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Automatic Field Calculations

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Assigning a calculation to a field

There are several ways to run a calculation or a series (the term "calculation" refers to both "calculation" and "series" in this topic):

  • By opening the addon interface, selecting the calculation and clicking the Run button. That's what we saw in the topic called Creating a calculation;
  • By assigning the calculation to a field so that the calculation takes place when you change the value of this field.
  • By adding a button to your layout and assigning the calculation to this button (See topic called "How to add a calculation button to your layout";

Assigning a calculation to a field is easy. The strategy behind it requires a bit of explanation: typically you want to assign your calculation to all fields involved in the calculation, except the target field (Automatic Field Calculations will not let you anyway).

Indeed, if your calculation adds User1 and User2 into User3, you probably want to have your calculation run automatically every time you change User1 or User2 to update User3. That's why you probably want to assign the calculation to User1 and User2.

Why won't AFC let you assign your calculation to the target field? Because you might enter an endless loop. Imagine a different calculation than before: now you are adding User1 and User2 into User2. In other words, you are using the target field as part of your calculation. If you assign the calculation to both User1 and User2, then when User1 changes, User2 is automatically updated, right? But then because of the field assignment to User2, AFC would run the calculation again and that in turn would update User2 which would trigger the calculation again and so on. In this case, a button next to User1 or User2 would be the perfect way to run your calculation.

Here is a video showing you how to assign a calculation to a field.

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Functions Reference guide (PDF download)

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How to add a calculation button to your layout

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