I would not chuckle at all because translating design-think from Access to FileMaker is not easy ... I know.
"is there a way for FM to take the values "Male" and "Female" recorded in the table and translate them into an "x" by either "Male" or "Female" on the form layout?"
Here is how I've done it when I have government forms and need to X a checkbox for various purposes and particularly if they are further apart than FM will allow:
I would scan the government for (if it is not available already scanned; some are; some aren't) and I would paste it on an FM layout. Then I would create TWO value lists (yeah, sounds strange but hang in there with me). First value list will only have Male in it (call it GenderMale) and the second will only have Female in it (call it SuperiorSex) LOL - kidding - call it GenderFemale.
Now take your Gender field and attach the GenderMale value list to it (as checkbox). For those records with Male, it will show as checked. Duplicate the Gender field and attach the GenderFemale value list to it (as checkbox). For those records with Female, it will show as checked.
I will assume that the government form already has the box on the form and, as you've said, you only want the X so here is how to set the formatting on both of these GenderX fields:
Select the GenderMale and resize the field to same width as it is in height (so if it is 17 px in height, make it 17 px in width (so only the box itself shows). Now go to Inspector > Appearance and set the line to transparent (the checked box right of the color wheel). The top selection is transparent. It will turn into only the X. Repeat with GenderFemale.
Place the fields where you need them on top of the form (or in that location if you print the fields onto a pre-printed form). If they disappear then select the form and Arrange > Send to Back so the fields are on top again.
NOTE: These GenderX value lists are in addition to our standard Gender value list and do not replace it.
As an aside, you could also use conditional formatting. Type an X using your text tool. On one copy of this text, set conditional formatting to:
Format is ... Gender = "Female" and then set the font size to 500 (hang in there with me; again it sounds strange). This is the check mark for male. Repeat with female except reverse. The above method is older method before conditional formatting or layout-level (merge) variables.
Why am I setting the font to 500 instead of just changing the text to same as background color? Because matching the background color will not always perfectly hide the text. Many times, particularly if it is being served (and through Citrix or Remote Access), the resolutions are different and sometimes you can see a ghost of the text, i.e. it won't perfectly disappear. But by setting the font to huge (200 or more I think) then it will never appear. Additionally, using this method means that you won't have to worry if you decide to change your layout color that hidden text will suddenly (and embarrassingly) appear out of nowhere. ;-)
Wow! Two great suggestions. Thank you so much LaRetta for taking the time to ponder this.
I will report back on my implementation.