7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 30, 2011 12:04 PM by philmodjunk

    three novice questions



      three novice questions


      Good morning.

      I am fairly new to FM Pro and have three questions that will hopefully be easy for this group to help me with. For context, I am an orthopaedic surgeon using FM and FM Go to keep track of my hospital consults and surgery patients. My records include dates of surgery, name, medical record, codes for what was done and diagnosis, notes to myself, etc. I've got the data fields pretty much how I like them and are useful/helpful. Here are my questions:

      1) While my formatting looks good on the screen, if I try to create pdf's of records, the outlines of my datafields aren't uniformly showing up and some fields do not show the actual data (look blank). All data fields have the same height, text vertical orientation and font type/size.

      2) Now I am trying to take things to the next step and create some reports.  I organize my cases by the date of surgery, which is a calendar field. I have tried to create a report that organizes my cases by date. While i figured out a way to sort them by day, is there a way to group all my cases from one month together? Right now the report shows a date and then itemizes the cases that match that date. It then gives two subtotals for that date. I would like to group all the cases from each month together and then have my two subtotals be for that month.

      3) As the new year starts, I would like to start a new database for 2012. Is there an easy way to start a new database with the layouts I've created for this year? I've thought of creating a duplicate database and then just clearing all the data from the duplicate one but was wondering if there was an easier way.


      I appreciate any help you can offer with these questions. Thanks.



        • 1. Re: three novice questions

          1) Don't know why this would be the case. If you enter preview mode, what do you see? Are you generating the PDF from FM PRO or FM GO?

          2) Define this calculation field, cMonth, as: YourDateField - Day ( YourDateField ) + 1. Specify "date" as the return type.

          This returns the date of the first day of the same month so all records dated in the same month will have the same value returned by this field. Use a sub summary part when sorted by cMonth and you can group and produce sub totals for each month just like you do now for each day.

          3) Why start a new database for the new year? You can save a copy of your database with the save a copy as | Clone options and it will be an empty copy of your database, but usually, it's not necessary, nor a good thing to divide your data up into different years like this. (Wouldn't you want to see data from 2011 about a patient that returns to you in 2012?)

          • 2. Re: three novice questions



            Thanks for your responses. Let me address them individually

            1) The preview in FM seems to work and the preview shows all the data when viewed as a pdf generated in FM. I changed to format around data boxes and this now looks good. Still having a problem with the same two data fields not showing when previewing and creating a pdf in FM Go on my iphone.

            2) I tried to follow your instructions but I think I am not familiar enough with creating calculations in FM to follow completely. Would you mind writing the equation out exactly as it would be seen in the field? My field with the dates that I want summarized is labeled DOSC. Could you also show what I would expect to see in the database?

            3) Mostly I want to start a new one to keep file size down while it is on my phone. This is only a log of the cases I've done so I don't need to keep all of my data with me at all times. I will not be getting rid of the old ones, just keeping them on my computer. I'm open to suggestions of others ways to keep it. 


            Thanks for your help so far. After we figure this out, I have a new data field I am trying to create that I could use some advice on ...

            • 3. Re: three novice questions

              2) DOSC- Day ( DOSC ) + 1

              3) you might try connecting Go via 3G or WiFi to the database hosted from your computer. Then file size will not be an issue. If all else fails, I'd keep a copy of this file with all past and present records on your home computer where file size is not an issue. You'll find it makes searching past records much easier.

              • 4. Re: three novice questions

                Ok, getting closer.

                I used your formula. It grouped all the correct cases together (ie:from the same month) but instead putting the name of the month (ie: September), it put a number. The number is the same for the whole month, with September getting 734380, October 734410, November 734441, and December 734471. Any suggestions on how to convert this number into the month's name? I tried taking out the "+1" from the equation. This just changed the number by one (this is the number you see above).

                • 5. Re: three novice questions

                  Re-open the calculation field's definition and select "date" instead of "number" from the return type drop down in the lower left corner.

                  You can format this field via the data formatting tab in the inspector to just display the month name or the month name and year.

                  • 6. Re: three novice questions


                    Thanks! Worked perfectly.  Now onto my next set of questions ...


                    I recently set up a database to track weight, blood pressure and some other measurements.  I've set up these data fields, along with one that sums up a couple of measurements (TI - total circumference measurements).  The next pieces of data I'd like to collect is:

                    1) % change in weight. In Excel, I would know how to set up a formula for %change = ((W-(W-1))/W-1)x100, where W = today's weight and W-1 = yesterday's weight. I'm sure there's a way to calculate this, I just can seem to figure it out.

                    2) I would like to track the change in TI (mentioned above; defined as TI = SUM (field 1 ... field 5)). In excel, I would use change in TI = TI - (TI-1), where TI = today's measurement and TI-1 = yesterday's measurement. On a side note, I will be making these measurements less frequently than weight measurements so there will be records where the TI value will be blank. Will this play into how the program is run?

                    3) I would like to create a report that summarizes this data by week. Is this possible?


                    Again, thanks for the great help so far.


                    • 7. Re: three novice questions

                      1) will the two weight measurements be in the same record? if so, the same expression works in FileMaker. If the two measurements are in different records, you'll need an expression to access the previous record and this can depend on your layout design as to how to specify the correct previous record. If the previous record is the previous entry in a portal or the previous record in a found set, You can use GetNthRecord to access data in the preceding record. In other cases a self join relationship that matches by PatientID, but then also uses date fields in the relationship to refer to the newest record for the same patient, that has a date less than the current record's date can be used. (You put inequality operators in the relationship instead of the default =.)

                      2) This appears to be the same issue wth a different calculation

                      3) Summary reports are quite possible using summary fields, sub summary parts and sorting to produce both grand and sub totals (or other aggregate values such as an average). See this tutorial on summary reports to learn more: Creating Filemaker Pro summary reports--Tutorial