Importing can be tricky.
I suggest you open your help... type import and wait for the full file list then choose this item "Methods of importing data into an existing file". It has a good diagram.
One of the easiest ways to import from Excel is to drop the Excel document on the FIleMaker app icon. This creates a file with "converted" added to the file name of the original. This is then used to import into your FileMaker database-proper... which will also make the field matching easier.
When you import data... the default setting imports the records then keeps the data it just imported as the Current Found Set. If you make a mistake you can delete the found records and try again.
When you import, you want to be on the layout with the table that you want to import into. Then you choose import and navigate to the file. Down the bottom of this Open dialog there is a popup menu where you can choose what sort of file you are importing from. If you choose the wrong one, you will get the results you have been having.
Excel data will be imported from the top of the worksheet to where the data ends (basically). If you have blank lines they will be imported as blank records. If the top row is column headings, these headings can be recognised as field names and not imported as records.
Before you import you get to flip thru the records to see if the data matches the fields it is going into.
To make the match, the fields on the LHS stay static. Then there is the indicator which must be clicked until it turns into an arrow pointing to a field on the RHS. If the Field on the RHS is not in the corresponding position you can drag it up or down by it's bi-directional arrow.
Thanks for the help! I got the excel spreadsheet into FM. The only
problem is that I already have some data and need to add more to the
bottom. That dragging the fields on the RHS doesn't seem to work, i click
and drag and nothing moves. I figured out that I can just rename the
fields after the fact so it wasn't a big deal.
when you import, and have the import box, you just need to put the mouse down on the little two-headed arrows and then you can move the fields on the right hand side up and down. Renaming the fields afterwards will lead to madness if you are going to do several imports.
Leicester LE2 5PP
If you re-import the same spreadsheet with additional data - you need to use the Update option on the field mapping window, otherwise, you will end up with duplicate records from the first import.
In order to update matching you need to have a unique identified for each record ( also known as primary key ). You don't say what you are importing - hopefully your spreadsheet includes a unique identifer already. If it does not - you'll need to add one - a simple serial number will do for importing. The records already in the database should have the same serial number as the ones in the spreadsheet.
Then - when you are ready to re-import, show all records, choose Update Matching in the Found set and check the box to Add remaining data as new recordss. Mark sure the serial number field has been selcted as the field to Match Records based on this field (double arrow )
Since you are new to this - you should ALWAYS back up your database before doing an import. That way if something goes wrong - you can go back to an earlier copy and try again.
If this is something you will be doing on a regular basis - you may want to check out "recurring imports" in the help files
Hope this helps!