You’ve added your fields to the layout, but they are currently all set up as edit boxes. This means that the user can only enter data into them by typing, which can be slow and error-prone.
Consider using drop-down lists, pop-up menus, checkboxes, or radio buttons instead. These different ways of simplifying the user’s input are called controls because they control what the user can enter. By limiting the possible values a user can enter into a field, they speed up the data entry process and protect the integrity of the data.
You specify the values for your control with a value list, which can use any of these three sources:
- A field in the current file or another file
This method provides flexibility because the value list can dynamically update itself based on the current values in a field. If the field is in a related table, you have the option of showing all the values in the field, or only the related values.
- A static list of values that you enter manually
This method provides the easiest way to create a value list because you enter the values that you want the value list to display. However, it’s not as flexible as basing the value list on the content of a field, because you have to redefine the value list in order to change what it displays.
- A value list already defined in another file
This method allows you to use a value list that from another file, rather than recreating it in the current file. We’ll skip this option as it’s not relevant until you have more than one file to work with.
Set up a custom static value list and use it to apply a pop-up menu to the “Prefix” field.
- Select the “Prefix” field on your layout.
- Use the Inspector > Data tab > Field area to set the Control Style to “Pop-up menu”.
- Use the Inspector > Data tab > Field area to click the pencil button next to the Values from: option.
A Manage Value Lists… dialog window appears.
- Click the New button to create a new value list.
An Edit Value List dialog window appears.
- Enter Prefix into the Value List Name box.
- Choose the Use custom values option.
- Enter each value you’d like to have in your list, separated by returns, in the box below this option.
- Click the OK button to dismiss the dialog window.
- Enter Browse mode and test your new pop-up menu.
Here are all the value lists used in the example solution. You can see that some are static and some are based on fields. We recommend that you explore them in the example solution if you’d like to set up similar ones in yours. Later we’ll work on a value list based on a field.