Some dropdown lists allow you to combine two or more values into one.
A common reason for doing this is to correct bad or similar spellings of the same word. For example, suppose you have a number of members assigned to the city, "My Town", and several others assigned to, "My Towne." If you open the City list and change "My Towne" to "My Town" by renaming the incorrect version, you'll find that the list now shows two seemingly identical entries. However, to the database they are completely different. Here's why:
The database identifies these records by an internal ID number. So previously, you had:
My Town - ID: 34
My Towne - ID: 41
After you renamed it, you were left with:
My Town - ID: 34
My Town - ID: 41
You never knew about these internal IDs, and don't have a reason to care about them. But as far as the database knows, it still has an "ID 34" and an "ID 41" record, they just both happen to display as "My Town." It only cares about the IDs.
That means if you use the city as report criteria, and choose "My Town", you may or may not get all the records you'd expect. That's because choosing the first entry really means, "find everyone with a city of '34'", and choosing the other one means, "find everyone with a city of '41'".
The way to correct this is to tell the database to merge the values into one so you're left with only one "My Town" entry. Merging tells the system to find every record where the city is EITHER 34 or 41, and change them to point to a single value.
To Merge Records
If the list you open allows merging, the Merge button will be displayed.
|1||Select two or more records to merge. |
Note: The record to merge "to" must already exist, so create it first if necessary. In other words, if in this example we wanted to combined these values to a new value called, "Charity Event" we'd have to create that first because it isn't in the list already. In this case, we're going to combine everything into a value that is already in the list.
|2||Click the Merge button.|
|3||On the Merge Names window, choose the version of the name you want to keep, and if you would like the other versions removed, be sure the "Remove old..." checkbox is ticked. In this example, we're going to let the system discard the other names.|
|4||Click Merge and confirm the change. All appropriate records will be modified to point to the name you choose to keep.|
|5||Click OK to close the window. (Note, choosing Cancel will not cancel the merge, because the database has already been modified and records have been converted.)|