1. what is your "main table" (name)? actually what are the names of all your tables?
2. what type of field has "active or inactive"? and in what table?
If you have a relationship, you can "show only related records" in a valuelist. But you'll need to have that relationship defined, to make this work. There needs to be a relationship to Contacts with this field and a similar field (global perhaps) in the Employer table (if that's what they are named).
If you provide a screen shot of this relationship, the answer is probably 'simple'
in the Specify Fields for Value list.., window, at the bottom you see this:
Create a relationship between Contact::Active and another table where a global field is set to True. Then Select the highlighted option shown in the screen capture and select the global field.
Don't feel numpty, most people getting acquainted with Filemaker bang their head on this one .
Sorry, I may have caused confusion. I have the same problem with both the tables, but they're not related. I just want one drop down box for contacts, and a similar one for employers.
I am sure there are many ways to achieve what you want; some more complex than others. The way I would approach it is probably very 'old school': Every record in every table I create has a number field that is autofilled with number 1 - fwiw I call the field '_z1'. So, in solving the problem I believe you describe, I would also ensure that an 'Active' indicator field contains '1' for active and not '1' for not active AND the field would be indexed! Then I would create a relationship that linked between the _z1 field in the Employers table and the active status value in the Contacts table - maybe with other joins as well - and use that relationship to build the value list.
You need a relationship to get the "active" only to show in your value list, as planteg shows in the dialog.