Defining repeating fields

You can store more than one value in a text, number, date, time, container, calculation, or global field by making the field a repeating field.

For example, you can create a text field named Color that stores the colors available for each product you sell. If you make Color a repeating field, you can enter all the colors for each product into the Color field.

Note  Instead of using a repeating field, it is often easier to use a related table and a portal to sort or insert data, or create a summary report.

To define a repeating field:

  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 the field you want to repeat, or define a new field.
  5. Click Options (or double-click the field name).
  6. In the Options for Field dialog box, click the Storage tab.
  7. In the Repeating area, enter a number for Maximum number of repetitions.

    If the field is a calculation field, you see the Specify Calculation dialog box instead of the Options for Field dialog box. For Number of repetitions, enter a number.

  8. Click OK, then click OK.


  • Use the Data Data tab in the Inspector to change the number of repetitions displayed on a layout.
  • In a repeating field, there's a separate display area for each repetition. If you define a field to repeat, all repetitions have the same size and other field characteristics.
  • Some FileMaker Pro features (like calculation and summary fields, and find requests) include all the values in a repeating field. For example, when you create a find request, FileMaker Pro searches for values in all repetitions, even those that aren't visible in the current layout. Other features, like sorting, only use the first value in a repeating field. For information about how a feature works with repeating fields, see the Help topic for that feature.
  • Values in a repeating field cannot be easily summarized to create a report. You can, however, define a calculation that uses an aggregate function, which is similar to summarizing data on a record-by-record basis.