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FileMaker Tip – Conditional Value List

A Soliant TV video about creating FileMaker drop downs that are related or conditional based on other fields.

  1. Martha Zink says

    You could use spaces to show a faux hierarchy in a dropdown, and then use the Trim function (auto-enter data settings) to remove all of the extra spaces.

  2. Todd Newton says

    I don't know why everyone else took 20-minutes to over an hour to explain what you did in 5 minutes. Thank you for showing the most direct, simple, and easy to follow demonstration of conditional value lists on YouTube.

  3. john scott says

    Hi Martha thank you for a great presentation ,
    Over the last few days I have learnt more via YouTube than I have from the FileMaker Training Series after months of reading .
    Don't get me wrong the book is Great but what is needed is a break down visually
    exactly the way you have presented conditional value lists
    Thank you

  4. Martha Zink says

    Thanks, John. Glad the videos are helping! Let me know if there are any other specific topics that you'd like to see in video form. I'll do my best to get a video made.

  5. Anthony Bondoc says

    thanks martha. this is precisely what i'm looking for. 🙂

  6. gallopweb says

    Great video Martha. I have a table of employees that uses the fullname field for resource in an events table. The events table has a field named "Labor Type" which can be "AC Maintenance"; "General Maintenance"; "Cart Repair"; etc. which includes 17 possible selections. In the employee table there is are fields that are named "AC Maintenance"; "General Maintenance"; "Cart Repair"; etc. which each have a drop down list to select yes or no if the employee is qualified to do that work.

  7. gallopweb says

    Cont. Some employees are qualified to do as many as 10 jobs where others only 2 or three. So if I select that Labor Type in the events field how do I only see a list of employees qualified to do the work? I appreciate any help. Thank you

  8. Bethany says

    Hi Martha,
     You seem to have made the only clear guide to CVL on You Tube.  I'm using FM 8.  When I create a copy of my table (the equivalent of your values table) from the relationships graph the new one has no records.  Is that right? 

  9. Felipe Gassen says

    Hi Martha,
    Thank you very much for your tip,
    you help me a lot!
    Great!! tnx tnx =D

  10. Patrick Emerson says

    Thanks Martha, all I've been able to find is conditional value entry for invoicing or after the original data has been entered.  This is exactly what I was looking for to limit the primary data entry into the database.  you rock!!

  11. Nelson Wiegman says

    Very elegant.

  12. Francesco Bongiorno says

    Hi…i've got a problem with conditional value list…can i contact you by email?

  13. Faith Koger says

    Thanks Martha!!!  Excellent walk through!  This is just what I needed to get my conditional value lists working.  I really appreciate the tip as I was struggling before and this really cleared up the process.  First try and it worked!  You Rock!!!

  14. Abdellah El Alami says

    Thank you so much Martha !

  15. Jake Abiva says

    Very helpful indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  16. What would you do if you a value list , "Vendor List"  which has all your vendors and then you  wanted to show only "Active Vendors" but you don't want to use a value list/ drop down, to differentiate what populates in the "Vendor list". Pretty much just one value list  that shows all (Vendors which  = "Active Vendors") in Value list.

  17. Tim Kuzniar says

    Hi Martha..!  Thanks for the video, it really helped. Now, the question I have is I want to take the idea you had here — three different choices from three drop-down lists — and use those three choices to filter which records are shown in a portal. How would I do that..?  Thanks..!

  18. Rick Lovenduski says

    Hi Martha,
    The video was great. I was wonder if you could show a video with Conditional Value List that would be able to show related values in a parent table that effect the values in the child table.

    In short,  what values are chosen in the parent table will determine what values are available in the child table value list.   

  19. bert kraan says

    Great! Just what I was looking for. Thanks mrs Zink

  20. Tom Slayton says

    Thanks for the video Martha, I found it very helpful. 



  21. Patricia Jo Angelini says

    This was took quick and left me with lots of questions.

  22. Artem Ivanov says

    filemaker ≠ logic -_-

  23. Paul Gillary says

    Very helpful thanks!

  24. John L. Aldridge says

    Well done. It solved a problem that I have been working on for a week. This was the last problem that I had to solve. Thank you again.

  25. Mondli Edwin says

    am i dum or is this subject just too difficult?

  26. Dave Evans says

    What if you want to make your value list conditional on a field value that isn't shown on the layout? For example, in one table of Accounts, I mark them either Active=Yes or Active=No. All Accounts in the that table are one or the other. But the only place this value is displayed, is on an Accounts layout, where the Account is originally set up for use in the solution.

    Elsewhere in the solution, I want to allow the user to allocate some activity (dollars, time, etc) to one of those Accounts. But over time, some accounts go Inactive (Active=No). So I create another layout that has a relation to Accounts, but isn't based on it. I want to set up a portal to allow the user to choose one or several accounts to disperse their activity against. I set up an "Accounts" pop-up menu field in portal using a foreign key back to Accounts. Yet ALL the accounts appear in the pop-up. How can I limit it to just those that were marked Active=Yes. when that field isn't shown anywhere on the portal (and shouldn't be)?


