The calculation engine is the same...
"There are often leading zeros"
So you'll need to use a text field, not a number field.
BTW: what actually does the user enter ?
With FileMaker Advanced you can create custom functions, but once you have added that function to a file, any installation of FileMaker Pro can use it.
I have never used FM 8.5 and I'm not too accustomed with the available functions.
Doing a quick search the RepeatText function seems to be the way forward. I have only just started developing using FM 11 and I don't think RepeatText is a function included.
If you don't have advanced I am thinking create a number field which will hold the number before formatting. Set-up a calculation field to use the unformatted field
= RepeatText ( 0, 9 - Length ( UnformattedField))
So if UnformattedField = 12345 the calculation field will evaluate as 000012345
I'm sure you can work on this info to achieve a solution.
As I say I am unfamiliar with < FM 11 but I hope this helps.
Original entry was into an Excel file and even though I had tried changing my Filemaker Pro field to a text field, I did not think to go back and check the source file. It was showing correctly there, but only becuase that field was set up in Excel as a custom number format.
If I changed that field to text in Excel, it lost the formatting. So I cut that column out and pasted it into WORD, then added a NEW text column to the Excel file, re-pasted the account number column back into the new Excel field and saved... Then then finally when I reimported into the text field in Filemaker it worked! It is now formatted correctly, at least as a starting point.
Doesn't prevent someone from entering incorrectly now that it is part of the Filemaker DB, but this will do for now!