The Character data type includes letters, numbers, and characters. Use this data type for alphanumeric data entry, such as names or for numbers which are a “string of digits,” such as a PO number or Social Security Number. You can change from any other data type to Character. You cannot change from Character to another data type.
Keep in mind that changing the data type will likely affect how the data sorts. For example, numbers that use the Character data type sort differently than with a numeric sort. 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 2, 20, 21, 22 will sort into 1, 10, 11, 12, 20, 21. For a Character Field, use the pound sign (#) to restrict the entry to digits, although it does not control the number of digits entered.
The length of a Character Field defaults to 50 characters. You can increase the maximum length up to 8000 characters.
Possible Data Loss
It is possible to edit a Character Field to make it shorter, but if you make the Field shorter than any current data in the Field you will risk losing data.
GlobalCapture allows you to enter in a length shorter than any current data and then, when you open up existing documents with values longer than the new length, it will not let you save the document with any new data until you have altered the Field value and made the data the minimum number of characters specified in the Index Field Length setting.
Numeric data types can only be integers (whole numbers, no fractions). The appearance of Numeric Fields can be controlled with the Format box. (Refer to Values for Formatting Index Fields for details.) The Numeric data type supports values from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.
Use the Date data type for date, time, or both date and time Fields. The appearance of Date Fields can be controlled with Formats. (Refer to Values for Formatting Index Fields for details.)
The Decimal data type can only include integers or decimals. Use for this data type for Fields denoting money. The appearance of Decimal Fields can be controlled with Formats. (Refer to Values for Formatting Index Fields for details.)
Numbers can be enter and stored with as many decimal places as the maximum set length allows. However, the Format setting will control how many decimal places will display. The value that is displayed will be rounded up or down if the Format supports fewer decimal places than the data that was entered. The Decimal data type supports values from -1.79E+308 to -2.23E-308, 0 and 2.23E-308 to 1.79E+308.