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How to Customize Default Fields in FileMaker Pro 19

DefaultStyle=”” attribute
Remove the DefaultStyle attribute from the Field node (DefaultStyle = “”). I haven’t been able to figure out what this is for…maybe some nifty future feature?

<UUID/> subnode
Remove this subnode completely. It uniquely identifies the field within the file, so it doesn’t make sense to expect it to be duplicated from one instance of the field to the next.subnode

<TableOccurrenceReference/> subnode
Remove this subnode completely. This is important. It essentially tells FileMaker Pro that you are trying to reference a specific table occurrence with a specific UUID – and that’s not going to exist in any file except the one you got it from. Even in that file, I’ve found that it seems to cause the calculation to have a context of “unknown.”

id=”x” attribute
Your set of default fields should have serial IDs starting from 1. If you are adding a new field to the list of default fields – or removing existing ones — make sure that there are no gaps in the IDs.

<TagList/> subnode
I have a lot to say about this one. If you look at the original set of default fields, the primary key field has this:

     <TagList primary="True">#_FMI_0</TagList>

where the “primary” attribute flags this field as the primary key.

The other four default fields have this:


The “#_FMI_0” tag indicates that these are utility fields, which aren’t added to the default layout automatically when a new table is created.

When I perform the Save a Copy as XML command on my fresh new file – where I’ve made no changes to the default fields of the default table – the primary key field shows up with a new tag included:

     <TagList primary="True">#^FMI* #_FMI_0</TagList>

I’m going to guess that the tag “#^FMI*” is a new way of indicating a primary key (with the “primary” attribute included for backward compatibility). But that’s just a guess… I don’t know why it’s included on an actual instance of the field but not in the default fields file. It’s a little troubling to me that they are tagged differently. It certainly would be great to see a dictionary of the most common tags.

I’ve tried including the extra tag and not including it, and I don’t see a problem either way when a new table is created. Superstitiously, I’m going to recommend that you stick to including only utility fields in your default fields file and that you tag all of them only with “#_FMI_0” – adding it when it’s not there. But if you can shed more light on this, please leave a comment – I’d like to learn more!

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