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milefaker

alphabetizing field names in layout view

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Is there a way to select a subset of the field names in layout view and have them alphabetized automatically? Or must that be done manually?

Thanks.

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Manually. Or, in Define Fields, select Sort by Name. Create a new layout based on this table, Standard Form. The fields should come in alphabetically. Copy what you need from there.

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Thanks. The second suggestion worked beautifully. (With over 300 fields currently, I was loath to do with manually.)

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You have 300 fields on one Layout?

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Something sounds very wrong. 300 fields in one table sounds like a data modeling problem.

Can you post a clone of your file.

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You have 300 fields on one Layout?

Yes, and unless I switch to a different structure there will be more coming.

This database contains what will eventually be a thesaurus. The fields in question correspond to the larger semantic categories of the thesaurus. Those categories are parallel to each other; that is, there is no meaningful hierarchical relationship among them. However, the records within each category fall first of all into subcategories and secondarily within the subcategories into a particular order of presentation. I indicate those subcategories and the presentation-order as the sortable contents of the category-fields. That is, each category-field contains a distinctive set of sorting orders for the relevant records.

A few other relevant details:

  • The relationship of records to categories is one to many.
  • Any given semantic category typically contains relatively few records (rarely more than 100 at the moment and in the future these numbers will drop, as categories become more and more finely divided).
  • Any given record may need to be sorted by more than one sort order, depending on which of the categories it belongs to is being treated. So I have not found a way to assign an absolute "sort-ordering" code to each record, which might have simplified everything.
  • The semantic structure of the eventual thesaurus is not yet settled. I am constantly revising the sort orders of different semantic categories, and moving records in or out of different semantic categories, and dividing or combining semantic categories.
  • I have one field that concatenates the contents of all the semantic category fields, so that I can search quickly for a given category, without having to hunt manually through a forest of fields.

The system I am using, though strange, gives me great flexibility in the tasks I've just described.

I realize that hundreds of fields in one layout is unconventional and messy. At first, I tried assigning each category to its own layout, but with hundreds of categories it was unwieldy. Doing it this way has proven the least trouble so far, and far more effective than trying to do the whole thing in a text editor for a number of reasons. But I'd be very happy to hear suggestions for other approaches.

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Attached is a zipped clone. I've removed as much extraneous matter as possible, while leaving all the current category fields intact for your reference. Thanks for your patient help.

I've described the goals and structure in a previous post in this thread. A few other points: I ordinarily work while browsing the db as a table, which allows me to see the greatest number of records at once. However, because there are so many fields, I keep those I'm not working with collapsed so that they don't take up so much space. Fields that represent semantic categories are ordinarily named beginning with a capital letter; those that have other functions ordinarily begin with an underscore.

Clone.fp7.zip

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I'd recommend you read:

http://fmforums.com/forum/showtopic.php?tid/180113/post/220675/#220675

http://fmforums.com/forum/showpost.php?post/236011/

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