Become a FileMaker Power User: Find Mode 101 

If you use FileMaker, chances are that you will need to track down certain data at some point. As a developer, searching for data in FileMaker will be one of the most common actions you will perform – and certain search methods will be better than others. You can use Find options and search operators to refine your search – and there are plenty of ways you can use the available choices.  

 What are FileMaker operators? 

Working with formulas is essential when it comes to using FileMaker. A formula is used because it can perform certain operations on single or multiple values that are there in a database file. A formula can help you calculate a single value based on three factors: constants, operators, and field references. In a formula, operators can help manipulate any calculations that may produce a value. 

FileMaker operators are either instructions or symbols that can help the user manipulate the expressions in a formula. Using operators along with constants and field references, a formula can perform specific operations on values and return with a single result.  

  Refining Find requests in FileMaker using Find Operators 

When you use FileMaker, most of your searches will involve using a Find operation in the Find Mode tool. The common Find operations include using “CTRL/CMND F” on your keyboard or the status toolbar that has a Find option. There are several other tricks that you can use, no matter how simple or complex your search is.  

Usually, you will search for data by typing into the search field in the Find option. You can use the different operators to make complex searches or to refine your search to the exact data you were looking for. Some common operators used are:  

  • =: The equal to symbol will either match the exact whole word or return an empty result. 
  • ==: The double equal to symbol matches with your exact search criteria. 
  • !: The exclamation point will match records present within the search field that have the same data. 
  • <, >, <=and >=: These are called comparison operators, and are used to compare two values, and return with either a True or a False. Mathematically, when the result is True, it is considered to be equal to 1. When the result is false, it is equal to 0. You may substitute <> for ≠ (not equal to), >= for ≥ (greater than or equal to), and <= for ≤ (less than or equal to). 


To make your FileMaker search more effective, you may use Find operators to refine your search. Operators in a formula can help the user or the developer manipulate the expressions in their formula, and a Find operator can help the search for data become effective and efficient. Several Find operators are commonly used including =, ==, !, <, and >. You may use the find operators to find results that are an exact match for your search, or for data that is an approximate match for your search.