Free Video Tutorial: Tap Forms for Mac - Apple Mac, iPad & iPhone Tutorials from ScreenCastsOnline

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Tutorial Description

Bento is no more!

The previously de facto consumer level database has been discontinued by FileMaker. This leaves a lot of Mac and iOS users in the lurch as upgrading to FileMaker could be prohibitively expensive.

So this week, Todd Olthoff takes a look at a relatively inexpensive alternative to Bento - Tap Forms for Mac.

Tap Forms is a fully featured database application with full import and export features. It also supports iCloud syncing, DropBox sync and much more. Tap Forms is also available on iOS and is covered in this week's iOS show.

The full tutorial covers:

  • Installation & Interface Overview
  • Working with Pre-made Forms
  • Customizing Forms
  • Import Into TapForms
  • Fixing Imported Forms
  • Exporting Forms

Video Tutorial Comments

(8 comments posted)

Colin Croft

Great show! I see it also has TextExpander support, very useful for notes in forms.


Todd Olthoff

Thanks Colin! Yeah it really does have a lot of great features and Textexpander support does save time:).

Tommy Weir

I still miss Bento's design features, the ability to layout a screen beyond just including a set of elements.

I may go up to FileMaker Pro. I had found Bento limiting but sufficient for my needs, this app seems quite limited to me. The upgrade route is pricey however, I think Filemaker just matched their current education offering. And just to say it the upgrade offer is limited to users of the US store, both issues are disappointing.


Todd Olthoff

Tommy, Thanks for the comment. Let us know how it goes if you do go with Filemaker. That is another option and it would be interesting to see what you think about it.

Richard Bruning

Good show (also the iOS version). Since we're talking about going from Bento to this, what about showing how best to do the export/import? There's a number of variables to be considered, such as what fields won't transfer or how a field might be reinterpreted.


Todd Olthoff

Thanks Richard! That's a great question. Right now if it isn't in the excel style form within Bento it won't transfer when you export with csv (not sure why bento has those gaps). So photos and media don't transfer. There is a post on their blog about someone who has a tutorial on how to get photos transferred. Here is the link:

Mike Grace

Good show - useful. I did upgrade to FileMaker Pro (the expense really hurts) when bento said it was 'going offline' and found it quite hard to learn, but I got a much more flexible database for my main use in the end which suits me much better than Bento.

Importing the data into FileMaker from Bento is easy, but learning the software is quite hard (although FileMaker include a great support program to help you). If I had fairly simple database needs I don't think I'd encourage switching to FileMaker unless you enjoy playing around with database design (which I do) - but if you want to really create a database that does exactly what you want then I think it's worth it - and if I was doing it for my work then I wouldn't hesitate (but I hasten to add this is a personal decision).

Having done that I am still not sure whether to give Tap Forms a go for my simple needs - sometimes it's just a bit too exhausting working through a new database when all you want to do is create a flat file type to keep a list of stuff.


Todd Olthoff

Thanks for the comment Mike! Sounds like you've got everything covered there with FileMaker especially since you made the investment with money and time:). Tap Forms is a great lightweight database so you'd have to see if you really wanted two databases running on your devices.

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