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Sorting with one criterion

From: FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

Video: Sorting with one criterion

In a majority of the movies so far in this title, we've been working with multiple records. But you'll notice, as you open up each file, that the records aren't in order that really doesn't have any kind of relevance. It's not in alphabetical order. It's not by customer, not by year. So what's happening is when you first open up a FileMaker file and look at multiple records, for example, in the List view, it's going to give you those records in the order in which they were added to the database. In cases of reporting, or printing, or exporting or even just viewing data, that might not always be the desired order. So in this movie, I am going to show you how to sort records in FileMaker.

Sorting with one criterion

In a majority of the movies so far in this title, we've been working with multiple records. But you'll notice, as you open up each file, that the records aren't in order that really doesn't have any kind of relevance. It's not in alphabetical order. It's not by customer, not by year. So what's happening is when you first open up a FileMaker file and look at multiple records, for example, in the List view, it's going to give you those records in the order in which they were added to the database. In cases of reporting, or printing, or exporting or even just viewing data, that might not always be the desired order. So in this movie, I am going to show you how to sort records in FileMaker.

You might be familiar with sorting from other applications, but in FileMaker you can sort in any layout and by using a Sort dialog window. There are a couple of different ways to get to the Sort dialog. First, if you go under the Records menu, you'll notice that there's an option called Sort Records, and it also has quick keys next to it. On Mac, it's Command+S, and on Windows it's Ctrl+S. You'll also notice, in the Status toolbar, that we've got a default button called Sort. Clicking on any one of these will get you to the Sort Records dialog, and inside the Sort Records dialog you'll notice that there's always a sort criterion in from the last sort.

If there hasn't been a recent sort, the dialog will be empty. But in the case of this file, you'll notice that we've got criterion in here for AddressState. This is helpful sometimes if you're going back and re-sorting something that you've done moments earlier. Then this way you don't have to do it again twice. But in our case, we are going to hit Clear All, so we can start fresh. As you see, Clear All removes any fields from the Sort Order window on the right. But the window on the left gives you access to all the different fields defined within your table, so you can choose them to be part of your Sort Order.

Keep in mind that whatever field or fields you add to the Sort Order will only sort the records in your current found set. In this case, we've got all of our records in our found set, so all 1,523 records will be sorted. But if I did a search, and it returned 20 records, only those 20 records would have the sort order applied. In the window on the left in the Sort dialog, you'll notice that you've got a dropdown menu. This dropdown menu has a couple of different options on it. First, it says Current Layout, which is whatever layout you are currently on, of course, and also the Current Table, which is the table that the layout is based on.

In the list under Current Layout, it only gives you the fields that are defined on your layout. This will make it particularly easy for just end-users because then they don't have to sort through all the different fields defined in a Table. But if you want to sort on something that's not on the layout, you just pick Current Table (Customers), you'll see every field defined in the table, regardless of whether it's placed in this layout. You'll notice that you can also sort by Related fields, but we'll talk about that in the next movie. Back up to our Current Layout, we are going to choose AddressState. Now, you can either double-click on this to move it to the Sort Order window, or select the Move button.

But you'll notice that in addition to picking the field, you also see these little bars that almost look like cell phone reception bars, on the right. Those represent either Ascending or Descending order, and as you by default Ascending order is going to be your first option. If you wish to change that, you can just select the item in the Sort Order window and choose Descending order; you'll see those bars reversed. We'll also talk about sorting by Custom values, the third option, in another movie. Let's see what happens when we now hit the Sort button. We'll see that all of the records in our Found set, which are all the records in our database, have been sorted now by the State value, and they have been sorted alphabetically.

The reason for that is because the field that we chose, State, is a text field, and therefore it's sorted alphabetically. If there was a number field, it would sort numerically, date field chronologically and so on. The other thing you'll notice is the very first two records were blank records. FileMaker will always put the blank records at the very top of a sort order. So this could be a good way for you to find empty values. You can simply sort by the field that you're looking for the empty values in, and they'll appear on the top of your layout. You should be aware that in order to set expectations with your users, that the blank records will always be on top.

And that's behavior that you'd expect from FileMaker. So, if you are creating reports or instructing users on how to work with found sets, keep in mind that the blank records in the fields will always show up on top, and this is something that you not only want to take into account when you're sorting, but also at the same time it's good way to look for inconsistencies in your data, or find records that don't have any values in them. Another thing that you should know is that once your Sort Order is set, any changes that you make to the field and any of the records in your found set that would impact the sort order will automatically resort. So, for example, if I go into this State field and I say CA and I commit the record, you see now that it's been removed from the AA list, and you'll find it listed under the States of California.

This is something that's called resort, or automatic resort, in FileMaker. This is something that, if you rely on it, you can build it into your programming, but also something good to let your users know about, so that they have that expectation when they are working with found sets. The last thing to note is the active record before the sort. Any active record will remain the record after the sort, as well. So, if you are on the first record in your list, and now you decide that you are going to sort by clearing this and hitting City instead, you'll see Evelyne Rutkin is still the active record, even though the sort order has changed.

You'll notice that we are no longer at the top of the list of our found set, like we were before we did the sort. We are actually towards the bottom of the third of it. That's because FileMaker wants to keep the active record in focus. So keep that in mind when you're using sort orders against found sets. You can also unsort by going under the Records menu and choosing Unsort. It doesn't have a corresponding quick key towards it, but there is a script step that allows you do that automatically. So, keep this in mind when you're training your users, or when you're working with scripts as we'll discuss later in this title. Understanding how to work with sorts is going to help you manipulate data inside of Found sets, so that it can be more meaningful to you and your users.

