About window styles

Window styles allow you to specify how a new window behaves in your solution. Each layout and task should be designed with a particular window style in mind.

Document window

Document windows allow users to start a new process or view additional information.

Use document windows for typical user-input tasks or tasks that can take place in any order. For example, open a document window to review an invoice while looking at a customer’s purchase history.

Floating document window

Floating document windows remain on top of other windows even when the floating window becomes inactive.

Use floating document windows to display information or tasks that should be visible at all times. For example, open a floating document window to display an interactive table of contents.

Dialog window

Dialog windows appear in the foreground. Users must close all open dialog windows before they can activate open document or floating document windows.

Use dialog windows to collect required information or alert users to situations while blocking access to other windows. For example, open a dialog window to display an alert when a user attempts to modify sensitive data.

When a dialog window is open, the New Window script step creates dialog windows or cards but cannot create document or floating document windows.

Users can work with non-document windows, such as the Data Viewer and Script Debugger, if these windows are open when a dialog window opens. Users cannot work with the Manage Layout dialog box, the Script Workspace, or the My Apps window.

Any operations that attempt to open a document or floating document window will fail when a dialog window is open (for example, using a script trigger to run a script from another file). OnTimer scripts do not execute when a dialog window is open unless the script launches from the dialog window itself.

Some restrictions apply to the following script steps when they’re used with dialog windows.


Script step


Restriction with dialog windows

Adjust Window


Operates only on the current window

Arrange All Windows



Convert File



Go To Related Record


Can open only a new dialog window

Move/Resize Window


Operates only on the current window

New File



New Window


Can open only a new dialog window or a card

Open File



Open Hosts



Perform Script


Will fail if executed from another open file

Quit Application



Select Window


Can select only the current dialog window

macOS: A FileMaker Pro Advanced dialog window does not have all the same qualities or restrictions of a standard macOS dialog window. For example, Apple events can communicate with a file while a FileMaker Pro Advanced dialog window is open.


Cards appear in the foreground of the current layout in the active window. Users must close a card before they can work with the card’s parent window.

Use cards to collect required information or alert users to situations while allowing access to other windows. For example, open a card to prompt users for find criteria while allowing access to other open windows.

Cards can’t be minimized or maximized.

FileMaker Pro Advanced does not include cards in the Window menu.

A card’s height and width cannot exceed the screen size.

Scroll bars appear in the card if the active layout is larger than the card’s height or width.

You cannot open more than one card from the same parent window.

In FileMaker Pro Advanced, cards do not display the status toolbar, the formatting bar, a title bar, or a window frame. To move or resize a card, use the Move/Resize Window script step.

In FileMaker Go, to hide or show the menu bar or toolbar for a card, you must hide or show the bar before displaying the card. (The gesture or script step to hide or show the card is disabled when the card has the focus.)

If you select the Close option, the user can close the card by clicking the Close button in FileMaker Pro Advanced or by tapping outside the card in FileMaker Go. However, if you don’t select the Close option, users have no way to close the card unless you include a script (for example, assigned to a button in the card) that performs the Close Window script step.

If a script attempts to close a card’s parent window, the script first attempts to close the card. If it cannot close the card (for example, a script trigger fails), the script returns an error code.