I don't follow how that is "in reverse". Can you explain in more detail?
Instead of inputting "lunch" and having Filemaker generate the list that includes "soup", which the user then has to select, I need to have it know that soup is a lunch item without being told by the person inputting data.
I have categories that are related in a tree and I need the user to be able to type in the name of any node or leaf category and have Filemaker look up and input all the parent nodes for that category.
The categories are organism taxa, if that helps.
Arent you looking at this in reverse?
You have three meals:
You have a whole lot of 'dishes" like for instance 'Soup'.
Every dish is related to a certain meal.
And every dish can have a load of ingredients, like "tomato".
But there might be other things that contain tomato.
Like tomato sauce. Or Gazpacho.
How do you know that when you select tomato, it's for the soup?
You could make your value list show the three values:
Meal, Dish, Ingredient.
Anyway, it seems to me like a structure with three layers.
I guess when you select "Tomato" the other dropdowns could show you all possibilities of meals and dishes with tomato in them.
Not so much. In my data set, "tomato" is always "soup" and "soup" is always "lunch" because zoological taxon names are unique and arranged in a strict tree. If the tomato is in gazpacho, that's a problem way above my pay grade. :-)
I need my end user to be able to type, for example, in "Homo sapiens" and the database fill in Genus = Homo, Family = Hominidae, Order = Primates, etc, because the end user won't have easy access to that information and because the categories need to be able to be changed as taxonomies are revised.
What you seek is known as a LOOKUP and you use a relationship to get it. Your other table should have fields which associate Tomato to Lunch and Soup. Your relationship will be matching Tomato to Tomato. Then when you select Tomato in the current table, it will LOOK UP Soup and Lunch.
But there is rarely a need to LOOK UP at all unless you need to plant the values for historic purposes (such as planting a client address into an Invoice). Usually you can just cross-place the related fields.
So you can select Tomato and, if you placed the other table's Soup and Lunch fields on the current table's layout, they will fill in automatically based upon the relationship.
If you would like a sample file showing what I mean, I would be happy to provide, just let me know.
Thank you for your help! It's good to have a starting point.