Welcome to the forum and thanks for the post. The only stupid questions are those that aren't asked, leaving us unknowing.
From your question, I assume that you have two tables: one with the architect's name, address, phone#, etc. (I'll call this Architect Table) and a second table with other fields like job#, customer, cost, etc. (I'll call this Job Table) If not, please consider doing so...it'll work out nicer for you in the end.
The Job Table and Architect Table would be related via the Architect_Name
From a layout based on the Job Table, you can have fields from the Architect Table. When there is no name in the Architect_Name field, there is no record joined from the Architect Table to the Job Table so these fields would remain blank.
When you type a name into Job::Architect_Name (Job Table, Architect Name field), it links to Architect::Name (Architect Table, Name field) and the relationship link between the two tables will allow the address and phone data to show up on the same layout.
This is what you're after...the question is whether I made sense explaining it. How'd I do?
If you're following so far, make sure it works and then look into making the Job::Architect_Name a "Value List" based on "Architect::Name. You'll appreciate that in the future also...it helps avoid typos from ruining your day.
Tell us how you progress!
Ninja, thanks for the response. I've setup the two tables and I have a relationship between the both architect fields.
However, nothing is happening when enter the architects name. How does filemaker automatically know to insert an address or a phone number if only the architect fields are related? The others don't have a relationship? Do I have set up relationship for those fields as well? I think I'm close, but at the same time so far from getting this straightened out. Thanks again!
Three things to check on first:
1. On your Architect Table: Verify that the records are filled in with Architect Name, Address, Phone# etc. and that these fields are part of the Architect Table. (Make a layout based on the Architect Table that shows all fields from teh Architect Table. That way you can see at a glance that they're all filled in)
2. On your main layout that is associated with the Job Table, the Architect_Name field should be the one from the Job Table. The Architect_Name field from the Architect Table SHOULD NOT be on this layout.
3. On the same layout, associated with the Job Table, the Architect_Address field should be the one from the Architect Table. In layout mode it should have a "::" in front of the field name if you've chosen the right one.
Note that when you are on the "Job Layout" and enter the architect name, it must EXACTLY match a name in the Architect Table for the relationship to form. "John Smith" and "John M. Smith" and "Smith" are three different things to FMP.
Directly answering your questions:
FMP does not "insert" the address or phone#, these fields need not even exist on the Jobs Table. Instead, you VIEW this information which is actually held in a related table...the data never leaves the table, you just view data from two tables at once on your layout.
The relationship via unique Architect_Name is the only one you need in order to show the Architect information. The other fields need not, and should not, be related. This relationship simply tells FMP which record in the Architect Table it should be showing information from...the data itself doesn't move.
Please post back and let us know how you're doing!
I got it to work. It all makes sense. Thanks so much for your help! You've made my life 30 time easier. The only thing I'm still struggling with is making the Job::Architect_Name a "Value List" based on "Architect::Name. Do you have a quick trick for doing this?
Glad to help.
Step by step for the value list:
Name your list "Architect Names"
Click the checkbox for "Use values from field"
Select your "Architects" table in the "use values from first field" box
Select your Architect_Name field in the window below that
Check "Include All Values"
Click OK a bunch of times to get out.
Now go to your Job layout
go into layout mode
double click the Architect_Name field
on the upper left, select "Dropdown List" instead of "Edit Box"
Choose "Display Values From" ..."Architect names" (your new value list)
Include arrow or Edit as you see fit...I would recommend against Edit for now...
go to browse mode
Try it out!
Enjoy and best of luck to you.
Worked like a charm! Thanks again for the help!