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combining first and last names into an editable "full name" field

Question asked by StevenNardi on Sep 4, 2014
Latest reply on Sep 6, 2014 by StevenNardi


combining first and last names into an editable "full name" field


For a database holding my research, which is organized around two main tables, one of people and another titles of works. 

I have the names entered in three fields, first, last, and middle name. I also have a calculation field that generates “full name” by combining the first and last.” This way I can view the author’s name along with the book in a very natural way. The problem is that there are many authors who commonly use a particular version of their names rather than simply first + last. For example, Thomas Stearns Eliot is universally known as T.S. Eliot. Or William Carlos Williams always uses his middle name, but Ernest Hemingway never bothers with “Irvin” (his middle name). 

What I’d like to do is change my “full name” field to something that first calculates the name and then lets me edit it if necessary. So the field will automatically generate “Eliot, Thomas,” but then let me re-write it as “Eliot, T.S.” 

I’ve tried to do this several ways already using the “auto-enter: calculation” box under a text field. For some reason, however, the text fields appeared blank. If I added a new field they would calculate for that record, but usually only partially. Old records were not calculated at all.

Than you very much for your help! I am (obviously) an amateur, but Filemaker has been  great help to organizing my research notes and I’m slowly getting the hang of it. 

I’m using Filemaker Pro 13.0v1 on a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.9.4. 

Thank you very much for your time and help,