FileMaker PRO

Posted on 2004-10-26
Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Hello, I am new to File Maker Pro and am running version 6.0.  We are setting up a new database right now and I am wondering how i nest a pull down menu inside of a pull down menu. for example:

   other choice
   other choice
   other choice

and so on.  does this question make sense?

thanks everyone

Question by:billfry
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    Based on what I assume you're trying to achieve, I'd suggest you take a look at the portal feature. You can use a portal to show a series of values on separate rows, and each value can have its own pop-up menus.

    If you want to customize the application menus in FileMaker Pro, you can't do that. If you're talking about creating a pop-up selection field that contains nested pop-up selections inside it, you can't do that either.

    Can you provide some more detail about what it is you're trying to accomplish?


    Author Comment

    yes I sure can, not sure how to answer that actually.  I will send you a more detailed question once i go back and look at it..  

    Author Comment


    okay so I just went and worked on our database with the woman doing the design on it, now keep in mind we are both very new to this..  

    what we have is a database in a particular layout mode.  now in this form we have an area where people can choose an industry sector via a pull-down menu.  so they would put the company name in then go to the next field and choose what industry they serve, financial, industrial, technical and so on.  what we want to do now is have a sub category of each of those.  So when they choose Financial another box comes up where they can choose (example: banking, investment, mortgage)  does that make more sense
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    Yes, that makes things much clearer.

    There are basically two ways you can do this. The first way is simply to create a whole bunch of layouts that use different value lists to show the categories you want, and jump from one to another using buttons or scripts. That's a newbie approach, and at first it seems easier, but in the long run is a nightmare to work with, so I don't recommend it.

    The better way requires a bit more thought at first, but in the long run is much easier to maintain. Basically, you create a separate table to hold all your category information, and use value lists based on relationships to display only the values you want at each stage. The explanation below sounds complicated, but when you see it work it's actually pretty simple.

    First, create a new table called "DemoCategories", that has text fields called Category, SubCategory, and SubSubCategory. (You can of course use any names you prefer)
    For each possible selection the user could make, add a record to this table. Enter the category, subcategory, and subsubcategory names. Make sure you use the same spelling and wording every time you repeat a name. Fill in all the possible combinations you want the user to have available. This is actually the longest part of the process. You'll end up with something like this:
    Business: Finance : Bank
    Business: Finance : Credit Union
    Business: Finance : Investment House

    Now, in your Main database file, create three text fields, called "Category", "Subcategory", and "SubSubCategory" (or whatever)

    From the main file, create a relationship between the Category field in your main file and the Category field in the "DemoCategories" file.
    Create a second relationship between the SubCategory field in the main file and the one in "DemoCategories"

    Next, in the Main file, create a new Value List called Top Level Categories
    Choose From A Field, specify All Values, and specify the "DemoCategories" file.

    Now create a second value list, called "Related SubCategories"
    Choose From A Field, this time specify Only Related Values, and choose the Category-To-Category relationship (the first one we created) from the list.

    Next make a third value list called "Related SubSUBCategories"
    Choose From A Field, choose Only Related Values, and choose the SubCategory-To-SubCategory relationship (the second one we created)

    Almost done...
    Now, create a layout in your main file that includes the Category, Subcategory, and SubSubcategory  fields in that order.
    In layout mode, edit the Field Format of the Categories field, and make it a Pop-up list that uses the Top Level Categories value list as its source.
    In the Field Format for SubCategories, make it a pop-up list using the Related SubCategories value list. And finally, do the same for SubSubCategories, using the third value list this time.

    Now, switch to browse mode and add a new record. Click the Categories field, and you'll get a pop-up list where you can choose the top level category. When you make your choice, it jumps to the next field, popping up the subcategories that relate to the top level category you picked. Pick one of these, and you'll get the third pop-up list with the third level of subsubcategories. Now you can drill down to the specific item you want with a couple of clicks.

    If you want to drill down to a fourth level of detail, just add another field, another relationship, and another value list.

    All of this category information will take up space in the main database, so you may want to make the Category and SubCategory fields global fields, only storing the third field.

    Here's a link to a very simple categories database that demonstrates this concept. Feel free to use it as a starting point for your own if you want.


    Author Comment

    hello again, I will start working on this solution on Friday. sorry for the delay...

    Author Comment

    I am just now working on this, been busy with other projects.  I will get this done adn post back to you. so far so good...  

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