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This video is part of

Image for FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 14866 viewers

Cris Ippolite
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the FileMaker family
      2m 15s
    3. Using the FileMaker Quick Start screen
      2m 52s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 7s
  2. 21m 9s
    1. What is a database?
      2m 26s
    2. Flat vs. relational databases
      2m 29s
    3. How FileMaker works
      4m 48s
    4. Understanding the essential preferences
      3m 13s
    5. Touring the interface
      8m 13s
  3. 11m 44s
    1. Creating databases from templates
      2m 29s
    2. Creating new databases in the spreadsheet-like format
      5m 35s
    3. Importing tables
      3m 40s
  4. 9m 9s
    1. Determining which tables you will need
      5m 10s
    2. Creating tables in the Managing Tables window
      3m 59s
  5. 34m 47s
    1. Understanding relationship types
      6m 58s
    2. Diagramming relationships (with ER diagrams)
      8m 50s
    3. Determining which key fields you need
      5m 18s
    4. Defining primary and foreign keys
      7m 56s
    5. Creating relationships using the relationships graph and table occurrences
      5m 45s
  6. 50m 34s
    1. Deciding what fields you will need
      5m 34s
    2. Understanding field types
      7m 54s
    3. Defining fields
      9m 56s
    4. Using Auto Enter options in fields
      9m 33s
    5. Reviewing field validation options
      8m 16s
    6. Building with container fields
      9m 21s
  7. 14m 8s
    1. Creating and duplicating records
      5m 40s
    2. Editing and locking records
      4m 42s
    3. Deleting records and backing up files
      3m 46s
  8. 21m 6s
    1. Importing data
      9m 57s
    2. Importing records to refresh data
      7m 2s
    3. Exporting data
      4m 7s
  9. 18m 30s
    1. Understanding layouts
      4m 15s
    2. Using the Layout Assistant to create List views
      7m 59s
    3. Using the Layout Assistant to create labels and envelopes
      6m 16s
  10. 27m 11s
    1. Using the Layout Setup dialog box
      4m 54s
    2. Understanding layout parts
      4m 40s
    3. Understanding the new Inspector
      2m 26s
    4. Exploring the Status Area in Layout mode
      6m 46s
    5. Managing layouts and layout folders
      8m 25s
  11. 41m 9s
    1. Arranging, aligning, grouping, and locking layout objects
      11m 5s
    2. Placing and formatting objects, parts, and graphics
      4m 10s
    3. Formatting fields and applying field attributes
      8m 26s
    4. Setting field behaviors
      4m 4s
    5. Using the Tab Control feature
      9m 8s
    6. Setting tab order
      4m 16s
  12. 36m 48s
    1. Using the basic find functions
      7m 31s
    2. Reviewing new requests in the Find mode
      5m 54s
    3. Establishing search operators
      6m 43s
    4. Constraining or extending found sets
      3m 24s
    5. Finding records using date, time, or timestamp criteria
      5m 18s
    6. Using Fast Match and Quick Find
      4m 41s
    7. Working with saved finds
      3m 17s
  13. 17m 28s
    1. Sorting with one criterion
      6m 4s
    2. Sorting with related fields
      2m 18s
    3. Sorting with multiple criteria
      1m 36s
    4. Sorting using custom values
      3m 14s
    5. Sorting using buttons
      4m 16s
  14. 17m 14s
    1. Reviewing Field/Control styles
      5m 43s
    2. Creating and applying static value lists
      5m 20s
    3. Creating and applying dynamic value lists
      6m 11s
  15. 23m 52s
    1. Previewing pages and print options
      6m 20s
    2. Printing in different views
      2m 54s
    3. Sliding objects
      3m 26s
    4. Printing merge letters
      4m 53s
    5. Saving as a PDF or Excel file
      6m 19s
  16. 15m 1s
    1. Building simple reports with summary fields
      4m 36s
    2. Creating subsummary reports
      6m 51s
    3. Creating subsummary reports in Table view
      3m 34s
  17. 52m 19s
    1. Defining calculations
      2m 31s
    2. Exploring the Calculation dialog box
      5m 8s
    3. Using number functions
      12m 41s
    4. Using date and time functions
      4m 58s
    5. Using text functions
      11m 43s
    6. Using get functions
      4m 0s
    7. Using logic functions
      11m 18s
  18. 46m 56s
    1. Understanding scripts and script steps
      2m 23s
    2. Assigning script steps to buttons
      3m 54s
    3. Understanding the ScriptMaker dialog box
      8m 28s
    4. Creating multi-line scripts
      6m 44s
    5. Adding find criteria to a script
      4m 58s
    6. Understanding the If script step
      8m 36s
    7. Using script parameters
      4m 42s
    8. Reviewing the Send Mail option
      7m 11s
  19. 28m 0s
    1. Understanding script triggers
      2m 41s
    2. Using object-based triggers
      11m 58s
    3. Using layout-based triggers
      7m 51s
    4. Using file-based triggers (Open and Close scripts)
      5m 30s
  20. 56m 42s
    1. Using related fields
      7m 18s
    2. Creating portals and using portal filtering
      10m 38s
    3. Using related fields in calculations
      7m 6s
    4. Understanding multi-predicate relationships
      11m 11s
    5. Using the Go to Related Record script step
      7m 26s
    6. Creating a chart
      13m 3s
  21. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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