Will displaying the data in preview mode work for you?
If so, you can use the same multiple column setting in Layout setup.. that a labels layout uses to organize the data into columns. You may need to set up a custom page size that is very large to get a 50 column wide grid.
Otherwise, you'll need to do quite a bit of layout work to set this up. There are ways to organize data into columns by using filtered portals (FileMaker 11 required), but it isn't a trivial thing to set up.
the preview mode would be a last resort. It could be used in theory (though I'm not sure it could handle the data and would involve some trial and error I think) but would not be ideal as I would like to add some functionality to the layout.
I'm ok with having to spend time on the project to make this work since I knew going in it might not be an easy thing.
Can you be more specific as to the "quite a bit of layout work" you are referring to? Right now I'm not even seeing the ability to accomplish it.
I have filemaker 11 on my desktop right now (just haven't installed it) so I'm not sure what these filtered portals refer to. I'll see if I can find anything online about them but if you wouldn't mind giving me a quick heads up to what you had in mind it would be appreciated.
Filemaker 11 may not be needed. It has the ability to filter portals which often makes this type of report much easier to set up.
Define a new table so that you can set up this relationship:
GridTable::AnyField X OriginalTable::AnyField
The X operator matches any record in GridTable to all the recors in OriginalTable.
On a form view GridTable layout, Place a 50 row portal to OriginalTable. When you get it formatted to display the data you want with the interaction options you need, make 49 copies of this portal to get the remaining columns you wanted. In the column 2 portal's setup, change the rows settings from initial row  To initial row [ 51 ]. Make the same updates on the remaining portals so that each start with the next row in your series of 2500 records.
Where portal filtering becomes handy is if you do not want to just show all the records in your table but only a subset of the total. With Portal filtering, you can set a portal filter on all 50 portals that enable you to select only records that match criteria you specify. This can be done to some degree with older versions, but it has to be built into the portal's relationship and can be a lot harder to set up for some types of criteria you might specify for your records.
Note: you can also make GridTable a table occurrence of the same data source table as OriginalTable instead of defining a new table.
Ha! Ok this is what I meant by it might be easy and I'm not thinking of it. Multiple Portals on a single layout! *slaps forehead*
I already have something in each record that I could probably use so this might just be what I'm looking for. And if it does work for this, I have a much larger matrix that I'll need to create in a similar fashion so as long as there aren't any restrictions that would stop me, I think this will do just fine.
an additional question from a complete amateur..
I am trying to do something similar with my databese and I managed to reproduce this solution, but this is not exactly what I need.
Basically, I have a database of items that are stored in a boxes with a grid of wells 9x9 (i.e. maximum 81 object in a box). Wells are numbered from A1...A9 to I1...I9. Some of the records can occupy several wells in a row and some of the wells are empty.There are several boxes.
I was wondering if there is a solution that creates a layout that will arrange records on a 9x9 grids according to the position (x,y coordinates, where x - row number, y - column number) and creates a separate grid for each box..
Some of the records can occupy several wells in a row
If by that you mean that you have one record to list in several locations, I think you'll need to restructure your table design so that you have one record (or no record if the well is empty) for each location.
With that change, the above method can be adapted to work for you.
Use this structure to your tables and relationships:
Items::ItemID = Locations::ItemID
Rows::X = Locations::X
The ItemID, X, and Y values are stored in Locations.
Rows Records are numbered by the row number in X and you can include another field in Row to identify the box.
Now you can create a list view layout based on Rows and put 9 filtered portals to Locations on it, each filtering for a different Y value. You can include data fields from Items inside these portals to provide any data from Items that you need.
Perform a find for a specific box in the Rows layout, sort the records by Rows::X in ascending order and you'll see a grid representation of the items in the box.
Thanks for quick reply, PhilModJunk! I will try your solution tonight and see whether i could figure this thing out:)