Fun with FileMaker Pro 11 Charts, v1.5

Knowing how to represent data visually often draws upon quite varied skills. A data visualist ideally possesses some of the traits of information architect, graphic designer, mathematician, statistician, web designer, teacher, user interface designer, cognitive psychologist, and storyteller. One could argue that these skills are essential to thriving in our future information-rich society. Until the future arrives, however, we must manage with whatever we have. And one thing we now have is FileMaker Pro 11 Charts! Charting is the feature that will drive a new stage of success.

The demo file explores using the chart object in new ways…

Sparklines are “data-intense, design-simple, word-sized graphics,” as their inventor Edward Tufte describes them. Due to their form and format, sparklines are most appropriate on lists, subsummary reports, and dashboards. Sparklines arose out of Tufte’s insistence to “show the data.” He systematically removed everything non-essential to a chart’s purpose, and sparklines is what was left.

Bullet Graph
The bullet graph is a horizontal bar chart on steroids. This device was invented in 2005 by Stephen Few of Perceptual Edge. The bullet graph can efficiently convey quantitative data such as goal & percent attainment, as well as qualitative of a data point. The unusual aspect to this is that assessment is rolled right into the chart, helping improve real comprehension.

Horizon Chart
The identifying feature of the Horizon chart is that the negative scale is inverted and overlaid on the positive scale. Your display resolution multiplies as a result, but your viewer does need to get used to reading negatives upward on the scale.

The demo file includes four other graph types, a single-screen preview of all FileMaker Pro 11’s color palettes — plus a colorblindness simulation.

Download the demo file:


  1. Lovely charts, thanks!

  2. Cool, fun, creative and well documented. What’s not to love?

    Thank you for sharing.

Post a comment.