6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 12, 2011 10:14 AM by DavidMoore_1

    Autofill Keywords



      Autofill Keywords


      Hi Guys

      I'm very new to Filemaker (we are trialing it as a possible solution for some data capture we need). I'm attempting to build a database with details of scenes from 20+ films. 

      We've set up a text box for keywords which we are comma separating. What I would like to do is set up the database so I'm offered suggestions of previous keywords as I work. Due to the variety I'm going to end up with hundreds of different keywords but I would like to check consistency with those that have already been used and ideally save time with automatic suggestions once I start typing. (In the future others may input data so it would be helpful to establish acceptable keywords)

      Is this possible without creating a huge drop down menu?

      I've been working on this issue all morning and have seen other posts suggesting creating a keyword table but I don't understand how to manage the relationship between that and my main table. My ideal scenario is one where I type a keyword into my movie database, if it has been used before I get a suggestion as I type. If it hasn't it is then added to the list of future suggestions.

      Apologies if this is a basic question but any help would be greatly appreciated. 

      Many thanks


        • 1. Re: Autofill Keywords

          This may take you deeper into how database relationships are designed than you've previously gone....

          You can set up a related table of keywords and add them to this table either via script, a custom function or a user selection process--depending on what you need to accomplish and whether you acquire FileMaker Advanced (Something I strongly recommend) to use for developing your database.

          What do you want to do with your list of keywords, once you have created such a list?

          Typically, this is to cross reference different records by common key words such as you might set up an index in the back of a document, but it helps to know for sure what you have in mind here.

          Once you have such a table of related records setup, a calculation field can be used to list the keywords from the current record in a comma delimitted list format.

          Here's the simplest relational setup, but you are very likely to need something more:

          Scenes::SceneID = KeyWords::SceneID

          With this relationship, you can enable "allow creation of records via this relationship" for the KeyWords table in this relationship and then log keywords for this scene manually by adding records directly to a portal of KeyWords records displayed on your Scenes layout. Portals are a very useful structure found in almost all FileMaker solutions and this is something you should look up in FileMaker help and any training materials that you have in order to learn more about them.

          If you are including actual dialog from each scene in your scenes table, there are ways to extract keywords from the dialog field(s) to add keyword records to your table of keywords.

          Note that if we use a more sophisticated set up with a join table, we can create one unique record for each keyword, but link it to any number of scene records via the join table. This can make it very easy to find all scene records with a common keyword and also to set up reports that organize scene records by specified keywords...

          • 2. Re: Autofill Keywords

            Hi Phil

            Thanks for the speedy response. As I'm sure you can tell this is much deeper than I've ever gone into database design before.

            The idea of having a list of keywords was three-fold. Firstly I was hoping it could function as an autofill/suggestion aid ensuring that keywords stay consistent. Secondly we are likely to have various people dipping into the database and the variety of information within the keywords is likely to be huge. (one of my colleagues wants us to use a very broad keyword system as he has had good experiences using this kind of set up in the past). With this in mind I would like the list to help occasional uses firstly to understand the kind of terms they should be searching for but also what labels to use if the project gets passed on to another author. Finally it would be very helpful to be able to group together records by common keyword as you describe.

            I'm going to have another look based on your helpful comments. I think what I am currently doing is quite inefficient. I have looked at portals but will also explore them more. If you have any further comments based on the information above please let me know.

            In the meantime, thanks you very much for your assistance. I'll let you know how I get on.



            PS. We are not concerned with dialog at the moment

            • 3. Re: Autofill Keywords

              Firstly I was hoping it could function as an autofill/suggestion aid ensuring that keywords stay consistent.

              "Auto-Fill" from what source? Where in your database would these keywords auto-fill and how would the system know which keywords to select to autofill for a given scene? Does your table include actual text, such as dialog or summary descriptions of the scene from which the keywords would be drawn?

              I use a keyword custom function in my Known Bugs database that automatically extracts most words from several different text fields to form a return separated list of keywords for each bug report record to be used in scripted keyword based searches of the bug reports, but it relies on a custom function to generate that list while filtering out numerals, 1 and 2 letter words and a few others--so you'd need FileMaker Advanced to add such a function to your database.

              • 4. Re: Autofill Keywords

                Hi Phil

                Thanks for the link. I'm either an idiot (every chance) or I haven't explained myself very well. I was hoping that I could build a keyword table so that if for example the keywords I wanted in another table were Angelina Jolie and George Clooney, when I began to type Ang.... I was offered Angelina Jolie along with any other names beginning with Ang. Likewise when I type G I get all the names beginning with G. When it comes to more subjective descriptions this is how I am keen to get in the consistency as any user can see existing descriptions. I am very happy to populate this table separately though it would be good if new keywords could be automatically added to it.

                I may be way off the mark here so I'll have a look at your earlier suggestions and the file you've linked too.

                Thanks again for your help


                • 5. Re: Autofill Keywords

                  What you describe is called an auto-complete enabled value list.

                  You can set up a value list of keywords--either from a table of such (I think that will work best here if the list will be a long one)--or a list of custom values. Either way, there's an "auto-complete" option you can specify in the data tab of the inspector that will automatically attempt to complete the keyword for you as you type.

                  • 6. Re: Autofill Keywords

                    Thank you!!