5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2014 7:20 AM by NicolasDavid

    Restrict pop-up menu on typing



      Restrict pop-up menu on typing


           Hi. I am quite new to FM that we use here at work. So I apologize in advance if I am not using the proper terms, or the question is stupid.

           We have a pretty simple database, in which some of the fields are pop up menus (from manually entered value lists, to prevent the user from entering new values). The point is that some of these value lists are pretty large (hundreds of values), so that when a user wants to fill this field he has to scroll through the list, which is getting very long (actually much longer on PCs than on Mac, the scrolling speed being different).

           I am thus looking for a way to restrict the list. The ideal solution would be that upon typing a few letters, the list restricts to the values containing these letters (not necessarily starting with these letters).

           From what I read on this forum, I have the feeling this is feasible, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Any help would be appreciated. Thx

        • 1. Re: Restrict pop-up menu on typing

               There are multiple methods possible.

               If your value list is entering text into a text field, you can change the field format to drop down list and enable the "auto-complete" feature. There's a field validation option you can select that limits the data entry to only values from the value list to keep users from manually entering new values into your drop down list field.  Many value lists, however, display a name while entering a number and auto-complete does not work with them.

               You may also be able to trim down the list by using a conditional value list. With such a set up, you select a category from a value list formatted field first and then your next field's value list is filtered to just the values of that selected category.

               And there are other "enhanced value selection" techniques that may be used that do not necessarily use a drop down list at all. These methods require scripting and proper relationship design to pull off.

          • 2. Re: Restrict pop-up menu on typing

                 Hi, many thanks for your answer.

                 My list is text, entering into a text field, and the drop down list solution you propose is a great improvement over the pop up solution. The limitation for us is that most entries start with the same 4-5 letters, and it would be more convenient to be able to trim the list based on letters included in the value we are looking for (not the first letters).

                 I had considered the conditional value option that you suggest, but there actually is no other field in our database that can be used to restrict the list of possibilities. I mean, all other fields are unrelated to the one with the very large list, so they cannot be used as an information to trim down the list.

                 I suppose what I am looking for would, as you suggest, require scripting but this is where I am stuck. Don't know where to start (I guess I should spend quite some time learning scripting in FM).

                 Thanks again for your help.


            • 3. Re: Restrict pop-up menu on typing

                   Then you might find the "search portals" in this demo a reasonable alternative to using a value list for selecting a value. To save space on your layout, such a tool could be placed inside a PopOver (filemaker 13 or newer) or in a small floating modal window (older versions).


                   FileMaker 12 and newer users can open this file from FileMaker's File menu in order to produce a copy converted to the .FMP12 file format.

              • 4. Re: Restrict pop-up menu on typing

                     Hi, and thanks again for your answer. So far, I just had time for a very quick look. Seems to be exactly what I was looking for ! Thanks so much.

                     As soon as I can find some time, I'll try to see if I understand how it is set up, and try to implement it in our database.

                     I'll let you know if I succeed.

                • 5. Re: Restrict pop-up menu on typing

                       I said I would let you know if I succeeded. It took me quite some time (during which I learnt a lot about FileMaker and realized how little I new the software, and how poorly our database is designed), but I did. In the end, I used the solution you have used in the upper search field in the file you sent me.

                       It works great and is a major improvement for us. So you have a whole lab of biologist researchers thanking you !