Newsletter #1
How to Put Identical Information into a Group of Records

Hello, everybody! This is my first FileMaker Newsletter. Of course, the main purpose is to remind you that I'm here to serve your FileMaker needs. Along the way, hopefully I'll be giving you some valuable tips, tricks, and other FileMaker information.

Q: Do you remember walking me through how to put identical information into a group of records? We did it for a dues amount. Well, I forgot. Can you write me a "how to"? Thanks.

A: I do something like this almost every day. It’s a very powerful tool for data entry. But it comes with these warnings: Make sure you don't do this in a field that uses checkboxes. And keep in mind that it will replace anything you already have in the field in the found set of records.

1) Check that you have exactly the records you want to put the data into - and no other records. Just because there is no data in the first record doesn't mean there isn't data in the rest of the records. So be sure you check first. (I will often save a copy of the file if I’m a little unsure of what might happen.) [If you just want to try this out, isolate or Find one record so you only make the change to that one record.]

2) Click into the field where the data will go and type the characters you want to have in all the found records. (In this case, the dues amount of $150. You don’t need to enter the dollar sign, just the 150.) You can do this in any of the records in the found set. It doesn’t need to be the first record.

   A. In FileMaker 4, go to the Mode menu and choose Replace.
   B. In FileMaker 5 and 6, go to the Records menu and choose Replace Contents.
   C. In FileMaker 7 or later, go to the Records menu and choose Replace Field Contents.

A dialog will pop up with a radio button already selected next to Replace with: "150," where the 150 is the value you just put into the field.

Before you leave here, notice that there are two other radio buttons next to other Replace functions. Replace with calculated result is the most powerful, but you’d better know what you’re doing when you work with that option. We’ll take a look at that in a future issue.

4) Click the Replace button in the lower right part of the dialog. You're done. (Notice that Cancel is the default. FileMaker wants to make sure you really intend to complete the job by forcing you to click the Replace button, since it's potentially so destructive.)

The more records you need to change, the more helpful this method is. By the way, this method won’t work in a portal.


OK, that's it for this issue. See you next time.

If you can think of anyone you might refer me to, I offer a 5% "Thank You!" for the first 2 years of billing on referrals.

J **

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