This is my final post on this site and I will not even open it up for comments. It has been fun as long as it lasted, and I am thankful for all the good people who were seeking help and who appreciated my efforts. A final thanks also goes to Simon Wolf, who started this whole endeavor.

Bento has shortcomings which could have been fixed. But the developer team had set limits because of the big rival in their own family, which shall remain nameless. Without that limitation, Bento would have become the greatest Mac database ever. This way it didn’t.
That said, Bento has many unique features I can’t live without. Luckily, it works alright with OSX Mavericks. Still, I am creating many PDFs of my Libraries should Bento ever totally fail. This is also my very last tip for Bento users: with PDFs edited in Preview, you can combine many Bento forms to a wonderful full screen booklet of your databases, after fiddling a little bit with the layout in Bento and the print dialog.

So far, none of the so-called Bento alternatives have come close to replacing Bento, and I am predicting that they never will. For example, a Bento importer will never work for complex Libraries because of the built-in limitations of the other programs. You would have to build a Bento clone-app to make that work, which is impossible.

Still, some of the other database programs, which have recently surfaced, are worth a look if you are willing to abandon Bento altogether and start your projects from scratch. I am not. But I am using some of the other program’s iPad versions for simple projects; just for some variety. Most programs let you try them out before you buy, like Bento did. Just make sure you really give them a workout.

This site will possibly be archived; you can still contact me for questions about Bento (no syncing questions) by leaving me a message on my Facebook Musicians Page (after you Like it, of course…) at:
The Entertaining Salzburger. That’s the real me. Ta-Ta.

Long time ago, my fellow Bento gold digger Barbara sent me a screen shot of a funny custom Theme she had created. Initially I didn’t see anything unusual. But after all this time I happened to run across that image again and all of a sudden I noticed that the Theme included a visible Column Divider. Interesting, I thought… No regular Bento Theme has that. The Column Divider usually only becomes visible in edit-mode and it just looks like an outline.

Today I figured out how my friend created a Column Divider image!

Here is the solution:
When you edit a theme to customize it (see my tutorial on theme creation/customizing), the plist file contains this line that I had never even noticed:
… which is very similar to this line:

… which refers to the image of the horizontal separator you can add on a form. That image is called Separator.tif. That told me everything I needed to know…

So this is what I did to create an image for the otherwise invisible column divider, and it worked like a charm:
I opened the Separator.tif image in Preview and simply rotated it to make it vertical. Then I saved it under the name Column.tif. That was it!

After re-starting Bento the column divider became visible for that theme – like Magic!

Have fun!

Long time – no Theme. I did publish a tutorial about theme creation, but it might be scary for many people. I also haven’t heard any success stories, so when I finally got a request for a Theme, I happily obliged. And here it is for all users to enjoy.

It’s actually a themePack file with two variations of the same idea: both are for printing purposes – your Forms will look like regular text documents. The fonts of the “Printing” Theme are true black with no transparency and in five popular sizes (Times: 12-14-18-24-36). I also matched the 12 pt. size for the medium size of the field label font (Arial). Additionally, I removed the Media field border. An empty Media field still shows a border, but once it has content, the border disappears. The borders for the text (number) fields you can turn off yourself – from the View menu.

When you get to the Print dialog, still check the box “don’t print background,” because the background isn’t true white.

And here comes the clue: the second Theme variation (I call it “Invisible”) sets the Field Label font color to true white, which makes your field labels disappear and invisible on the print-out! This feature had been requested before, and I would like to give full credit to my friend Barb for the idea.

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Geared towards improved legibility, the Neutrals theme pack includes three themes which make use of subtler tones and consistent fonts to provide a cleaner Bento work environment. The themes are:

  • Neutral – light gray with subtle darker highlights
  • Shade – darker charcoals
  • Chlorine – clean and bright

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