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Chapter 3. Layout Enhancements > Entering Data in a Standard Layout - Pg. 35

Layout Enhancements 35 Entering Data in a Standard Layout Although you or someone else will have to type in most of the data for a FileMaker database, there a few ways to streamline the process. Not only will these shortcuts speed up data entry, but they will also help eliminate typing errors. Two of the most useful shortcuts are the Insert > From Index command and the Value list. To use Insert > From Index, you'll first need a field whose options have been set to index its records. When you set a field to be indexed, FileMaker keeps track of the data every time you add a record to the field. Then, when you search for data, it checks the index rather than looking up the records themselves. Indexing is a time-saving device, but it can have one little downside. Because an index file may contain a lot of data, if you're running FileMaker on a computer with a small hard drive you could run into space problems. If you have lots of storage space to burn, use the indexing function with confidence, because the search time it saves you definitely makes it worthwhile. The Insert > From Index command lets you access the Index file directly. You can choose from a list of all entries that have already been entered into a specific field and paste the entry you want directly into the field. You can use this command to verify that your input is phrased identically to other records, and to decrease the trailing or initial spaces that can confuse an alphabetical sort. Insert from Index is particularly useful when using the Find Mode to search for data, since by defi- nition the data you're searching for already exists in that field. To index an existing field: 1. Go to File > Define Fields.