Please describe the relationships in more detail so that we can see which tables are linked to which. I can guess this much:
as that would be a many to many relationship between paintings and exhibitions. But is documentations linked to paintings or exhibitions?
Yes: all table are linked with a many-to-many relation.
Instead of making separate reports of linked records I would like to combine reports. E.g one report of painting x showing related exhibitions and related documentation.
[the problem: there is only one main part to show related records when using the list layout]
You have Documentation linked to both Paintings and Exhibitions, these are two occurrences of the same data source table?
Please outline what you need to see in your report.
When you have this relationship:
The method you describe works well as you can base your layout on table3 and still include fields from tables 1 and 2. But when the relationships do not fit this nice, linear one to many structure, that method cannot be used as you have discovered.
There are several possible options to consider
1) using scripting, global match fields and different occurrences of these tables, it may be possible to temporarily set up the needed one to many chain for a specific base record such as a specific painting. Scripts would load the needed global fields to establish the needed links for this specific record.
2) Sometimes the only practical option is to use portals to display the related data on your report. Portals have significant limitations in how they work in a report, but sometimes they are the only practical option. Note that by making a portal many rows taller than you expect to need, but setting it to "slide up" and "resize enclosing part", the portal will shrink down to just the number of rows needed for the number of records shown in the portal.
3) With FileMaker 12, you also have the option of using calculation fields with ExecuteSQL to pull data into the report from other tables.
4) scripts can either print your different reports in sequence (with page numbers that start on page 1 of your first layout and that run through the last page of your second layout) or that can use Save As PDF to merge a PDF from the first layout with a PDF from the second. This approach requires that the second part of your report start at the top of a new page--which isn't always acceptable.
5) The "worst case" scenario that sometimes cannot be avoided is to set up a "report table" where your script finds records in different tables and imports them all into a common table just for report purposes. This can require both very large numbers of defined fields in the table and very complex layout designs but can result in a report not possible for your data model via other methods found in FileMaker.
thank you for your detailed answer. now going to research the options you mentioned!
to be continued!