How to Concatenate Names in FileMaker

by Elizabeth Mott

Concatenation is a common text function in database software. Its operation allows several pieces of text such as words, names, phrases or longer alphanumeric combinations, to string together into one continuous text flow. Used frequently to combine first, middle and last names stored in separate database fields, concatenation operations produce full names, first and last names together or names with a courtesy title such as "Ms." or "Dr." in front of them. In FileMaker Pro, most concatenation operations take place in calculated fields.

Set up database fields to contain the common parts of a name in your FileMaker Pro file. Designate each of these as text fields. You need fields for courtesy titles, first name, middle name, last name and name extensions, such as "Jr." or "III." Give fields short, simple names like "c_title," "f_name," "m_name," "l_name" and "ext_name."

Consider carefully the ways you might need to use the names in your database. Plan to set up a calculated field for each instance, such as courtesy title with last name, full name with courtesy title and so on.

Create a calculated field for full name and call it "Full_Name." When the calculation options window opens, make sure the field is set to a "Text Field." Double click on the "Courtesy Title" field in the field list to add it to the calculation window. Then click the "Concatenation Operator," (the ampersand) in the list of operators. Now add the space after the courtesy title by clicking on the text operator (a pair of quotation marks) and typing a space between the marks. Click on the "Concatenation Operator" again, then double click the "First Name" field in the field list. Add another space with the text operator, then the concatenation operator again and so on until your calculation contains all the parts of the name from courtesy title through name extension.

Populate the database with records if you have not already done so, either by importing data from a text file or by typing the information into the fields.

Look at the calculated full name field in the records of your FileMaker Pro file. It should show the full name of each person whose record appears in the database.

About the Author

Elizabeth Mott has been a writer since 1983. Mott has extensive experience writing advertising copy for everything from kitchen appliances and financial services to education and tourism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Indiana State University.

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