A virtual field is a field that links to another field in a lookup file. Creating virtual fields provides a way to easily access information included in a lookup file from any other file, such as the Client file, Contact file, etc., which can help minimize double entry in the software. Additionally, virtual fields pull information from the lookup file, but cannot be edited. Virtual fields are read-only. This means that the information will be consistent everywhere the virtual fields are used. Examples of virtual fields include contact information. When you open the Client file, the address, Web Page, phone number, and Email fields are all virtual fields that pull from the Contact lookup file.
Let’s say you have created a lookup file for courts, and you want to display several fields from this lookup file in the Client file. This can be accomplished by using virtual fields. First, you must add a Lookup field to the Client File that will designate which record in the lookup file will be associated with the client. Then you can add one or more virtual fields.
To add a Lookup field to the Client File
To add a virtual field to the same file
You can now use the Form Designer to add the new Lookup and Virtual fields to the Client file. Now, let’s say that down the road you also decide you want some of the information from the lookup file to appear in the Journal, Calendar, or Document Management files. Simply follow the instructions above for the desired file. Each virtual field will pull the information from the lookup file, so the information will always be the same regardless of which file you are accessing.
Once virtual fields have been added to a file, they can also be used in the Report Writer and in filtering data. Take a few minutes to review lookup files you have added to the software, and where the information from these files might be useful. Haven’t added any lookup files yet? Now might be the time to take a look at how your data is set up, and to see how much time lookup files and virtual fields might save you!
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