On your assets table, you might click into a type field (configured for this test as an edit box) and select Insert from index to inspect the values in the index (which is where these values actually come from) If you do this while in Find Mode, you might be able to find the record where you have the value that appears to be blank and possibly the different Material records. Worth a try anyway.
I'm guessing though, that you may have a damaged index. Find Assets::Type in Manage | Database |Fields, double click it to bring up the field options, then turn indexing off. Click Ok on each dialog until you have left Manage | Database. Then return and turn indexing back on. This rebuilds the index for that field. Then test to see if that fixed the problem.
Small point: when I have that sort of problem I never re-type the data (using your logic of slightly differing data entry) I always find the offedning batch ('Metal', in this case), type one correctly and then use the 'Replace Field Contents' function.
thanks, sorbs. but i have tried to find the culprit, and cannot identify it. they all seem to be equal entries for "Metal".
Phil, when i try a find text from "insert from index" i see the 9 versions of "Metal" listed and when i search separately for the first, second, third, etc. version of the word, each found set shows the same 27 items. this is baffling me.
i tried to rebuild the index as you describe, and it didn't fix it. it is necessary to close the file or program and reopen?
It shouldn't be necessry to close the file.
You might try re-indexing all the indexes in your file...
If you have FileMaker 11, you can use Advanced Recovery options to rebuild your file's indexes:
With the file closed, select Recover from the File Menu.
Select "Use advanced Options"
Select only: "Copy File Blocks as-is" and "Rebuild Field Indexes Now".
While you are at it, you might run a full up recover on your file, just to rule out any changes that it is damaged in some way.
"when i try a find text from "insert from index" i see the 9 versions of "Metal" listed and when i search separately for the first, second, third, etc. version of the word, each found set shows the same 27 items"
I suspect that there are different invisible chars inside that field.
Try to create a calculation field with calc: Code ( Assets::Type ) to find those chars.