Navigating the BaseElements Interface

There are four features in BaseElements that make up the central core of the BaseElements user interface.

  • Form, List and Table Views
  • Tabs
  • Portals
  • Windows

Form, List and Table Views

BaseElements 3 uses the built in view changing UI that FileMaker provides. So the "View As" UI item in the toolbar :

And you can also use the main toolbar button to switch between Form and List views :

You can also use the Menu Items in the View menu to achieve the same effect.

When in List view, there is also an arrow button on the left hand side of the List that will take you from the list view to the Form view of any one specific element.


The tabs down the left hand side will adjust based on the content you're currently looking at, but there are four main tabs that appear in all :

Detail : shows you information about the current element.  In some cases, these will also have sub tabs if everything doesn't fit on a single page.

Items Used : Shows you all of the other elements that the current element uses in it's definition.  So other fields that are being used in the calculation of this function, or layouts that the step goes to for example.

Referenced By : other places in the solution that this element is referenced by.  If this is completely empty, then the element is not used, and the "Unreferenced" checkbox will be checked.  There may be references even when an element is unreferenced if the element refers to itself for example.

Alerts : This tab shows any issues with the current element.  They could be Errors, Warnings, or Performance issues.  Each alert will have a description of the issue.



Portals are the core user interface element in BaseElements. Portals are used to show the complete lists of every element related to any other element. So, for example, when you're looking at a Field and looking at the Referenced By tab it shows you every other place that this field is used :

You can click on any referenced field to go to that field.

You can use the Filter to adjust which types of elements you're showing in the list.  If you've selected a single "Type" of reference then you can also use the "View" button to show only those types.


One of the most useful things to remember in BaseElements is that you can put up as many windows as you need. You can open a new window at any time and switch between multiple windows at will. New windows are a great way of quickly and easily storing a found set for use later on. That list of fields you got from the portal above, you can put that up in a new window and go back to the layout and keep looking at the details before you go through the field list.


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