Creating a custom app > Setting options for fields > Defining automatic data entry
 

Defining automatic data entry

To save time and ensure accuracy, you can set options to automatically enter data in text, number, date, time, and container fields. For example, FileMaker Pro can enter the current user's name into a field.

To set options for automatic data entry:

1. Choose File menu > Manage > Database.

2. Click the Fields tab.

3. If your database contains more than one table, select the appropriate table from the Table list.

4. Select a text, number, date, time, or container field from the list of existing fields, or define a new one.

5. Click Options (or double-click the field name).

6. In the Options for Field dialog box, click the Auto-Enter tab, then select options for the field.

 

To

Do this

Enter the record creation date, time, or timestamp

Select Creation, then choose Date, Time, or Timestamp from the list.

Enter the name of the person who creates the record

Select Creation, then choose Name from the list.

Enter the account name that creates the record

Select Creation, then choose Account Name from the list.

Enter the record modification date, time, or timestamp

Select Modification, then choose Date, Time, or Timestamp from the list.

Enter the name of the person who modifies the record

Select Modification, then choose Name from the list.

Enter the account name that modifies the record

Select Modification, then choose Account Name from the list.

Assign a serialized number to the field in each record

Select Serial number, then:

For Generate, choose On creation to generate serial numbers when records are created.

For Generate, choose On commit to generate serial numbers when records are committed.

For next value, type a starting value (like 100), then type the increment in increment by.

Enter the value from the same field of the last active record

Select Value from last visited record. This option refers to the last record in which you performed some activity, such as clicking in a field.

Note  This value will be from the last record accessed in the table in which this option has been set.

Enter data that you specify

Select Data, then type up to 255 characters.

Enter the result of a calculation

Select Calculated value (or click Specify), then enter a calculation.

See Defining calculation fields for information about the dialog box.

Select Do not replace existing value for field (if any) to prevent overwriting data already present.

Enter a value that's copied from a field in a related record

Select Looked-up value (or click Specify), then define the lookup. See Defining and updating lookups.

Prohibit a user from modifying a value that you have defined to be auto-entered

Select Prohibit modification of value during data entry.

Turn off automatic data entry

Clear all selected checkboxes.

7. Click OK.

Notes 

You can also define value lists to save time and ensure accuracy during data entry.

Alternatively, you can specify the auto-complete option for text fields to help ensure accuracy for data entry. See Setting up a field to auto-complete during data entry.

If Creation Name or Modification Name is selected, FileMaker Pro enters the user name shown in the General tab of the Preferences dialog box.

If you select Calculated value, you can edit the field value in Browse mode (if Prohibit modification of value during data entry isn't selected). The value is calculated when you create a record, or when one of the referenced fields changes and the destination field is empty. (However, if you select Do not evaluate if all referenced fields are empty in the Specify Calculation dialog box, the value isn't calculated when you create a record and all fields referenced by the calculation are empty. Instead, the value is calculated when one of the referenced fields contains a value.)

Auto-enter calculations can be self-referencing.

To make an auto-enter calculation self-modifying, leave the Do not replace existing value for field (if any) option deselected.

To auto-enter a calculated value that’s automatically updated and can’t be changed by entering data in the field, define a calculation field.

Related topics 

Working with formulas and functions

About choosing a field type

Inserting the current date or other variables into a field

Defining value lists

Entering preset data from a value list