  27. Dave Evans says

    BTW, I found the example extremely confusing and hard to follow based on the naming conventions.

  28. andreas xristopoulos says

    Very helpfull. Good work. Thanks!

  29. kaliko70 says

    Thank you again for yet another fantasic video. You are a great instructor and use clean example layouts and tables, very precise and focused. Thank goodness for YouTube and being able to watch over and over again until it gets into my thick head! ahahaha. Thanks again for taking the time to make this for the community. Aloha.

  30. MasterQuickBooks Ireland says

    Excellent Video Tutorial! Fast paced for advanced folk and yet 'pausable' for the like of RDB beginners like me! It's a perfect 'Long letter on a short piece of paper'! I love you style – soft, confident and direct. Thank you. Peter

  31. Kruby says

    What if you wanted the value list to be conditional when in Find mode?

  32. Michael King says

    I had to watch this video about 12 times, but that's because I'm new to databases. Thank you for the excellent detail.

  33. Mark Mogatas says

    Fast Pace! What if you wanted to make a record with multiple fields that had the same conditional value list function? How would you make that? I am working on creating a format for teachers to create plans for their classes that makes it possible to show multiple subject areas on a single record. So imagine your example where one set of fields is set up like the fields you have in your video that allows you to be able to select all the way to your data description. Now next to these fields is another set of field that are exactly the same but allows for your to be able to select music instead of science and show the various options down to data description. I imagine you would do the exact same thing but with another set of fields by a different name and the same kind of value lists but with a second set of tables. If this is wrong, please let me know. If this is correct, then is there an efficient way of doing this? Can I duplicate tables, fields and value lists and just change the value lists to select the correct field? Is there a better way?

  34. Thomas Gumm says

    Thank you, Martha. This is extremely helpful.

    May I please pose two questions that I'm having trouble finding the answers to? I'd certainly appreciate your time.

    1) How do I structure the settings so I may input additional values in the Category and Description lists as I work from the Data layout – and also have those value options preserved for future data entry? I clicked "Allow entry of other values" and that permits me to add a different value with respect to a single record. I also checked "Allow creation of records in this table" via the relationships to the two new occurrence tables. However, the added value does not then appear in the pop-up menu (for Category or Description) with subsequent records. Is it possible and not terribly complicated to configure the setting so that those added values become permanent additions to the respective pop-up lists?

    2) In some cases, the value for Description and possibly also Category will remain blank. In other words, when choosing certain values under Type, there will not be additional/conditional values under the Description and possibly also Category fields due to the nature of the Type chosen. The database doesn't stop me from leaving those fields blank; I can complete the record and move on to the next. However, from a best practices standpoint, will leaving those blank fields in the table cause me trouble down the road? And if so, could you please suggest how I might address this?

    Again, thank you for your time and expertise.


  35. FlyHigh says

    Very helpful. This technique works for Filemaker Pro 10.

  36. Charles Katjivirue says

    Hi Martha, it is addictive listing to your lecture. Best voice, clear well though out presentation. One can listen to it many times without getting irritated 😉

    Question: Can use this approach if I want to develop a multiple choice question solution, or do you have a better approach?

  37. UpsetFawn says

    For me it was a little more tricky when focusing on one table to work with but I managed to figure it out. Thank you very much!

  38. Gaudy says

    And if I have 3 normalized Tables? I dont know what to do.

  39. Milton Reales says

    Hi.. thank you for this video. Please let me know how did yo do the table in 0:55' I dont know ho to do this. Thank you

  40. Cezary Marzec says

    Hello there

    I needed a conditional value list for a multi language solution with several value lists in the same table.
    Then I thought I would share the how to since I got my influence from your awesome technique 🙂

    I created a calculated field in the table with simply:
    Get(ActiveFieldName) (Unstored)

    Then I made my "Value" Table with 3 fields and a 1 table occurrence ValuelistAsset3:
    fk_Language with relation to a field in "Data" table for the current language chosen)
    fk_Fieldname with relation to the Calculated active field in "Data" table from where the value list will execute
    Value a field containing the different values you want in the value list

    swe Asset3 Packning
    eng Asset3 Gasket
    ger Asset3 Ichweissnichtwhatisbin
    swe Type Gummi
    eng Type Rubber
    ger Type IchstilldontWeise

    last thing is to create valuelists:

    Valuelist_Gaskets from table occurrence ValuelistAsset3, Show data from Field: Asset3 etc. and include only related from "Data" Table (Important)

    And so it works different value lists for different languages for dynamic fields in a Table

    Sorry for being such an expert in explaining

    Regards Cezary Marzec

  41. G8 Oscar says

    Very helpful. Thank you ^_^

  42. RGBGraphics Design says

    loved it

  43. ger meagher says

    Concise and excellent.

  44. Jennifers Hamam says

    Hi Martha, I know your video is from 3 years ago, but just want you to know that it's still helping people. I'm new to FileMaker (15) and found this so helpful. Thank you!! Would love to see a whole channel of videos from you.

  45. Alan Montin says

    Hi Martha,
    Thanks a million!

    Great 🙂

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