12 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2009 10:24 AM by philmodjunk

    Autofill dilemma



      Autofill dilemma


      For those of you aware of MS Access, In MS Access when I am on a table I can tab through each field when adding a record and start typing on each field and it will auto fill the selection as I am typing - This is regardless of whether the field is belongs to  another table or not


      I have noticed in filemaker this is only possible if the value list belongs to a custom list rather than fields from another table, So in essence most of my value lists are coming form fields of other tables involved in a relation with the table I am working from. 


      Is there any way I can overcome this issue and be able to fill in records on a table just like I do on excel or MS Access by tab and typing (auto fills)??

        • 1. Re: Autofill dilemma
             I use auto-complete with value lists that draw their values from other tables all the time. Perhaps there was some problem in how you set up either the value list or the fields involved?
          • 2. Re: Autofill dilemma
               Another thing you may want to check... The fields that you want referenced must be indexed to be used in a Value list or auto-complete.
            • 3. Re: Autofill dilemma

              Please advise what I need to check for ?


              My value list usually list the 1st field always to be the pk id and the second field the name - 

              • 4. Re: Autofill dilemma

                Thank you


                You say

                The fields that you want referenced must be indexed to be used in a Value list or auto-complete


                Please advise how to do this ?



                • 5. Re: Autofill dilemma

                  That explains it. In my experience, this is an unfortunate limitation of Filemaker. When the first column is a hidden number column, auto-complete won't work. This is one of the cases where MS Acess and its feature rich combo box far outshines Filemaker.


                  TSGal would probably advise you to make a suggestion in the feature request form to request this feature.

                  • 6. Re: Autofill dilemma
                       Go into Manager Databases and then click on the field that you want. Then under options, go to the storage tab. The field should be set to at least Minimal indexing.
                    • 7. Re: Autofill dilemma

                      Yes I do have indexing - But Note comment from Phil where it seems because I am using the pk id as the primary field of my value list and the name as second field then this feature may not be possible in FM


                      The reason I use the primary key on the first field is so that when I select a field other fields prefill as per this selection


                      i.e. Value List= Guest Name the value list is set up for pk id on first field and last name on second field to search


                      On the layout I select the name and email, telephone number, and address pre fills from this selection


                      My question was to be able to start typing the last name of the person and the search will begin, but it seems this is not possible in filemaker -


                      Any ideas?

                      • 8. Re: Autofill dilemma

                        Hi Phil


                        Thanks for your input


                        TS Gal Can you check on this and see if I need to add this feature to a wish list??




                        • 9. Re: Autofill dilemma



                          To add a suggestion, go to:




                          Explain what you are trying to do, what barrier you are encountering, and how you would like to see it implemented.



                          FileMaker, Inc. 

                          • 10. Re: Autofill dilemma

                            Hi TS Gal,


                            What I am trying to do is something similar to what you do in MS Access -  In MS Access I can go to a table view and move field to field with typing the first few letters of and auto finding the entry - Even though the field is filling in information coming from a value list based on another's table fields. 


                            In filemaker I find that for a value list to work and maintain integrity accross I have to always choose the pk id first and then display the name -  This causes two issues one I always have to have two fields on my layout one where I choose the entry based on id then the second field displays the name. 


                            I believe this is the only way the value list will work-  So for example I have a country list Argentina, Brazil etc


                            Then I have another table called Cities in here I have to choose the country from a value list the value list must be based upon a pk id first for that country and then display the country name.  This way if in the country table I change the name of Brazil to Brasil it changes as well in the City layout. 


                            Assuming the above is all true and this is the only way to do this


                            Then when I create a layout in report or table view I cannot move from field to field and start typing Argentina where it will recognize it but rather I am obliged to select from value list which becomes time consuming


                            In MS Access you can do this on a table view


                            So Please confirm that this is in effect something beyond what FM currently does and I will put it on your suggestion box



                            • 11. Re: Autofill dilemma



                              Sorry for the late reply.


                              Unfortunately, I have not used Microsoft Access.  Perhaps someone with Microsoft Access can help out?


                              Yes, if the Country name is changed, the "pk id" field will not change, and all Cities in that Country are still related to the "pk id" field; not the Country name.


                              If you have a drop-down value list and enter "Arg", Argentina will be highlighted, so you can then press return to use that value and continue on.



                              FileMaker, Inc. 

                              • 12. Re: Autofill dilemma

                                "If you have a drop-down value list and enter "Arg", Argentina will be highlighted, so you can then press return to use that value and continue on."

                                Well, sort of, kind of and not as nice as MS Access does in this particular area.


                                When you are using a hidden column 1, you can't use the Autocomplete option, it's disabled. (that makes no sense to me.) You can only use the "type really fast with no mistakes" method that dates back to FMP 3 or 4 to do what you describe.


                                As I've already requested on the feature request form.

                                We need to be able to auto-complete when column 1 is hidden. We need more sort options. We need the option to display column 2 instead of the hidden column 1 for drop down lists as well as pop-up menus.