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Automatically copy field contents on one layout to another?

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Can anyone help this beginner? For several years, I’ve used Filemaker Pro 5 and now I use 8.5, I am just starting to set up my own tables, layouts, and such. I am developing a simple solution to store school records, plus track admin functions.

I have a table of student info and a Student Detail layout that, along with common info like name, phone number, ID number, etc., has a portal of related records detailing the classes the student has taken with us. The portal is sorted to show at the top of the list the most recent class completed.

I previously used a Filemaker Pro 5 solution built for me by a friend. In that one, the newest class registrations were entered at the bottom of the “classes taken” portal on the Student Detail layout, and an empty line always appeared on the bottom of the portal for my use when the student signed up for his/her next class. I wouldn’t mind having the same thing in the new layout I’m working on, but I don’t know how to make empty fields to show up at the top of the portal into which I could enter the info (class, date, payment) specific to the new class registration.

Instead, when someone calls to register for a class, I open a layout called Enrollment Detail (from a table, Enrollment Data) and enter the info using that layout. The student ID number used in both Student Detail and Enrollment Detail tables, forms the relationship so the enrollment data shows up in the portal in the Student Detail layout.

Currently, I have to remember the student ID number from the Student Detail layout when I open the Enrollment Detail layout, and enter it in the correct field so the records are correctly related. I really need a way to automatically copy the student ID number into the new record I’m making in the Enrollment Detail layout. When someone calls, I go to their student record in the Student Detail table to check things like their address and phone numbers, then I’d like to go to Enrollment Detail layout and find the student ID number already entered on the new registration record into which I would type the rest of their stuff. I’m afraid if I manually enter the student ID number every time I make a new record in Enrollment Detail, that errors in the student ID number entry may leave me with registrations related to non-existent Student IDs, or worse, to someone else’s student ID.

I would so much appreciate any suggestions any of you experienced Filemaker users might offer about what I should do?

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Err, create a value list based on the ID field and display the name in the second field. Use this value list as a pop-uo menu on the enrolment detail layout.

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One of the aspects of Filemaker that I'm having fun with is the variety of options with which to solve one problem.

After pondering the above suggested method, I went back to the original problem, and this is what I've come up with. I put a button on the layout I use with the Student Data table that copies the contents of the Student ID field from that layout, goes to the Enrollment Detail layout, make a new record and then pastes the contents of the Student ID field from the first layout into the Student ID field on the Enrollment Detail layout.

I am just starting to use the Functions and Scripts Desk Reference book and it really came through for me on this one.

Also, I really appreciate the people who post and answer posts on this forum. I was so STUCK on that question last night, and now with a boost to look at it in different ways, the problem is resolved.

Thanks, everyone!

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