Just add an additional text field for informal versions of their name and use that field on layouts where you want use a less formal version of their name. You can also define a calculation field such as:
If ( IsEmpty(InformalNameField) ; FormalNameField ; InFormalNameField )
For use on such layouts so that the formatl name is used when no informal name was entered into the informal name field.
Thank you for the information! I revised the calculation field to fit the field names in my database:
If ( IsEmpty(Informal Names) ; First Name & Last Name ; Informal Names )
However, this doesn't seem to be working. Any thoughts as to why?
In what way isn't it working?
It will work, I've used similar things for years, so I need to know how it failed for you before I can make any additional suggestions.
In the Layout view, I've included a field called Informal Names. I go to Define Database --> Fields --> Informal Names --> Options--> Calculated Value, which is where I paste the calculation.
However, when I switch to Preview mode for the document, no names appear where the Informal Names field is located in Layout Mode. If it helps clarify, I'm constructing a layout for Fundraising Letter Addresses, which will (hopefully) include each contact's name and address near the top of the page for printing.
Auto-entered calcuations do not automatically update existing records.
Make it a field of type calculation with this expression rather than a text field with an auto-entered calculation.
Open manage | database | fields, find the field and change it's file type in the drop down on far right from "text" to "calculation". Then check the calculation. In newer versions, the auto-enter calculation appears as the expression for the calculation field auomatically, but I don't know if this was true for your older version.
That worked, thank you! One minor question remaining: when I use the calculation above, there's no space between the first name and the last name. Any fix for this?
If ( IsEmpty(Informal Names) ; First Name & " " & Last Name ; Informal Names )
Should give you the idea. If it's possible for a contact to have a last name and no first name, a more sophisticated expression will be required to avoid an unwanted space in front of the lone last name in such cases.
That little change takes care of it! Thanks for all your prompt, clear replies!
I've run into a small problem with the calculation above...it won't let me edit the fields. For example, if there's a field where the first names have filled in to be the first and last name, it won't let me edit the results. How do I change this, if possible?
if there's a field where the first names have filled in to be the first and last name, it won't let me edit the results
Instead of editing this field, you'd edit the individual first and last names or the Informal Names field. I think you'd want to do that in this case as otherwise you would only see what you entered in this one field and not on layouts that refer to the individual fields.
If you really must edit this field directly, you'd change it to a field of type text with this expression as the auto-enter calculation and "do not replace existing values..." would stay selected.
Thanks for the feedback. I decided to just use the formula to fill in the "Informal Names" field, and from now on will have it as an edit box so I can manually fill in the field as appropriate.
Thanks for the help!