13 Replies Latest reply on Oct 21, 2008 9:42 AM by TSGal

    How to sort by company type?



      How to sort by company type?


      I'm trying to create a database that can act as a directory and sort by business type (camera rental, producer, director, etc...)  is this not possible?  How do I add a field to do this?  This is a nightmare, I've been at it for over an hour and want to scream at the people who created filemaker.


      thank you in advance. 

        • 1. Re: How to sort by company type?

          What you want to do is certainly possible. The question is what have you done so far? Have you created a new database from scratch or are you using one of the Starter Solutions? What tables and field do you have? Do you know how to get into field definitions? (File > Manage > Database)


          It is hard to help further without much detail. 

          • 2. Re: How to sort by company type?



            Thank you for your post.


            Although the answer by "uLearnIT" is correct (Thank you!), here are some things you can try.


            Pull down the File menu and select "Manage > Database..."  Here is where you create fields.  Enter the name "Business Type", make sure the type is set to "Text", and click "Create".  The field is now created.  Click "OK", and you will see the new field added to the bottom of the current layout.  You can now enter information into this field.


            To sort your database by Business Type, pull down the Records menu and select "Sort Records..."


            A new dialog box appears on the screen.  On the left side is a listing of the fields currently defined in your database.  Select "Business Type", click "Move" in the center, and "Business Type" should now be listed on the right side under "Sort Order".  Click the "Sort" button, and your database will now be sorted by "Business Type".  At any time, pull down the Records menu and select "Unsort" to return to the original order.


            Please let me know if you need clarification for any of the above steps.



            FileMaker, Inc. 



            • 3. Re: How to sort by company type?

              How frustrating, I was all excited to try your solution but maybe because I'm on 7.0 I don't have that pulldown "manage" under "file" or any other toolbar heading.  


              To answer the other  ulearn it's question:


              I have done nothing.  I opened up filemaker for the first time in the 2 years that I've had this computer and clicked "new entry".  I entered info for a company and then realized it didn't have a field where I could label the company.  In this case it's an audio facility so I've entered the engineer's name, the address and phone number but nowhere can I call it "Audio".


              I dragged the "field" button and created a new field but was so confused and limited by the options in the pulldown that only want me to add an address or a phone number and not a key word.  Then I tried adding a field at the bottom for website address - it may work but I'm not sure yet.


              I tried to go under the toolbar headings to try different things but no luck.  I tried to use the help button but it's like you guys are speaking chinese, why can't anyone ever speak to the average joe who just wants to add one word into a field that is searchable.  I'm actually not too bad with computers but you computer people can't speak in lamen's terms and it's so frustrating.


              I'm about ready to spend a chunk of money on another product which I was hoping not to do.  It's such a small piece of my home office organization I may just resort to using microsoft word but filemaker seemed like a better option.


              please help me if you can.


              thank you. 

              • 4. Re: How to sort by company type?



                Sorry for the assumption on my part.  "Manage" was introduced in FileMaker Pro 9.  Prior versions (including FileMaker Pro 7) show "Define".  Therefore, you want to "Define > Database".  This is the selection you would use to define a new field.


                The other instructions included in my original post still hold true.  That is, create a new field, "Business Type", etc.


                This should get you started and pointed in the right direction.  If you are still having difficulty, please let me know.  I'm here to help.



                FileMaker, Inc. 

                • 5. Re: How to sort by company type?

                  Sandy you sound very frustrated.


                  With respect, why would you "spend a chunk of money on another product" when you may find exactly the same issue with that if you don't know how to use it. Take it from me that FileMaker Pro is perhaps the easiest database to learn and use but it is still a very powerful product in the right hands.


                  Can you access the tutorial that ships with the product? If I were you, I would spend a couple of hours getting to know FileMaker Pro. I am sure it will be valuable to you. 

                  • 6. Re: How to sort by company type?

                    The program was part of my mac when I bought it - no manuals provided.  Trust me, I'd have spared us all and read it - that is how I got here in the first place...searching for the **bleep** manual on the official company website.  You'll notice it's non-existent.  I'd buy another product if it comes with instructions.


                    I'll follow the other very kind advice and hope for the best.  Thank you for your help. 

                    • 7. Re: How to sort by company type?

                      Dear TS Gal,


                      thank you very much for your responses.  I feel as though I'm back where I started.  Yes, I found the "define" key and see the options but they are the same options that allowed me to create a new field that didn't help me.


                      Please everyone let's pretend I've never used a database system and that all I do on a computer is word documents and internet.  So this mumbo-jumbo is like reading chinese to me.  Although I have worked with filemaker Pro in the past, I was not the person responsible for creating the database, just filling it in and doing "sorts".


                      I have a new entry.  It's for an audio company.  No where on the roladex card can I put "audio".  So when I later have 2000 contacts entered and I need to find the audio companies, how can I do a sort by that field?

