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Main Chapter Getting Started Manual Programmer Manual

Creating Files and Fields

Creating a File

To create a new file, use the Modify File Attributes option and enter the new file name (from 3 to 45 characters in length) when asked:


and respond with YES when asked "Are you adding 'xxxxxxxx' as a new FILE?" (where "xxxxxxxx" represents the new file name).

Naming a New File

File names should be chosen so that they can easily be distinguished from each other. If different people are creating files, it can be helpful to include their initials, nick names, or other identifying phrases within the file name:


NOTE: The name for your new file should not contain any arithmetic or string operators like + - * / \ _ or punctuation like a colon (":").

An internal number must be assigned to this new file. You are prompted with the next available internal file number. You can either simply press the Enter/Return key (a null response) to accept that number, or enter a number not already assigned to a file.

Your new file is now initialized. VA FileMan creates the NAME field (field number .01), which is free text, 3 to 30 characters in length, non-numeric, and has no leading punctuation. You will see the following message:

    A FreeText NAME Field (#.01) has been created.

The .01 field's definition can be modified like any other field: it does not have to be FREE TEXT; its label need not be NAME; and so forth. The .01 field should be the key attribute of an entry used to identify it and to order the entries for lookups. (However, entries can be identified and ordered by other fields through cross-references.) We have provided an example of creating a new file using the Modify File Attributes option.

After creating a new file, you can define any number of fields for the new file, as described in the "Creating Fields" topic.


Reviewed/Updated: March 4, 2007