You should have a relationship linking your two tables that uses your drop down field's relationship as the key field matching the employee name field to link your two tables. Your field definitions then have to refer to the related employee info table. Now, when you select a value in your drop down, Filemaker will physically copy the data from your employee table into your 2nd table. If you think this is what you've done, but it's not working, you'll need to carefully describe your tables, their relationship and the field's that make up the relationship so that someone here can help you spot the problem.
Two design comments:
- Since your employee's contact information is subject to change, you may not want to physically copy the information from one table to the other. If you want changes in the employee info table to automatically update in your layouts, you should not use the look up feature.
- People change their names! If Jane Doe comes to you and informs you that she just got married and now will be called Jane Smith, changing her name can disconnect her record in the employee info table. You might want to create employee id numbers in an additional field and use it in your relational links. (You can make your drop down have two columns: col 1 shows the ID and col 2 shows the employee name.)
Thank you PhilModJunk! It looks like my problem was that my database had no idea what information I was trying to look up. I needed to have the employee name as my key field, but I was using the phone number as the key when trying to auto-populate the phone number...
Thank you also for the suggestion of using employee ID numbers--that would simplify things should one of the women get married.
Out of curiosity, you mentioned that it might be better to not physically copy the info from one table to another. Is there another way to find and display the info I want without using the lookup to copy the info?
"Is there another way to find and display the info I want without using the lookup to copy the info?"
Option 1: Display the related info in a portal. This is easy to set up but may not permit the format you want--especially if it is a printed report.
Option 2: Simply place the fields from your employee data table the same layout as the fields from your other table. Because you've defined a relationship linking the two fields, you'll be able to see and (if you choose to permit it), data from matching records in the two fields. This option works if the table selected for your layout is not your employee data table and your relationship matches one record in employee data to one or more records in your other table.
Ah, I think I am actually doing option #2 now--if you are talking about selecting the field in the table I am working with to be the field of another table (i.e. the field I am selecting is employees::phone number). I think I might have been mistakenly calling it looking up, but I did not realize that it actually copied the data from one table into another (although I just typed "lookup" into the FMPro help and it does say just that....
Anyway, thank you again for the prompt and extremely helpful assistance. I appreciate it!
"Look Up" is an option you can select as part of a field's definition.