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Universal Merge Field via a Global Value?

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This seems like it should be a pretty simple thing to do but I can't seem to get it to work. Basically, I have a few merge fields in the footer of most layouts showing record creation, account creation,modify timestamp, and modify account. These housekeeping fields are named the same in every table, so I was hoping I could do something like create a global text line with the names of all these housekeeping fields set in a merge field format, such that I could just display this global on each footer and have it dynamically update according to current record. By doing this, if I ever decide to change the format or what information is displayed there, I only have to do it once in the global field rather than on every single layout.

So what is it I'm missing? I've tried making a value in a globals table something like

g_footermessage = "Created <> by <> ||| Last modified <> by <>"

but putting g_footermessage in the footers won't show the data properly...is it not possible to do it this way, or am I missing something basic here? any hints?

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A global field is for data that is the same across all records. You want different information to appear in the field depending on the record, so a global won't work here.

There are other options though.

If 8.5 is your current version, either an unstored (text) calculation field or scripting the logic into a global might be your best bet.

In the first case, if your requirements change, you'd only need to change one field per table. If you have multiple layouts based on the same table, you'd only change the field.

In the second case, you can use a text global and set that global according to whatever rules you set up. But you'd need to trigger the script somehow.

Advanced versions of FMP open up the possibility of using a custom function.

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