Thanks for the post.
Question 1 first...Yes it's possible and Yes you'll want to use a script.
There are a few ways to do this, and I'm going to explain a longer way that I figure is easier to understand since you've not worked with a script before. A script is basically a little program that launches when you tell it to and does what you've programmed...a series of Do This and Do That's...
option 1: If you can tolerate gaps in your numbering (M1, M2, M7, M14, M15, M23,...) then this whole project gets pretty easy. You could set up a field "UniqueID" for autoentering a serial#, Set up another field called "Record_Num" and have it be a calculation something of the sort towards:
If(Area=Brecht;"B" & "-" & UniqueID;If(Area=Mime;"M" & "-" & UniqueID...etc., you get the point.
This will result in every record having a different number, but prefixed by the letter of choice. ie. there will NOT be an M-12 and a B-12...there would instead be M-12 and B-13 with no M-13 ever created.
Set up the autoentered Unique ID anyway. After you make your selection for "Area", you could run a script "label Record" I'll abridge some of it to show the purpose...play with the details a bit yourself.
Note: # is a comment prefix...it doesn't do anything except allow you to leave a note for yourself.
# tag the record you're on so you can get back to it
# Set prefix letter
# Find how many with that prefix already and add 1 to the number
Go to field [Area]
Enter Find Mode
Go to Field [Area]
# combine the two variables to create your record number
>>Go to your initial record doing a find loop like above, but finding globalID in the UniqueID field
Setfield [Record_Num;globalnewfield1 & "-" & globalnewfield2]
Have a think through it, give it a try...
Sorry, can't help with question #2. Perhaps another on the board can.
I take it back,
I had an idea for your multiple selection/checkboxes. Perhaps someone else will have a better one.
Make an image that LOOKS like a drop down, but is really a button. Hitting the button will send you to Layout#2, based on the same table so you'll be on the same record. Layout#2 will have your big checkbox field so you can choose your multiple entries. When you're done picking them all, you have a "done" button as part of the checkbox field that sends you back to layout #1.
Just thinkin' out loud...its a way to SEEM to have a drop down checkbox list without really having it.
> 2. I have a dropdown menu (for a field entitled "keywords" with a value list that keeps updating itself based on values that I put in that field on other records. It works. But I want to be able to select more than one item from the list.
Actually a pop-up menu CAN have multiple choices... press SHIFT while choising a value.
That said, it's hard to select 10 values from a value list of 100 values.