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Chapter 3. Layout Enhancements > Validating Formats with Value Lists

Validating Formats with Value Lists

People often use the pop-up menu format when another choice would be much more appropriate. If you have ever filled out a form on a Web page, you have probably seen a pop-up list with the abbreviations for all 50 states. Unless you live in Alabama, Arkansas or California, you probably find this format less convenient than if you simply typed in your state's two letter abbreviation. If you release the mouse on the wrong choice you have to repeat the process. A scrolling pop-up list might be a good solution, or you can use a value list to validate user entries. If you create a value list with all the state abbreviations, it will compare the list against the entry to minimize errors.

To use a value list for validation:

Go to the layout you'd like to format. Choose File > Define Value Lists (Figure 3.26).

Figure 3.26. To create a new value list, choose File > Define Value Lists.

When the Define Value Lists dialog box appears, click New (Figure 3.27).

Figure 3.27. Choose New to define a new value list.

When the Edit Value list dialog box appears, give your value list a name.

Click inside the input box and type the items in your value list. Press Return (Mac) or Enter (Windows) between each value (Figure 3.28).

Figure 3.28. Every value must be typed on a separate line in a value list.

Notice that you don't have to input every choice if you already have a field with this list in your database, or if you're using FileMaker Pro 5 and have typed the entries into a different database as a value list. If you have an existing value list you'd like to use, in the Edit Value List dialog box, choose either “Use values from field” or “Use value list from another file” and click Specify to navigate to the existing field or value list (Figure 3.29).

Figure 3.29. Choose “Use values from field” and then click Specify to select a field in the current database for your value list.

After you've typed the last entry or specified an existing value list, click OK and then Done.

Choose File > Define Fields (Ctrl+Shift+D/Command-Shift-D).

In the scrolling list in the Define Fields dialog box, double-click the field you want to validate (Figure 3.30) and click Options.

Figure 3.30. When the Define Fields dialog box appears, choose the field you want to validate from the field list.

When the Options box appears, click the Validation tab.

Choose the value list you just created from the drop-down list next to Member of value list (Figure 3.31).

Figure 3.31. When you choose a value list, the check box next to Member of value list is automatically checked for you.

Click OK and then Done.



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