The history

After a day at the FileMaker Conference in Salzburg 2012 we relaxed at the hotel bar and talked about FileMaker feature wishes. One wish was syntax highlighting: Seeing in colors where Loops start and end was a topic we had.

So with plugin version 3.0 we introduced syntax coloring for FileMaker 11/12 on Mac OS X. With 3.2 we added colors for debugger, too. Finally with 3.5 we now mark typos with MBS function calls, highlights undeclared variables and also added line numbers.

Colors are applied to calculations, script editor and debugger.

So here we see the calculation dialog and you see that we have the calculation colored.

Syntax Highlighting in the calculation dialog

Compare the two calculations here. With wrong brackets, we highlight the wrong one with red color:

Syntax Highlighting in the calculation

Now missing two brackets:

Syntax Highlighting in the calculation with red brackets

In the script editor we apply colors to the script entries. On the left side you see those colors as well as in the script steps on the right. We have rules defined to color the script steps based on the texts.

With plugin version 3.5, we also add optionally line numbers and you can define the color for those numbers.

Script editor with line numbers and synax colors

Here in detail:

Script editor with line numbers and synax colors

Also in debugger we can show colors:

Debugger with line numbers and synax colors

in Detail:

Debugger with line numbers and synax colors

This feature is fully customizable with the fmSyntaxColorizer database. Rules are defined there and you can modify them.

For example you can change colors, define special colors for global variables or custom functions.

The coloring is fully configurable with plugin functions listed on our documentation website. But before you reinvent the wheel, please check the fmSyntaxColorizer database. By default the plugin comes preconfigured with the colors defined in the fmSyntaxColorizer database.

Like to get colors? Simply drop the plugin in your FileMaker's extension folder on Mac and you get them all by default. Of course you can disable them. We do recommend to disable them for your users using the database solution. Only when you develop you should enable them to avoid side effects: While we try to color where we want to have color, it is possible to see sometimes colors on places where users may not want to see them.

Screenshots from FileMaker 12. Other versions may look different. The plugin works fine with version 11, 12 and 13.