Businesses all over the world and of every size and type spend countless hours every day typing the same thing over again. Contracts and legal documents are classic examples of this. The tools of choice are word processors and spreadsheets, creating hundreds, or thousands of individual documents that have to be filed using a complex hierarchical filing system designed so that any document can be, relatively, easily retrieved. User’s drill down to file and then drill down again to retrieve but there’s ‘no oil in them thar hills’; just a ton of unnecessary work and effort.
Copying and pasting, from one document to another is commonplace but often it is easier to just type something again than find it in another document.
But why would any business or person want to type the same thing over and over again. Apart from the time wasted, and time is the most valuable commodity any of us has, it is frustrating and fraught with errors, not only spelling ones but inconsistency because somebody wasn’t paying attention.
The reason that businesses do this and use Microsoft Word or Excel is that they simply do not know there is a better way of doing things but there is.
It’s called FileMaker and is the most powerful tool for business that you’ve probably never heard of.
It is also completely cross-platform, running on Mac OS, Windows OS and IOS devices.
FileMaker™ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple and has been around since the mid-1980s; startling longevity in the database world. In its current iteration (Version 17) it is an absolute powerhouse with the ability to connect to almost every data source on the planet.
Yes, FileMaker™ is a relational database program and is most often used in business scenarios to process data.
However, FileMaker™ also has superb text handling capabilities which are, more often than not, completely overlooked.
But, not any more!
producing complex documents in a matter of minutes with virtually no typing and just a few mouse clicks.
keeping all of those documents in one place and allow any user to find any document just by typing in a keyword, or phrase.
allowing you to type a new document once and then be able to use that same document as many times as you need, with all the right information being automatically entered.
preventing having to type the same thing twice while minimizing errors and mistakes.
Master Documents are created using a combination of text and placeholders.
Placeholders are always enclosed in double chevrons, and shown in blue text so they stand out.
In simple terms, each placeholder is automatically replaced with the value of a specific (data) field.
That value can be a single word, a sentence, a paragraph or a list of values (converted into a properly formatted sentence.
Any change made by the user is automatically and instantly reflected in the document they are working on.
Users can sometimes choose between multiple options each of which has a different value and which may also include placeholders.
Users define their own value lists which can be edited at any time.