Cannot enter phone numbers into Pattern Field

Set up a table of employees Name phone number etc
Then created a Form of EMPLOYEES in edit mode I deleted the phone number field and replaced it with a Pattern Field.
Literal string (***) -_
Referenced the DATA to the Phone field
I then placed it in the proper tab order.

Now whenever I go into enter data I tab to the phone field it becomes highlighted and I cannot enter any data.

Any help?

Although it looks like this hasn’t been answered, I too have this issue with a pattern field that I created for a phone number. I “am” able to enter the phone number, but I have to manually move the cursor to the first number before it will allow me to enter anything. I have done other pattern fields and even though the cursor goes to the end of the field when I tab into it, those fields automatically let me type and they go to the first character on their own without any issues. Please help.

I ran out of space lol. Here are my mask setups:
Literal Mask: (**) -
Edit Mask: LNNNLLNNNLNNNN (same as OP’s)
Order is correct, the field works as intended so I “think” that part is setup correctly, but the tabbing doesn’t seem to allow me to auto type in the numbers, it isn’t starting in the first number slot as it should I guess.

I think you plan to have three digits, not one between the parentheses, so for a standard phone number your Literal mask should probably be:

(***) ___-____         Not:  (*) ___-____

* is not special, i.e. does not represent a wild card, or optional input, or anything like that.

However to begin entering a phone number with that mask, you must first move the cursor to the first editable character, i.e. not an L in the Edit mask.

Instead I think you might want to use this Literal mask which avoids that issue:


Or better yet, simply:

    -   -         (that's 3 spaces, dash, 3 spaces, another dash, & don't need 4 trailing spaces.)

Gotchas to watch out for:

  1. A Pattern Field Control located directly within a form edits quite differently than a Pattern Field Control found within a Table Control. At this time (v5.4) I suggest using Pattern Fields only in a Table Control. Play with them yourself to see why.

  2. If you have existing data in a field, without the dashes in it, and you change from Text field to Pattern field, and then edit a field in a record, the data is magically upgraded to have dashes in it. This might make your data inconsistant.

  3. There is a known bug in the Table Control where you can not change a Text field into a Pattern field. The workaround for now is to right click to the right of other fields and select Insert Column, Pattern Field. Then hook up this new table field to your data. (BTW, you can have more than one table control field attached to the data at the same time, i.e. one Text box, and one Pattern field, so you can see what is going on.)


A good Pattern Field Tutorial is here:

By writing your masks in a fixed width font you can more clearly see how these two operate together:

LNNNLLNNNLNNNN   <-- An Edit mask (specs. allowable input for each char. pos.).
(***) ___-____   <-- A associated Literal mask  
(123) 456-7890   <-- An example phone number entry  

(123) 456-7890   <-- Actual data stored in field  

It’s easier to input your Literal mask first, then your Edit mask 2nd. (Hopefully these two can be reversed to make things more orderly.)

Edit Mask Key:

L - Literal				:  Use "Literal mask"'s character value for this character position, 
                             i.e. this position can not be edited.

a -	Alpha		 		:  Input a-z & A-Z          | Output a-z & A-Z
A -	Alpha		  upper :  Input a-z & A-Z          | Output       A-Z 					

c -	Alpha-numeric		:  Input a-z, A-Z, & 0-9	| Output a-z, A-Z, & 0-9
C -	Alpha-numeric upper	:  Input a-z, A-Z, & 0-9	| Output      A-Z, & 0-9

N -	Numeric				:  Input 			 0-9	| Output			 0-9

x - Any			 		:  Input *					| Output *    (All characters accepted)
X -	Any			  upper :  Input *					| Output uppercase *

With the “upper” flavors a-z will be automatically converted to A-Z.

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