I wouldn't use the carrier name field for linking carriers to Policies. Names just might change on you and you can also have problems if you mis-enter a carrier name and don't spot the error until after you have used it to link to some policy records. Use an auto-entered ID field instead.
But whether you use an ID or the Name, should work for you. "I am unable to select the field" unfortunately, just doesn't provide enough info to work with to provide an answer. You'll need to provide a more detailed explanation of what you attempted to set up here.
And you might consider using a portal to Polices as an easier way to set up policies linked to a current client. In FileMaker 13, you might even put such a portal inside a popover that would function much like your window, but from the context of Clients instead of Policies.
I have tried both the ID and the carrier name, and have the same issue. I would prefer the ID field to be the link
What I mean by "unable to select the field" is that when I try to click in the Carrier Name or ID field, nothing happens. I have tried having the field as a dropdown with a value list, as well as just an edit box, but when I click in the box, it will not be selected. I can not type, nor does a popup menu appear.
I do have a portal set up that shows all the policies related to the Client, but I also need to be able to create new policies, and require a more extensive form than what is shown in the portal.
New records can be created in a portal. A popover can be used for that "more extensive input".
But for your current setup, I suspect that your layout is either based on the wrong table occurrence, you have a problem with your relationships, or you have a current found set of zero records on the layout shown in your window. (Each window's found sets are independent of founds sets in other FileMaker windows.)
I've linked to the file. Im aware that new records can be created in a portal, although Im not sure its the best solution.
When creating a new Policy, we will have to enter information in 3 different tables. On the Client Details layout, in the Policies Tab, if you press the green circle it will create a new policy, and you'll be able to see the process for creating a new policy. Maybe you have a suggestion on doing this more efficiently.
This is a common "newbie" mistake. You were adding the field from carriers to your policies layout. But this is a new record in policies and thus there is no link yet established to any record in carriers. A field from carriers cannot be edited until you establish that link and thus you can't get the drop down list to deploy. But this is the wrong field to use anyway. If it worked, you'd be renaming a record in the carriers table instead of selecting a carrier for the current policy record.
See the fix below. I left your set up unchanged except for two things: I added the correct field to the layout, the match field from Policies and formatted it with a pop up menu. I updated your nonfunctional value list to list IDs and carrier names from Carriers and used it with this newly added field. You can now use this pop up menu to select a carrier. I did not set up all the details as I would for an actual working solution--you can see both ID's and names in this field instead of just the names, but that is so you can better see how this works.
For more techniques for working with value lists as well as using alternative controls that out perform simple value lists, you might check out the Adventures in FileMaking series. Adventures 1 and 2. They are free to download.
Adventures in FileMaking #1 - Conditional Value Lists (includes details on how to set up a basic field based value list)
Adventures in FileMaking #2 - Enhanced Value Selection (what to do when a simple value list won't cut it.)
Gah. I knew it was a silly newbie mistake i was making. Your explanation makes sense to me. Thank you so much for your help and advice.