Repeating fields are advised against by most FMP develpers, with a few specific exceptions.
If you do not want to avoid repeating fields, a calculation field that makes "AA" and "Description" fields into a "AA - Descriptions" calc field might serve your purposes.
If you Google "repeating fields site:forums.filemaker.com" the links will present arguments for avoiding repeating fields.
These links are found to be useful by FMP beginners....
Data from related records can be arranged in to columns as well as rows with portals and a bit of creativity.
David, thanks for your post. I'll read the link you gave and will take a shot at the calc idea that you mentioned. And Phil, I will into portals, though that is a new term to me.
Maybe I should add, while not an expert, I'm past the beginner stage. I've been using FMP for at least 15 years and have developed some pretty complex files.
I get that repeating fields might be a bad idea in this case and that is fine. But before letting go of this topic, any other ideas about how I might accomplish what I want? I know that one option would be to have 6 pairs of fields (code 1, description 1, code 2, description 2, etc.) but that seems a little clumsy and inflexible, I can't help but think there's a better way.
(Another thought, would one of you experts be willing to set this layout up for me for a fee? I could email the file to you with just a few records, then you could email it back. With the basic structure set up I could fine tune sizes and such by myself.)
Thanks again for your replies.
You may find it easier to work down columns (vertically) in Form view instead of across rows (horizontally) in Table view.
For example, try a matrix of 26 rows down by 26 x 2 columns across (odd columns for codes and even columns for descriptions):
AA Transformers BA … CA … … … ZA …
AB Resistors BB … CB … … … ZB …
AC Capacitors BC … CC … … … ZC …
… … … … … … … … … …
Use one repeating field for Codes and the second repeating field for Descriptions.
Start each column by setting the Inspector's Data tab 'Show repetitions' to 1-26; 27-52; … etc.
Jade, your advice did the trick. I now have the layout I want. Thanks so much!
I ran into a little hangup with setting the tabs, but finally got it right. I may beg one or two follow up questions here, but for now I'm off and running. Thanks again.
Uh oh. I may have made a tragic mistake here, and maybe shot myself in the foot by using repeating fields. In my initial post, to keep the question simple, I did not mention that what I was creating was actually a second table, residing in a much larger more complicated file.
So my problem now is that even though my table looks very nice, I seem unable to use my new entries in my primary table. When I try to, I see the error indication <unrelated.
I know that I can set up my table as a second file, or maybe keep this as one file with the two tables linked by a portal, but will my use of repeating fields in setting this up kill either or both of those possibilities? Of course, I've already gone through the time consuming task of entering all 676 of my codes. David, maybe I should have taken your warning about repeating fields more seriously.
Any thoughts? Will I need to start all over again? Sorry to be such a bother.
Like everyone else, I recommend that you use a related table rather than repeating fields. There probably will be other issues that cause you problems down the road using repeating fields. As PhilModJunk suggested, you can setup 26 portals displaying code and description fields across the Form—each portal with 26 rows and a different 'Intial Row': 1; 27; … etc. This should give the same general appearance as the repeating fields.
If you must persist, then try defining the 2 repeating fields as global fields (Manage>Database…>Fields>Storage) in the other table. This should resolve your immediate problem of <unrelated …>.