- setting print orientation,
- open a file,
- or complex tasks, like automatically:
- preparing a mailing,
- starting up on a certain screen,
- perform a certain find or sort order,
- even go to a certain record, or
- go to a certain screen for one person in the office and to another screen for another person on another computer (accounting screen for the accounting department, data entry screen for customer service, invoice screen for Payables & Receivables, etc.)
Scripts can be combined within a single script to perform a series of actions, including displaying a dialog box or presenting the user with a list of choices. Add a button to a layout, associate it with a script, and complex steps can be performed with a single click.
Create a Script
Whenever you create a script, it is usually beneficial to first perform the things that you want the script to do before you record it. It will then default to those steps when you create the script. Always check the Page Setup. Choose "larger print areas" for Laser Writers.
Set the desired Page Setup to a particular layout.
Do necessary Finds and Sorts prior to creating a new script.
Give the script a name... Create
Click on desired functions and move. OK when completed.
Scripts... Select newly named script
"Define Scripts" dialogue window
Give your new script a script name (e.g., Invoice)