Why won't FIND work in Base forms

I’m trying to set up a database in Base, and I can’t make FIND (or FIND AND REPLACE) work in a Form. If I have to go to a Table to do a search, I may as well be using Calc.

Oh wow! So simple! Like everything is, when you know how. Thank you, JohnD. Thank you so much. And thank you also, tohuwawohu, for your detailed answer, but the little “find” icon is all I need, and exactly what I need, for what I’m doing. Thank you both again.

In the standard form window, in the lower left corner next to the Record number there is an icon for Find Record. Using that, you get a dialog with lots of search options.

Base is a frontend for SQL databases. A database isn’t a document like a Writer document or a Calc sheet, so you can’t expect that Base supports the common operations you’re familiar with from Writer, Calc or Impress. If you don’t want to handle a huge amount of data, or if your data isn’t structured, Base may not the best choice for you if you don’t have much experience with SQL databases.

Regarding Base’s database object: Forms aren’t the best tool to search data in Base. They are mostly a means to input and edit data. If you want to search data, you should create appropriate queries. If your emphasis is generating a printable out, Reports are your friend.

Since Base can handle very huge amounts of data, there a special tools to search and access data. There are three ways to access the data:

  • pure SQL: for advanced users - requires SQL knowledge, no GUI help;
  • Queries: here you can define queries so you don’t have to formulate them every time you want to query your data.
  • Reports: use reports to get a “printable” output of your data. The default layouts aren’t really good IMHO, but there’s a report generator" extension that makes the creation of modern reports easier.

I recommend to check out the available tutorials on using Base, for example this one from sheepdogguides.com (it’s for OpenOffice Base, but the concepts are the same).