2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2012 7:34 AM by philmodjunk

    Assorted Minor Questions



      Assorted Minor Questions


      Some minor, unrelated questions that have arisen as I have become more familiar with Filemaker:


      Multiple values for a field: For some fields that I want to contain multiple values I use check boxes pulling from a value list, but naturally a drop-down list takes much less space on the layout.  Certain fields almost always contain only a single value, but every once in a while I want them to hold multiple values.  Am I correct that manually entering the data and using a return to add a second (or more) values for the exceptions and using a drop down list for everything else essentially accomplish that goal?


      Button to go to a related record: In my database I have various join tables viewed via portals.  For instance, I have a join table that shows relationships between various individuals.  I want to add a button to the table that I can click to jump me to the related record (in some cases within the same layout, in other cases to an entirely new table / layout), but am having trouble getting it to work.  Any tips are appreciated.


      Layout formatting:  Is there a way to cut and paste layout styles (i.e. font, formatting, etc.) they way you can in Excel?\


      Restricting a value-list pull: Often for drop-down lists I set the field up to pull entry data from a separate table in the database.  (I.e. value liest, "use values from field X".)  Is there a way to restrict / filter the values that appear in the drop down list based on a separate criteria?  I.e. filter based on another field?


      Ignore certain kinds of values in a search:  (This I imagine may not actually be a "minor" fix.)  For some of my fields I am entering text data in foreign languages that use short voweling systems.  It is useful to have the short vowels entered in the fields for specificity in some cases, but when I am searching I would rather that the search engine ignores those characters entirely.  For a roughly approximating example, if I enter the word "cow" for entry X, I would like entery X to come up in a search whether I search for "cw" or "cow"; I prefer that the search engine simply ignore character "o".  Is there a way to accomplish this goal without extensive back-end reprogramming?



        • 1. Re: Assorted Minor Questions
          1. To select multiple entries in a field formatted as a pop-up menu or radio buttons:
            Hold the shift key as you click the radio buttons or make choices from a pop-up menu. You can then select multiple radio button items, or deselect any previously selected item.


          FileMaker Pro - Cool Tips and Tricks

          FileMaker Pro - Undocumented Features
          Answer ID: 5114
          Last Updated: Nov 29, 201

          Macintosh & Windows 

          1. To add spacing and separators within a field formatted as check boxes, radio buttons or as a pop-up list; or to add a separator to the scripts/layouts menu:
            Add a blank line between check boxes or radio buttons in a field, add a blank line between each value in the value list. To add a separator (a line of dashes) between two script names in the Scripts menu, or between check boxes or radio buttons, type a single hyphen as a script name or value list item. To add a separator between Layouts, create a blank layout, reorder it to the desired position, then change the name of the Layout to a dash character.
          2. To select multiple entries in a field formatted as a pop-up menu or radio buttons:
            Hold the shift key as you click the radio buttons or make choices from a pop-up menu. You can then select multiple radio button items, or deselect any previously selected item.
          3. To change a field on a layout to a different field:
            Double-clicking a field on a layout brings up the New Field dialog box and allows redefinition of a field. This changes the field but retains the formatting.
          4. Exporting a printed file (such as a report):
            FileMaker Pro supports copying a previewed page to the clipboard by using "Copy" in the Preview mode. This places a graphic of the current page on the clipboard which can be pasted into another program.
          5. Coloring layout parts.
            FileMaker allows you to fill an entire layout part with a background color. To fill a layout part, go to the Layout mode, click once on the part label to select it, then choose a fill color from the fill palette.
          6. Formatting Popup menu.
            Control-click on a field (Mac) or right-click on a field (Windows) to display a popup menu to select various options from the Format menu.

          Macintosh only 

          For dual screen users, to force a window to resize to the main screen (menu bar screen) instead of the current screen:
          Hold down the option key when clicking the resize box. The window will be fully resized to fit in the menu bar screen.

          • 2. Re: Assorted Minor Questions

            Multiple values for a field:

            Entering data, then pressing return, then entering more data produces the same data structure as clicking two checkboxes in a checkbox group. Please note that you can hold down the shift key and make more than one selection from a drop down to also enter multiple, return separated values. Always evaluate the utility of entering multiple values in the same field. This can be very convenient for you when designing the layout, but very inconvenient for you if you need a report tabulating how many times each value was selected across a set of records. In such cases, a portal to a related table where you enter each value into a separate related record can make for a bettter way to  store your data.

            Button to go to a related record: (GTRR)

            I can tell that when properly setup, Go To Related Records works just fine, but like any other part of database design, the devil is in the details. If there are no related records, nothing happens and no message pops up to tell you that nothing happened. The script procedes as though it worked and may do all kinds of unexpected things but from the context of the wrong layout. Thus, you almost always need to test for the existence of related records or an error code when using GTRR for anything other than just bringing up a set of related records on a layout.

            The other common error that users make with GTRR is they lose track of their table occurrence "context". The context is determined by the layout that is current when you perform the GTRR. In Layout setup you specify a table occurrence in the "show Records From" drop down. A Table Occurrence is one of the "boxes" found in Manage | Database | Relationships. The relationship link from that occurrence to the "from table" specified in the GTRR determines what records are pulled up by the GTRR. The layout specified must be a layout based on the same data source table as the "From: Table" specified. If it is not, you'll see an error message.

            To learn more about GTRR: The Complete Go To Related Record

            Layout formatting:

            If you are using FileMaker 11, take a look at the "format painter". If you are using FileMaker 12, take a look at the different tools on the inspector's appearance tab. I sometimes set up a group of laout objects, a button, a field, a block of layout text formatted the way I want thoughout my database and then copy and paste these objects to ensure that I get a consistent format across my solution.

            Restricting a value-list

            This is called a conditional value list in FileMaker Jargon. See these links:

            Forum Tutorial: Custom Value List?

            Knowledgebase article: http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5833/kw/conditional%20value%20list

            Demo File: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j6qf0z9fnem3uxd/ConditionalValueListDemo.fp7

            Hierarchical Conditional Value lists: Conditional Value List Question

            Feel free to post follow up questions here if those links aren't enough to get your value lists working correctly.

            Ignore certain kinds of values in a search:

            Use a wild card operator in your seach such as C*W instead of COW to find all records that have a word starting with c and ending with w or use: C@W for all 3 letter words starting and ending with these letters.