                      I added a field at the top and called it "key words" so that I could theoretically add "audio" "music" "sound", etc...  But when I do that it copies these words onto every roladex card in the system so that's clearly not working for me.


                      If I go to define fields it gives me a list of your standards:  name, company, address, phone, email.  There is no place for "category".  I know it's probably really simple but I just can't seem to figure it out.  I'm a smart girl, really I am.  I'm usually the one helping my co-workers with computer issues.  This tells me that this particular software is not very user-friendly which is obviously a sore subject for others at the company but you seem to get it.  Please help me, I'd really appreciate it.  


                      Oh how I wish there was a really simple instruction manual for something that it seems anyone would need to have in their database.


                      Thank you again for your patience.



                      • 8. Re: How to sort by company type?
                           I know how frustrating it is to teach yourself a strange new program- one thing that's helped me enormously is a site called www.Lynda.com it has video tutorials for a whole list of programs including Filemaker. to get the full benefit of it, there is a monthly fee- but there is quite a bit of information on filemaker that's free in the demo tutorials as well. Check it out- it definately takes the headache out of learning filemaker!
                        • 9. Re: How to sort by company type?



                          If you're looking for the FileMaker 7 manual, you can probably find it on your computer.

                          Here's the approximate path where you'll find it: 


                          On the Mac, go to Finder > Applications > FileMaker Pro 7 > English Extras > Electronic Documentation > FileMaker 7 User Guide. 


                          On the PC, go to C:\ Program Files \ FileMaker \ FileMaker Pro 7 \ English Extras \Electronic Documentation \ FileMaker 7 User Guide.


                          Hope that helps.


                          Barbara Levine | MicroServ LLC | 203/776-6800 | FileMaker 9 Certified Developer | FileMaker Business Alliance Platinum Member 

                          • 10. Re: How to sort by company type?

                            First, I'd like to thank everyone who has jumped in to offer their assistance and also providing great resources.  It's great to see the FileMaker Forum community eager to help each other out.  


                            I'm sorry to hear that FileMaker has been a frustrating experience so far.  If you are looking for an easy to use manual, try the FileMaker Pro 7 User's Guide located on our website here:



                            Alternatively, you can get to the FileMaker Pro 7 User's Guide by doing the following: 

                            www.filemaker.com > hover over 'Support' located at the top of the page > choose 'Downloads' > click on 'Documentation and Publication' > click on 'Product Documentation' > click on the 'Search the Archives' link > click on FileMaker Pro 7


                            You'll note that this section also includes some great documentation on specific features you may want to use in the feature such as Instant Web Publishing and Customizing FileMaker Pro 7 Templates. 


                            The User's Guide is very user-friendly and should definitely get you going in the right direction.  Hope this helps!



                            FileMaker, Inc. 

                            • 11. Re: How to sort by company type?

                              "If I go to define fields it gives me a list of your standards:  name, company, address, phone, email.  There is no place for "category"."

                              Right below this list of fields is a form with a text entry area labeled Field Name and a few buttons.
                              Enter Category in this text entry area, select Text as the type and press Create. Then press OK.

                              Enter layout mode on your desired layout.

                              The field may be visible on the bottom of the layout depending on the preference setting, but if it is not:
                              Drag in a new field on the layout from the toolbox on the left and choose the new Category field you just created.
                              Position the field where you want it to be.
                              Return to browse mode and start entering data.

                              This should get you started, there are many options for getting the field to look right and so on when you have gotten this working.
                              • 12. Re: How to sort by company type?

                                Hallelujah!  Thank you to all of you for your help.  That last one did the trick, I found the manual I needed and had the patience for once to do a tutorial to get myself where I needed to be.  Turned out I was pretty close and just needed one extra step.


                                THANK YOU.



                                • 13. Re: How to sort by company type?



                                  Sorry for the late reply.  I was called off of this forum to handle our Bento forum.


                                  Go back into "Define Fields".  For Field Name, type: Category

                                  To the right of that, set Type to "Text" (it may already be set to that)

                                  Click "Create".


                                  A new field entitled "Category" is now created.


                                  Click "OK", which returns you to Browse mode.  At the bottom of the layout/form, you will see "Category".  Here, you can enter specific information for each record.  For example, you can type in "Audio" for this record, and it will only appear in this record.


                                  What you probably did previously was enter the word "Audio" onto the layout/form.  This actually becomes part of the form and so it will display "Audio" for every record.


                                  Pull down the Help menu.  There may be some options here to find information, or possibly for tutorials.  I don't havea copyt of FileMaker Pro 7 on my computer, so I'm a little lost for what are the menu options.  If there is a tutorial, see if that is active.


                                  On our web site, there are some references to FileMaker Pro 7 documentation in PDF format.  Go to:




                                  Click on FileMaker Pro 7, and this may help you get pointed in the right direction.


                                  Let me know if you are still having difficulty.



                                  FileMaker, Inc.