Category Archives: Design

Fun with FileMaker Button Bars, Part 3: Tips for Designing Great Icons

Fun with Button Bars header image - detail of magnifying glass

In Part 1 (“Check Please,”) and Part 2 (“Expert Panel,”) of this series, we had some fun doing things with button bars that showed off some of their unique usefulness within the FileMaker design-layer toolbox. Often as not, your button bars are going to include icon labels, with or without a supporting text label, and you want those icons to look great.

In button bars, you want a consistent visual weight across all the segments, and in both button bars and standalone buttons, you want icons that look crisp on both high-resolution (“Retina”) and standard-resolution displays. This article will help you achieve both of these goals.

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InspectorPro 5.5 Feature List!

InspectorPro 5.5 is here! With it come some great enhancements and complete support for FileMaker 14:

• Now supports new features, themes, and styles found in FileMaker 14
• New visualization gives you a quick view of referenced and unreferenced items and problems
• New streamlined database view to help you get a bird’s-eye view of your database
• Automatic detection of malformed XML or invalid characters

Let’s look at each of these items in more detail.

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jQuerySF 2015 – Much more than jQuery…

Attending jQuerySF 2015:

This week I had the pleasure of attending jQuerySF 2015, held in San Francisco, CA.

Despite the name of the conference, the range of web-technology topics included far more than just jQuery. The conference spanned two days, with each day featuring a series of 20 minute presentations by charismatic representatives of diverse web technology subject matter. If you couldn’t make this year’s jQuerySF, and are wondering what you missed, fear not! Below is a quick outline of the conference, a short list of my favorite presenters, and links to full conference video from both days.

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FileMaker 14: Field Placeholder Text

FileMaker Pro 14 includes a new feature to add placeholder text to fields on a layout. What is placeholder text? Simply put, it is a way to put text inside a field when it is empty. This feature is useful for mobile, web and desktop users alike.

A layout with fields using placeholder text. *(How I made the magnifying glass appear is detailed below)

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FileMaker 14 – Button Bars

The new Button Bar layout object provides developers with an improved method to manage a cluster of buttons that have functional and/or cosmetic similarities.


A Button Bar’s most obvious use is for navigation. Let’s say you want a horizontal navigation bar that allows your users to navigate to different layouts. Each button should represent a distinct destination, and the buttons should have a similar appearance, position, and behavior on each destination layout.


A single button bar can be configured to include one button for each destination layout, and each button can have its own distinct response to a click (just as a traditional button can), either calling a script or an individual script step (or a popover button, but we’ll get to that). The developer is still charged with replicating the button bar across all the destination layouts, and positioning the objects consistently; but having a single object is much handier than even a group of buttons, for a variety of reasons (they never accidentally become decoupled; I can interact with the individual buttons without ungrouping, etc.)

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FileMaker 14: Audio/Video Control Script Steps and Functions

FileMaker 14 introduces new controls available in the mobile FileMaker Go app that help to bring the media player experience in FM Go more in alignment with iOS. These changes, compatible only with FileMaker Go 14, include 3 new script steps, 3 new script triggers and 1 new calculation function. In addition, the script step Insert Quicktime has been removed (developers should use the Insert Audio/Video script step, which we have had since FileMaker 12).

This is a great set of features to add to FileMaker Go, opening up the possibilities for a high degree of control over the way media is presented from a FileMaker custom-built application. Imagine, for example, creating a Video Training solution, with complete control over content delivery, plus granular tracking of user progress. Or a Content Management System for your users that need to collaborate around multimedia content and related data.

Here are the new features:

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Button Image Masks


When you’ve been using FileMaker as long as I have, you know we’ve done all kinds of crazy things to get image masks to work on our buttons. For example, we would use a set of grouped native FileMaker line objects to cover an image just to get an ugly looking mask. I hope that not many developers suffered for too long using that technique.

Download Using Icons

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hello San Antonio. hello FileMaker DevCon.

It’s FileMaker Developer Conference time, with 8 Beez in San Antonio for DevCon. We’re studying new development techniques from FileMaker Inc. and our industry peers, sharing a few methods of our own and even riding a few mechanical bulls at a real live cattle ranch!

Several members of Beezwax’s development team are featured presenters at FileMaker DevCon 2014, in the following sessions:

Continue reading hello San Antonio. hello FileMaker DevCon.

Our d3.js Saturday – Beezwax at d3.unconf

Beezwax was a proud sponsor and participant in the first ever d3.unconf in San Francisco this weekend. This event was created as a one-day gathering of data visualization practitioners, centered on d3.js, a powerful and flexible JavaScript data visualization library.

As a participant-driven “Unconference”, d3.unconf allowed us to interact with other d3 devotees in sessions that ranged from “New to d3” through “Multivariate Data” and “Visualizing Neural Networks”.

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