I would guess that this data is intended to record birth days without recording birth dates.
Dates are actually integers storing the number of days from the date shown in the field to the date 12/31/0000. What you specify in the Inspector are just different ways to display that date--it does not change how the data is entered.
You will need a year entered for every date, but this need not be done manually one record at a time and you can specify a date format to hide the year and thus still get the display that you want.
will not be interpreted as a valid date. You'll need to use a calculation to produce the needed date so that it can be treated as a date.
Let ( [ dtxt = YourTextField ;
dy = Leftwords ( dtxt ; 1 ) ;
mn = Ceiling ( Position ( "janfebmaraprmayjunjulaugsepoctnovdec" ; RightWords ( dtxt ; 1 ) ; 1 ; 1 ) / 3 )
Date ( mn ; dy ; 1900 )
@PhilModjunk: Your guess is correct. No one wants their year of birth displayed :) Thanks for the calculation; I'll enter it later and see how it works. I see where the year is necessary but can be masked off. Do I create a new field that takes the data from the original "B-day" field?
One follow-on question: If I get raw data on new members, will I be able to tab to that field and enter something like 1-1-1900 and it will be displayed as 1-Jan?
Do I create a new field that takes the data from the original "B-day" field?
You'll need two fields as the data types aren't the same. Your original data is text and the end result is a Date. You can set up a date field with the expression I suggested as an auto-enter calculation and enable auto-enter options during import. That way, you have a regular date field that you can edit, but you can import your data without needing to manually edit them to get your needed dates.
will I be able to tab to that field and enter something like 1-1-1900 and it will be displayed as 1-Jan?
Yes. It's even possible to use the OnObjectValidate script trigger to run a script that adds in the year so that all you need do is specify the month and day.
Again, thanks for the added info. Now I've got some work to do.
Background: I've been an FMP user (dreaming up the occasional simple database) since the 1980s but I am a total dunce at trying to figure out certain solutions, as you can see. I really appreciate the time taken by those much brighter than I to look at such problems and come up with working solutions in what seems to be an instant.