If you use Insert Object instead of Insert File, you can get this to happen. Otherwise there's a script you can write to automate the export field contents operation you can write and then set up your field as a button to perform the script.
I see that it brings up the 'Create New' or 'Create From File' dialog. I don't supposed there's a way to bypass that dialog by pre-specifying 'Create from File'?
My 'One-line' advice is to never ever consider inserting an object or file, for one reason only - your file will bloat at an exponential rate that you wouldn't believe. Always link with the 'Store reference...' feature and use any work-around Phil suggests to make it function the way you want. But please post a 'Feature Request' - a few years ago I was trying to have FM link up directly (apparent to the user) to have a lot of the presentation features of Excel. I had lots of data which was perfect for displaying in a pivot table, for instance. In playing around with the 'Insert Object' etc features, I found that I could make a field in Filemaker have all the properties - right there, in a click - of a fully-functioning Excel sheet. I was flabbergasted at its potential, and could find no reference in any manuals to this amazing aspect of the 'Insert...' feature. The downsides were a couple of niggly characteristics that I was sure someone (who knew what they were doing) would be able to solve for me, but the big one was the explosion in file size. I spoke to a couple of people at FM but they were just not interested. As I was calling them I'm sure I could hear nails being buffed in the background..
I wrote this at the time: uness FM10 has changed it, it seems to me like a big opportunity wasted:
Try right-clicking in the container field and insert an Excel Object for example. Double-click, and the next thing you know you are playing around with a fully-functioning Excel spreadsheet, which is stored within an individual record in a Filemaker file. It can be stored, saved, opened and edited in full Excel mode, then closed and saved within the Filemaker file - in fact, within that Filemaker record. Browse to that record again, double-click the container field, your Excel sheet opens again, and away you go again with more fully-functioning editing. Awesome. Create another record, insert a completely different Excel sheet (or Word Document, blah blah...) and you're away again, creating and storing a whole archive of document types all within one file!
I discovered this a few years back, and was totally stunned at the possibilities. Only two problems:
- couldn't get anyone at Filemaker to acknowledge that it existed, could be very useful, and would help me solve 'minor' problems, like when double-clicked it would open at various zoom levels that seemed uncontrollable. In spite of my *raving* about this feature I always had the feeling I had stumbled upon something they'd left in by mistake and I wasn't meant to have found, so I eventually gave up.
- the resulting FM file size rapidly grew to be absolutely huge - like when you embed JPEGS, as above, for instance.
The possibilities were so tempting we played around over a period of weeks, but never got over the file size problem, so we gave up.
It's funny you mention the editing-in-place function. I tried that method and by inserting and double clicking, it brought up a tiny excel window. Unfortunately in my testing it also crashed FileMaker! So needless to say, I'm going back to referencing the files.