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How can I format Numbers on Export?


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I need to Export data from a FMPro6 database to feed into a page-layout program. Tab-delimited works excellently for me, except for one thing!

I have some currency fields (created as calculated numbers), and in the Exported data I need for them to appear with a currency symbol before and exactly 2 decimal places after the point, rounded to two places.

FOR EXAMPLE: the value 2 should appear in the exported file as $2.00, and 2.5 as $2.50, and 2.5673 as $2.57.

The correct technique in FMPro seems to be to do the Export from a layout in which the field has been appropriately formatted as a Number.

Trouble is, the fields concerned cannot be formatted because they contain calculations incorporating global fields, etc.

How can I get my nice currency amounts into my Exported file?


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OK. Good question, RalphL!

You've made me realize I'm mixing up one thing that came up while trying to work around my problem with the actual problem itself!

Which is, that I want to put text around some Number values during Export. And I need these Numbers to have 'currency' format applied to them (currency symbol and forcing to exactly 2 decimal places, such as $5.00 even if the Number is 5, 5.0 or 5.001).

If I just wanted the Number exported alone, I could of course do the Export from a Layout with that 'currency format' applied to that field. But then I would get the value with "tabs" before and after it (I need tab-separated data) but no automatic way to get other text in there without surplus tabs!!

A very frustrating feature of FMPro6, if it seems the only way to get a number 'formatted' within a Calculation is to write one's own "formatting" algorithm.

If that is the only way, can anybody provide a nice, neat, foolproof algorithm for adding ".00" to numbers without a decimal value, ".x0" in place of plain old ".x", and rounding more than 2 decimal places to exactly 2 places.

I can think of a whole bunch of If or Case statements to cover all these possibilities, but it doesn't look like a very elegant solution. And I'm not very confident in my algorithm-writing abilities!

Hope that explains my predicament better. Thanks to anyone who can help!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, comment. I followed the threads you lead me to, and can see that this is *NOT* a problem with a trivial solution! :> Inserting a reliable algorithm stretching over many clauses does *NOT* seem an elegant or safe way to handle a simple problem.

I solved my immediate problem by putting the QuarkXPress tags I needed into 2 fields before and after the currency field, using the "Format on output" option to get the currency field correct, then search-and-replaced some marker text to get rid of the unwanted extra tabs that having separate fields created.

So, my final question is "Why haven't/can't the FMPro programmers included the functionality of the Number Format into a Calculation formula to avoid all these contortions?"

Just a friendly question! Don't jump on me please!! PHILIP CAPLAN

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That's a good question. There are many good questions like that, even better ones. The bottom line is, FMP's main mission is to be a database program that is easy to use. It's when you try to make it do something that's beyond its main mission, that you run into snags.

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