In Chapter 3, you learned a couple of ways to create fields, and then got your feet wet learning about some of FileMaker’s eight field types. In this chapter, you’ll learn more about the field types you already know, and then you’ll learn about some types you haven’t come across before. But type is only one of the options you can choose when you create a field. For example, lookup fields (Creating Lookups) are one way FileMaker can automatically enter data into a field, but it’s not the only way. FileMaker gives you so many other ways to get automatic data into fields, the Field Options window has a whole tab dedicated to those options.
Other times, you need to restrict the types of information people can enter in a field, but a value list (Adding a field control style and a value list) is too restrictive. So FileMaker lets you decide what kind of data—date, text, or whatever—a field can accept. That’s called field validation, and once again, there’s a whole tab full of options.
Once you’ve got your data into fields, FileMaker lets you decide how to want to store it and do more advanced tricks like create a field that has the same value for every record in a table or repeat the same field multiple times on one record. And you’ll learn how container fields let you store entire files from other programs within a FileMaker record.
You can find a starter file, called Fields.fp7, for this chapter on this book’s Missing CD page at www.missingmanuals.com/cds