First, you need to understand that performing a find searches the records of the layout's table, not the portal. When you enter criteria in a portal field or any other field from a related table, you tell filemaker to find all records in the layout's table that have at least one related record matching the criteria you've entered. Once the find is performed and the new found set produced, each such record then displays all related records in the portal--not just the related records matching your find criteria. Quick finds function much the same way if the portal fields are enabled for the quick find.
To search the related records and show only the matching related records in the portal requires setting up either a relationship (the only option for Filemaker 10 and older) or a portal filter that matches your specified criteria.
Take a look at the two portals at the bottom of this demo file's layout and note how they update to display smaller and smaller subsets of matching records as a longer and longer string is entered into a designated text field. There are many variations of this technique that you can use.
Something like this is exactly what I need. Thank-you for the assit. Much appreciated :-)
Your comment regarding relationship (FM 10 and older) has got me confused though. As far as I know, there is no way to build relational DB solutions other than by having primary and foreign keys in related tables. Am I wrong?
Prior to 11, our only option for controlling what records appeared in a portal was to manipulate the values in one or more fields defined as part of the relationship.
FileMaker 11 is the first version to support portal filter expressions which are much more flexible (a bit like a "where clause" in SQL) for controlling what records appear. The filter expressions in the demo file use left or patterncount to make a match between the records in the portal table and the text in the search text field. Trying to get the same results in FileMaker 10 or older is quite difficult to do.
OK, I see what you mean now. Thanks again