You might check out the Adventures in FileMaking series. Adventures 1 and 2. They are free to download.
The first adventure shows many different ways to get shorter value lists by using conditional value lists. The second shows other ways to work with value lists and alternatives to value lists. It includes an example of an auto-complete value list that nonetheless results in records being linked by the Primary Key ID numbers.
Adventures in FileMaking #1 - Conditional Value Lists (includes details on how to set up a basic field based value list)
Adventures in FileMaking #2 - Enhanced Value Selection (what to do when a simple value list won't cut it.)