Do you want the time information included or just the date?
It looks like the Date Created field is either a text field or a TimeStamp field--probably the latter. If you want just the date, change the field type to date and make sure that it auto-enters the date not the time stamp.
On the layout, you can format date and time stamp fields by selecting them in layout mode and choosing the format you want in the Data Formatting section of the Data tab on the Inspector. That should enable you to specify a consistent format.
Hi PhilModjunk, and thanks for responding to my inquiry so quickly again!
The time information is not at all critical, but of course the date is. This evening, using your advice I'll experiment on a practice db. After that I'll report the results.
I changed the file types to DATE, and set them so that the dates are entered automatically.
Thank you again for your assistance!
Though I have changed my date created and date modified fields to date only, as per your advice, I have just noticed that the records inherited from Bento are formatted 2010-8-24, but records entered into FM are formatted 8/24/2010.
Can I further modify the date records from either the Bento inherited data or the new data entered into FM so that there is complete format consistency throughout the file?
If this is not possible, can I expect any problems to come up in sorting, or any other operation?
You can click the field while in layout mode and use Data formatting on the Data tab of the Inspector to specify a date format. It's probably set with an "as entered" format currently.
Once you've selected a format, you should be able to see a consistent format once you return to browse mode.
I attempted to reformat the "Date Created" field (as a start) in the way that you suggested. You were right in guessing that it was set at "as entered".
The result: Entries made after the file was converted from Bento were successfully changed to any format I chose. However all entries prior to conversion from Bento to FM show up as question marks.
I am wondering if once again I have overlooked something. However, I think I might have read somewhere that the format of date data entered in a file prior to conversion cannot be changed successfully (in earlier versions of FileMaker, at least).
Date fields are simply number fields with special formatting and validation rules. Unlike text and number fields, the dates should format as dates so I'm suprised to see that.
Does anything change if you click in one of the fields with a question mark?
Yes, something changes.
If I click on any cell containing a question mark, the data in the preferred format appears. Time data also appears, which is something that I don't think I asked for! If I click on any other cell in the database, the data reverts to a question mark. Please remember that the "?" marks are data converted from the source file.
Click on the link below to see the layout (with Date Created selected) and the format settings in the inspector.
Try making the field a bit wider. You can go to layout mode, click on the field to get the little black boxes and then drag one left or right to change the field's size.
A question mark can mean: "There's no way to display the data in this field and sometimes that's just due to having a field that's too narrow.
You can also fix things by deleting the time data from each of these fields.
I went into the layout mode, and made the field much wider, as well as longer.
The "Date Created" field is no longer visible in the table view.
The field is visible in the Form view but the ? mark is still seen.
In the list view, I can see "Date Created", but not even the question mark is visible. If I click where the cell should be, no data is shown, and the cell outline is not visible.
'Looks like things are getting increasingly weird. Fortunately I'm doing this on a "practice" version of the file.
In table view, you can just drag the columns wider.
You may need to simply edit the data in the fields to remove the time from them.
I just did a quick test. Oddly, switching a time stamp field to date did not produce ? symbols.
However, I did find that I could use replace field contents with the GetasDate( DateField ) calculation to strip out any time data.
I don't care so much about the time issue. I know I can remove that data at my leisure, by hand, if necessary.
Making the table's columns wider seems not to enable me to see the Date Created field again!
I'm hoping deleting the time will eliminate the ? and properly show the date.
The time info exists in thousands of records, and it would take me weeks to eliminate the data by hand.
For practical purposes, considering my time restraints, perhaps I can use the "real" file as is, and go back to it when the business at hand has run its course.
The Date Created and Date Modified fields are not critical where my immediate purposes are concerned.
So I guess I can work on this problem later even if more data has been added to the file. Would you concur on this?