Text Concatenation Basics

Concatenating text string together in FileMaker is one of the most useful tool you can use to automate paperwork process.

If you are a programmer. Learning FileMaker concatenation will likely feels similar with what you already know. But if you are a non-technical beginner, this tutorial will walk you through the basics.

Here we go!

Concatenating string is like putting multiple letter blocks together.

There are mainly 2 types of block in FileMaker.

  1. Text constant
  2. Reference

Type 1 – Text constant

A text constant string is a direct shout out of whatever text you want. For example, if I want FileMaker to shout out my name (Sunny Chu). I would write:

"Sunny Chu"

Make sure to have a quotation ( “ ) sign at the start and end to indicate to FileMaker that this is your text constant.

Type 2 – Reference

A reference is way to call out data from your database table. For example, if I want to call out the Name field from my Contact table, I would write.

Contact::Name

Once I write this, it will show the current name of the contact record I am current looking at. We are trying to reference information from a field.

So if I have a Contact table with 3 people.

  1. Sunny
  2. John
  3. May

 

If I am currently looking at record #2, and I call Contact::Name in my text calculation. I will call out John as my result. It all depends on which record you are currently looking at.

Concatenating Text

If I want to concatenate 2 blocks of text together, I will need to use the & sign between each block. For example, if I want to write something like this…

The customer is called Name of customer

I am trying to combine a flat text “The customer is called” with a dynamic data reference from my Name field. So I will write in the calculation…

"The customer is called" & Contact::Name

If I have to add 3 exclamation mark (!!!) at the end of the sentence like this…

The customer is called Name of customer !!!

I will need to include 3 blocks of text string together…

"The customer is called" & Contact::Name & "!!!"

That is the basic idea of text concatenation in FileMaker. If you want to learn more, check out my Youtube video explaining these concept in screencast action, while also introducing to you a little more advanced function called substitute( ).