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FileMaker Pro 9: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser, Geoff Coffey

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Format the Number/Date/Time/Graphic

All this talk about how fields look and work is well and good, but what if you want to change how the data inside them looks? A price and a weight both go in a Number field, but they are different types of values and should look different. FileMaker provides a series of formatting options for the data inside fields, giving you loads of control over how numbers, dates, times, and pictures look.

FileMaker has a special formatting dialog box for each kind of data a field can hold: Text, Number, Date, Time, and Container. (Timestamps are just a date and a time together, so you can format both parts separately.) You've already seen one of these dialog boxes—Text Format—in Chapter 4 (see Changing text font, size, and style). It's the thing you see when, in Layout mode, you choose Format → Text.

Below this menu command, you find four others, each of which accesses a dialog box specific to the type of information in your field.

Number Formatting

Select a number field and choose Format → Number to control how the number inside the field is displayed. The Number Format dialog box has a lot of options, as you can see in Figure 6-18. You can use most of these in any combination, so the possibilities are vast.

Note

As with most layout settings, if you choose this command without selecting a field, FileMaker lets you edit the default formats. In other words, the settings you pick apply to every number field you add to the layout thereafter.

Figure 6-18. FileMaker ...

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