5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2010 4:46 PM by philmodjunk

    Accessing data on a 'drop-down' list..



      Accessing data on a 'drop-down' list..




      This really isn't a problem for me, but I was just wondering !!


      Using FM 10 on Mac 10.6.2


      I have a text field with a 'drop-down' list called 'Places'... when I need to enter a new name to this field, the list drops down, and I click on 'Edit', I add the new name, then click 'OK' and I am back at the field.. however I then have to click 'outside' the field and then click 'in the field' to get the drop-down list again...


      Its really not a problem but I was wondering if anyone knew a better way without having to click outside the field and then click inside the field again..


      Best regards, Malcolm  



        • 1. Re: Accessing data on a 'drop-down' list..



          Thank you for your post.


          When clicking "Edit..." in a field formatted as drop-down (or pop-up), the focus is now in Edit Value List.  Once you make the changes to the Value List, it will not select any value.  You still have to reselect the field to choose the appropriate value.



          FileMaker, Inc. 

          • 2. Re: Accessing data on a 'drop-down' list..

            Try this out:


            1. Select the field you want to make into a Drop-down list
            2. Select Format > Field/Control > Setup...
            3. Select Display as Drop-down List
            4. Display values from:  Pull down and Select Manage Value Lists
            5. Click New to set up a new VL (from step 6 on it gets interesting...)
            6. Click the Use values from field radio button
            7. Click Specify field
            8. Under Use values from first field make sure your current table is showing and that the field you are setting up as this drop-down shows below it
            9. Select the field (yes, select the same one you are currently formatting!)
            10. Ensure the Include all values radio button is checked
            11. Click OK four (4) times to get back to your layout


            Now, when you look at the field in Browse mode, there will be nothing in it, but as soon as you start adding records you will write in values for this field as you go, and the list will self-populate with those values.


            NOTE -- Once you have entered a value for one of your places -- say Grand Canyon -- that thereafter "Grand Canyon" will always appear in the list and you will select the value itself then instead of typing it in (in fact, you will only type in each unique value ONE TIME because thereafter it will always appear in the list!).


            SECOND NOTE -- The values in the list are built from the records in the database, so if you performed a find on all your "Grand Canyon" records and deleted them, thereafter "Grand Canyon" WILL NO LONGER APPEAR in the list (because all the records that read "Grand Canyon" are gone!).


            - Michael 

            • 3. Re: Accessing data on a 'drop-down' list..

              This can be a useful approach, but sometimes it's a case of giving the user enough rope with which to hang themselves also.


              Your value list can grow to be extremely long lists.

              Incorrectly entered values will appear in your list and you have to track down every instance of that incorrect value to correct it.


              I've hit on a compromise that works well for me in some such situations.


              I define a custom value list with one value: 1


              I add a field, Select, format it with this value as a check box and place it next to my drop down formatted field.

              I define a calculation field: If ( not isempty (select) ; DropDownField ; "" )

              I then base my drop down's value list on this calculation field instead of the drop down's data field.

              Users add values to the value list simply by entering the new value in the drop down field and clicking the check box.

              You can review and edit the selected values simply by performing a find to pull up all records where select = 1.

              • 4. Re: Accessing data on a 'drop-down' list..

                That's clever Phil!  I'll have to give that a go.


                As to entering incorrect data in my solution -- sure, that's possible, but one would hope that if a user sees "Grand Canyon" in the list, they would not then type in "Grand Cyn" or "Grand Canon" or whatever -- they would simply choose the value that's already there for the taking.  I know this gets unwieldy with very large lists, but I have used it several times with little fallout.


                - Michael 

                • 5. Re: Accessing data on a 'drop-down' list..
                     Yep, one would  hope and that's usually the case, but consider what happens when you enable auto-complete and the user types in a value in a hurry. Since the mistyped name won't match a value, auto-complete can't do it's thing and a careless user will leave you with a spurious entry to track down and correct...