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setting up filters for fields

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Hello friends,

I was hoping to filter a couple of fields so that it automatically has certain characters enter themselves (if possible). I have FMP 5.5.

Specifically I want to have dates entered like:


And have the slashes come up automatically. I'd also like to do the same for phone numbers with hyphens. Is there any way to do this in order to save keystrokes? It's my first attempt at using FMP but I'm seeing that it's pretty powerful as an organizing tool.



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You can set up your own field filters. I first saw a trick by Ilyse Kazar, which has an unstored calculation field formatting your entry in the background (not on the layout), using a Modification date mechanism with a triggered "self-serialID relationship" to lookup the formatted calculation into your entry field as soon as you tab out; effectively making it the data. This is the cleanest method, because then when you later click into the field to edit, you aren't dropped through into the raw original data.

Download the PhoneFormat file, at http://www.datatude.net/, on the Tips and Downloads page.

I've done something like this for fax numbers also, which had to be very clean for fax software. In that case, however, I was removing all the formatting.

It becomes more problematic if you allow area codes and/or extensions in one phone number field. Easier to have them in their own fields.

As far as dates go, well, I imagine you could come up with a calculation. I've never bothered with dates, and I've never seen a calc to do them. It doesn't seem that hard to type a "/", but I don't do all that much data entry either. Let us know if you do :-] But it has to be foolproof.

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