You need to remove the references to the external file and move them to something in the local file. As soon as something is going to be evaluated it will try and open that file and error out. I don't believe you can suppress it because it's not a menu or script step.
You can use any of a number of sync utilities or your own methods to sync the data from the external file when connected, and rely only on the local data when not. As long as you keep your external tables on layouts you only access during the sync, you shouldn't have trouble with that error.
How do you want to behave when offline? (Silently do nothing on conditional formatting?)
You can specify 2 or more paths to an external data source, like
but I'm not sure there are any good or bad things in the definition, comparing to Mike's.
no way found for this. Multiple paths (external sources) will help as long as one of them is available.
we create a separate 'location' in the network control panel (OSX) without any net, then FM will not try to evaluate. On Windows, there is often a hardware button to switch off the net (wifi) what helps as well
When the file is offline I use conditional formatting to hide the link to the online part. So what you are saying is a cool idea. I think I'll have a dummy local file with a global set to zero and when it detects zero assume offline.
The user expects this behaviour, it's a local file on a machine that is sometimes online and sometimes offline... but the user doesn't expect a second file in their directory since it's just in their documents folder but I guess worse things could happen.
Just as a side note, the user doesn't expect online information to be available when offline so no syncing of large amounts of data required.