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Show Label but hide and use Value

Leb i Sol

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Hello People!

I am not sure if this is even possible but here it is:

---value list-----

1 Soccer

2 Basketball

3 Racing


Is there a way make a list behave like a web based list where user sees only "label"(Soccer..) while the values (1,2,3) get entered and never displayed?

In other words my user does not need to know that eg. Soccer's Sport_ID is "1"

This never really bothered me until I started to deal with a lot of lists and realised that after selecting/entering all is displayed are values...which in human eyes are not very re-assuring of the correct choice.

Any pointers?

Much apprechiated!

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If the value list is based on another file (where each value list item is a record) then you can related back to the file based on the name and lookup the ID number.

Obviously problems occur when the value list item's name is changed...

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There are a few ways that you can accomplish this. One of them will require you to use a POP-UP MENU not a POP-UP LIST.

If you have items such as apples and oranges that have id's that you'd like to capture but not have shown on drop down here is a little something for you to think about...


ItemID <auto, unique>

Item <string>

Item_Label calculation = Item & "<TAB><TAB>" & ItemID

If you create a value list that uses the Item_Label field and format the field with a POP-UP menu it will show only the Item not the IDs. When using a POP-UP MENU filemaker formats the data in the list and ignores the first tab and anything following it.

Once an item has been selected, the field will contain the full menu option. That being the item, the tabs and the id. Now you just need to extract the ID from the selected option. You could use a Right() function specifying the known length of the ID value. You could get quite complex over aesthetic value.


Obviously the simplest solution is to just accept the list as filemaker provides them if you don't want to go through the hassle.


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Thanx for the imput, it looks like you the only one that got to whole "aesthetic" concept here...perhas I should have posted the in RightBain forum. Ayhow, this approach does sould like it will get overly complicated and put extra load and process time "just" to get it done.

What I habve done in the past is stick an unstored calcualtion filed based on relationship right next to the IDs:

drop list

[itemID][itemName Unstored,calculation =::ItemName]

resuting in:


but the "aesthetic" problem here is that if the ItemID gets to be long I can not estimate the space in between the ItemID and ItemName!

Also, wouldn't Pop-up MENU allow for multiple ItemID selections?

Thanx for the feedback!

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Aha... I have done the same!

I have even locked both fields from entry and placed the ID field with the drop down in the back ground of the 'display' field hiding the ugly drop down from view. A script is activated when I click on the field or a 'fake' drop-down button that performs a 'go to field' step to the ID field and brings up the drop down. When the user exits the drop-down the ugly ID/Drop-down field falls quietly into the background out of terrible-sight out of mind.

I have never had the problem/use of multiple selections using a POP-UP MENUs. Have you?


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great so I am not the only one that thinks "faking" is actually the way to go!

If you got a sample of your show-hide approach I would apprechiate a little "preview" if it is not too much to ask! laugh.gif


I didn't have problems with it as I am used to them BUT when one wants to mess things up then YES as u can hold Ctrl or Shift key and make double entry - not int the lookup/calculation ("ItemName") field but rather in the ID....

Thanx for the feedback!

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Hey Leb i Sol,

I have fun creating this. Hope its not to crazy. I also saw that you were engaged in the sub category topic... sounds interesting. I have also done and created a hierarchal system and used the 'active menu' method in it as well.

The attachement has examples as to what we were originally discussing. I haven't gone into much deep detail, but I believe that there is enough information there for you to digest.

I hope that you find something useful.


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Thanx for the sample I will take a look at it and see your tricks wink.gif ....it has always been one of those things that I would "settle for" but GUI improvemetns tend to improve users input, sooooo.... I look at it as "GUI Validation" to data integrity.....after all, if it wasn't for the GUI I would have never touched a DB desing....what happend to me laugh.gif ...how did I guet sucked into this...heheh

Thanx for sharing!

p.s. consider posting this is sample forums + Rigth Brain!

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consider the next two approaches

1. semi tranparent "cover" for those that "Number-Inclined" for fast(er) entry

2. totaly "covered" for those that like to "Read"

I will attach them in 2 posts so I don't have to serve or zip these JPGs.

Let me know waht you thik!


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that was just an image created by Photoshop with a few effects and vertical letter "o"....toggle on-off image conditionally was where I need(ed) help. In order for it to work I would have to find the way to controll the longht of the drop list....any thughts?

side: no,never

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I don't believe that I"m with you any more... ? I'm not too sure exactly how you would like to shorten your drop down, but there may be a few ways.

1) Filter your drop downs by ... say a category - only show vegetables.

2) Use a dynamic menu and use previous # to next # as an option. When the option is loaded the previous or next records are loaded and the menu falls open again....

Sorry, if I can't be of much help.

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sorry what I mean to say is:

- I do know the "lenght" of the drop down since I know how many items(categories of whatever) will be listed INITIALLY...so I can make the "masking" image for it...But, if I allow users to add more categories (essentially extending the lenght of the list) I would need the way to "expand" the lenght of the image used as a mask.

something in sence of:

IF CategoryID = 16 then img Lenght= 50 px else

IF CategorID = 20 THEN img Lenght = 70 px else.....

and so on....

so I was wonedring IF there is a limit to How Many 'fields' will be 'dropped' in a list before one needs to start scrolling to go throug them all......

I hope this clears things out!

Thanx for the feedback!

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I think I have found my answer:

- if the user has screen resolution set to:

800 x 600 = drop list will show max 7 records visible at the time

1024 x 786 = max at 9 records

1280 x 1024 = max at 14 records

1400 x 1050 = max at 14 records

1600 x 1200 = max at 17 records

so perhaps a script with MSG asking user to specify their reslotion could work!?

All the best!

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yes, but the issue of "if < 9 records"...so I guess there has to be a way to "count" the records being pulled into the list...or to find the minimum lenght......it might be an overkill...anyhow, thanx for posting and sharing!, we'll see how it goes....it might be too many variables to consider but perhaps worth it for a "different" look.


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