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Labels with contacts from Repeating Field


MMBadger
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I'm updating a file for a client who _refuses_ to have a relational database (every bit of information must be in one or it's too complicated for her to figure out...believe me, I've wasted a lot of time and effort trying). The file is essentially a Roladex of travel agencies, where individual agents within each agency are listed across 4 repeating fields (first name, last name, job title, email address).

Client insists that she must have a way to make address labels for each individual agent. I'm not sure how to do so without a second, related file (again, which she refuses to use!). Is there a way to set up a report that will take First Name/Last Name from each row of a repeating field? Or some other work around? I can't seem to do it.

Thanks,

MMB

Version: v6.x

Platform: Windows 2000

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Your client can insist that elephants fly using their ears, that doesn't make it a fact. And if she tells you to book a flight on one, you have to tell her: no can do. It's not easy, I've set my career back a few times telling people the truth...

I don't understand why the client cares about the database's internal organization, as long as the user interface functions OK. Is she programming in FileMaker herself?

If you buy her a Dymo LabelWriter, you can output one address at a time. This makes it easily doable. Labels are expensive and printing is slow...

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You could make a calculated field for each of the repetitions,

GetRepetition (first name, 2) & " " & GetRepetition (last name, 2)

... and also a corresponding layout for each one. I.e., 4 calc fields and 4 label layouts.

Then search for records that have something in rep. 1, go to label layout 1 and print, then search for records that have something in rep. 2, go to label layout 2 and print, etc.

Or, you could make a labels layout with 30 global fields. Then loop through your records and set the globals using calcs as above, and stop and print each time you hit the 30th field.

Or, you could have a separate "label printing" file that imports the records, splitting the repeats into separate records. Perhaps your client, who is an ass by the way, would allow this transgression since you'll only be using the second file for printing, not for her precious data. Also, using a separate file for printing you could program additional niceties such as creating or finding blank records via script -- this is how you can specify which label on a sheet to start from.

I can think of more possibilities, but the methods above have the advantage of not printing out extra blank labels.

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smile.gif The client is definitely an ass (goes without saying in this situation!), but the real issue is that she can't seem to overcome her stupidity for long enough to wrap her brain around how to import/update information in 2 files at the same time (REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY TIMES I SHOW HER HOW TO DO IT!). i.e. she gets information from the agencies and wants to update the addresses and all of the contacts, but if the contacts are in a different database she can't do it. AND, she changes the way she gathers the info every time so I can't create a script for it! Prime example: rather than updating info based on a match field, she just imports all of the data and ends up with thousands of duplicates (not exaggerating) every 6 months or so...and we all know how easy it is to accurately find duplicates in Filemaker...especially when her data entry is a far cry from consistent!

I thought about the Get Portal Row solution, but figured that it would also fail with this client - she would get frustrated at having to find and print multiple times (and definitely wouldn't remember how to do it, though that process is possibly scriptable, so tempting...).

I'll think more about the Print Database solution, but I can just see her putting it in some random location/deleting it/corrupting it and then having to call me to fix it...which I would really rather not due, primarily because of the previously mentioned character assessment. Any other possibilities?

Thanks,

MMB

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Get a large map covering 100s of miles, some string, a push-pin, a pencil, and a soft surface like corkboard. Secure the map to the soft surface. Locate your home and put the push-pin in the map there. Tie one end of the string around the pencil. Wrap the other end around the push-pin. Change the length of the string until the circle is over 300 miles from home. Draw the circle. Move to the nearest city outside of the circle with a college or university. wink.gif

Seriously: she doesn't understand basic database concepts/theorem and refuses to acknowledge their reality. I would politely tell her you can no longer offer your services after a certain date. If she asks why, explain that she is asking you to do something that cannot be done, therefore your efforts are futile (even though paid for). If she takes the high road, be prepared to tell her what parts of her workflow she needs to change. If she takes the low road, recommend a competitor, gracefully exit, and then let her wallow in the mire of her stupidity.

I've been on jobs like this before, it seems to be a no-win situation where your professional reputation may suffer. Write it off as one of life's unfair experiences, and move on to bigger and better projects!

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"every bit of information must be in one or it's too complicated for her to figure out"

Use FileMaker Pro 7. One file, many tables!

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