In general, FileMan uses the same method to match what a person types to the list of possible inputs that it could match.
For example, there are times when FileMan needs to know a field to process for several usages.
In MODIFY FILE ATTRIBUTES option, the question is "Select FIELD:"
In ENTER OR EDIT FILE ENTRIES option, the question is "EDIT WHICH FIELD:"
In PRINT FILE ENTRIES option, the question is "SORT BY: NAME//" or "WITHIN NAME, SORT BY:"
or "FIRST PRINT FIELD:" or "THEN PRINT FIELD:"
In LIST FILE ATTRIBUTES option, the question is "Start with field:FIRST//" or "Go to field:"
In all cases, you can answer with the name of a field or the number of a field sometimes followed by some qualifiers. There are ways to give partial answers that are matched by FIleMan to a full name of a field.
One partial answer might be the first few letters of the name of the field. If more than one field has the same letters as a prefix, then FileMan will give a list of possible choices to the user.
Another partial answer is to give the first few letters and some later letters, separated by a comma. The comma functions like "..." does in writing, as a sort of blank that the computer can use to fill in to get a partial match. The first few letters have to show up in the field name, and the later letters must appear as well. Each set of letters must be following a space or comma in the original field name.
In the example given ST,1 appears in the field names "STREET ADDRESS 1 (CIVIL)" or "STREET ADDRESS 1 (VA)" or "STREET ADDRESS [LINE 1]" All of these fields, plus more like "START DATE OF TEMP ADDRESS" show up when ST,A is typed in. This is actually a title for the field TEMPORARY ADDRESS START DATE, so not only the field names are searched, but also the titles and groups as well.
When FM sees the comma, it turns it into a search using the text before the comma followed by a test to see if any found values also contain the value found after the comma. Sort of a filtered look-up on the fly.
(answered by Greg Kreis)
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