It's certainly possible. I've done similar for a couple of clients. One had a layout with fields and drop down boxes with value lists that they would select or enter. There was a template of text with merge code fields (the first name field was represented in the template as %%FNM%%), and then using the Substitute function, FMP merged the selected fields into the template and created a resulting body of text in another large text field below in the layout. From there they could print, copy and paste into a document, email, or or just report in another layout. Another customer had more demanding requirements and for that we created documents in Word with similar merge field, saved them into a container field in FMP, then used 360Works Scribe plugin to merge the fields and create a new Word doc on the users screen. Note that the document can be merged into a Pages document, but the initial creation has to be done in Word.
Thanks for the feedback, very helpful. After researching and determining my needs, what would work best is to have a button that inserts individual merge fields into a general text field, one at a time such that the order of the text is dictated by what order I select the buttons. I did not see that option for buttons, so I am assuming that I need to write a script that does this.
I have also tried GetAsText(Field 1 & Field 2 & Field 3), but that returns those fields in that order. Is there a way to alter the command so that if I make an entry into 'Field 2' initially that the field with the GetAsText command returns the field 2 entry followed by which ever subsequent field I enter next whether it be 1 or 3. Would it be possible to write a dynamic GetAsText command such that it can return the field not only in any order but multiple times upon entry? Programming and script development is not my strong-suit
It sounds like one way would be to put an order field to match the replacing text field, then script to replace the receiving text field in the order of those fields. Alternatively, you could have the same values in all initial text fields and select the value in the order you want to see it replaced in the receiving text field.
Either way, you're right, you'll need a script to replace the text. The Substitute() function should work nicely. Would you be willing to post your solution and I can take a look and perhaps add the necessary scripting to help?
That's great to hear; I'm glad it helped. Good luck in the field and welcome to the wonderful world of FileMaker.
Is it possible to generate a paragraph of text by choosing from multiple drop boxes and bubble options in any order (such that a entry that is typically an intro sentence could be mid-paragraph or anywhere I choose)
My initial thought on the above was that you are asking rather a lot of FM, or any software for that matter; it sounds as if you want it to compose your paragraphs for you! Maybe if the selected text is treated as a series of bullet points it should work OK though.
inserts individual merge fields into a general text field, one at a time such that the order of the text is dictated by what order I select the buttons
I can respond more helpfully to the above point, however. I have one application where I need to select a number of items from a value list displayed as a checkbox set. I collect the checked items using a variable and the resulting list of items will be entered in the order in which they were checked. This also works if the items are checked using a script; the order in the script will be followed in the resulting text.
I ended up using a GetAsText function that returns the previous contents of the field plus the contents of whatever field I am interested. Once I figured out how to write basic script, easy peezy! Lot of buttons though. It could use improvement, but serves the purpose until I able to refine it.