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Inserting a tab into a field

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Is there any way of inserting a tab character into a field by calculation (similar to the way a ¶ can be added) for formatting?

The problem is :P

I export large amounts of data in tab separated text files. Much of this is from related tables in large chunks.

eg a typical export might have two fields from the source table, 25 fields from related table A , another couple from the original table and thirty from table A etc etc

What I was wanting to try was combining each chunk of fields from the related table into single calculated fields and thereby reduce the numberof fields in the export dramatically.

In fact in the main export it would actually reduce the number of fields to export from 286 to 17 if I could export in chunks.

Is there any way to make a calculated field of possibly 20 or 30 ields using a tab character as a separator? Or adding a tab character to a field by calculation?

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Just capture a tab in a text application and insert in quotes. when using it in a calculation like this

" " ( <- there is a tab in there.)

BTW, you could also create a global field and past it too. Then you would only need to use the global field in the calculation instead.



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With Windows at least, you don't have to capture the tab from text editor.

Just type your calc as:

textField & "CTRL-tab " & textField etc.

Don't type CTRL-tab, do it. :P^)

Edited by Guest
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Ok.... results are in

I tried it on mac and on pc (running in virtual PC on a mac)

The pc works fine... the tab is inserted... but I have no joy on the mac (which where I do 99% of my work!)

I tried using a global field with a tab inserted from the Textedit program

I tried manually inserting the tab in the calculation

Neither worked in either the calculated field or in the export on the mac

I also took the file to the pc... added the tab and took it back to the mac. Everything was fine on the pc but it lost the tab when it moved back to the mac :-((

Any other ideas on the mac?

Edited by Guest
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I have never been able to insert a tab into a calculation. What I do is type Option-Tab into a text field in Browse mode, copy it, go into Define Database and paste it in between quotes. You can even make it like this:

Let (

tab = "<>"


field1 & tab & field2 & tab & field3


Mind you, an Option-Tab is not the same character as the tab that separates fields in a tab-deliminated export.

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It looks like FileMaker is trying to protect us from doing something like inadvertently break a field into two just because it had a tab character in the text, when choosing Tab-separated text. It goes out fine as Comma-separated; but I guess you don't want that.

Another alternative is XML, with an XSL stylesheet. Using that I can export both a tab within a field or a return within a field, with ".txt" as the file extension. It isn't so particular about what you're exporting, because there's no preconceived notions as to what it should be.

I don't know that that will solve your problem, as I think there's more of a speed hit involved with XML export. You might be better off just biting the bullet and exporting your many fields as tabbed text. Also, the fact that your concatenated fields would want to be unstored, so as not to bloat the database; so they'd need to evaluate.

This is a generic stylesheet for an XMLRESULT export of tabbed text:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

xmlns:fm="http://www.filemaker.com/fmpxmlresult" exclude-result-prefixes="fm" >

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