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FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser, Geoff Coffey

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Chapter 10. Calculations and Data Types

The last chapter introduced the terminology and concepts behind FileMaker’s calculations. You learned how to create them using the Specify Calculation dialog box’s tools. Functions, as you saw in the previous chapter, play a big role in good calculation construction. In this chapter, you’ll learn the details about the most common functions for the various data types—text, number, date, time, timestamp, and container—and when to use them. As in your FileMaker design life, if you want to test a calculation, just create a calculation field and start building it using the techniques you’ve learned so far. If it doesn’t work the way you expect, or if you don’t need it after your experiment is done, just delete the field.

Number Crunching Calculations

Although they don’t come first in the function list, number functions are the most obvious application of calculations. Since most people easily understand them, number functions are a logical place to start. A lot of the concepts you’ll learn for number functions apply to other functions as well.

Number Operators

Operators, along with fields, constants, and functions, are one of the basic building blocks of a calculation. FileMaker has five operators that specifically apply to numerical calculations, the same five that you probably already know:

  • + is for addition

  • - is for subtraction

  • * is for multiplication

  • / is for division

  • ^ is for exponentiation (“to the power of”)

Section 9.2.2.2 explains how to use these ...

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