Did you create any new records in the new table?
Please note that Layout and Table are not the same thing.
No, firstly I only wanted to have a layout for the companies that my contacts work for. I've made this part work. I went to File>Manage>Layouts and noticed that the Layout wasn't associated to a table so I associated it to the Contacts table. I'm unsure why it did this as there is a relationship set up but? Anyhow the Layout called Companies now shows the records for companies. But it shows the same company more than once if there is more than one contact from the same company so it's still not working as I would like.
You need a new table where you have one record for each company.
Go To Manage | Datbase | tables.
Create a new table here by entering the name and clicking Create.
Click the fields tab and add at least a company name field and a serial number field to identify each company. You can add other fields such as those for an address if you want to.
Double Click the Company Name field while still on Manage | Database | Fields with your new table selected in the dropdown to open the Field Options dialog. Select the validation tab and specify "unique values", "Validate always".
Click OK until you have left Manage | database
Go to the new layout for your new table that was automatically created. Select Import Records | File from the File menu, select your current copy of the file you already have open and import records from the Contacts table, mapping the company name in contacts to the company name field in your new table.
When you import this data, the validation rules you set up will filter out the duplicates automatically, giving you one record for each company.
You then need to continue work on this by linking your two tables in a relationship--ideally by the serial number field you just defined in your new companies table. Eventutally, you'll be able to remove the company field in Contacts and replace it on any layouts where it is used with the company field from your new table.
Thanks so far, I'll give this a go.
Been playing a lot with Filemaker to feel my way around. Some things are beginning to make sense and I've been trying to follow your instructions. I've created a table called "Companies" but it didn't auto create so there is no layout. I've tried to create a fresh layout but I can't select the table and hence the fields to put on the layout. ANy idea where I might have slipped up?
Fixed it, it works, I needed to add the table into the relationships field and then it was visible. Thanks for your help.