I’m sure @kjm is aware and just mistyped, but now() is not a date function, it is a time function. So it should be used with timepattern(, not datepattern(. But his most important point stands, you can use any date field with the datepattern( function.
The rule is that function names always end with a (. So if you see ( on the end, like today(), sin(, upper(, etc, that is a function. The ( must be immediately after the function name, with no space. So
today (). This isn’t really a Panorama invention, almost every programming language uses this convention of ( at the end of function names.
By the way, function names are not case sensitive, so
Today() are all allowed. But field and variable names are case sensitive, so if you have a field named Birthday, you must spell it exactly that way, and not
There is no special place for fields. A field can be used anywhere a value is allowed, so can a function, or for that matter a complete formula. So if you wanted to display the date one month from today, you could use this formula:
Or if you wanted to display the date 90 days after a person’s hiring date, you could use this formula.
So it’s not just a question of “where does the field go?” – a field is just one type of value that can occur in a formula.
I don’t disagree with your point that it would be nice if every function had detailed documentation of every possible permutation and use, but it’s just not possible. There are already 4 million characters of documentation for Panorama X! So what you need to do is learn the basic rules about how formulas are put together, then once you know the rules, you’ll be able to apply them to every function you use.
Advanced Note: Most programming languages only allow letters and numbers in field and variable names. Panorama, however, allows any character in a field or variable name. For example, you could set up a field with a name of
P/E Ratio. But what if you use this field in a formula, like this?
P/E Ratio * 2
This formula will result in an error, because the formula parser will think it means
P divided by
E, then it won’t know what to do with
Ratio. It thinks this name is 4 separate elements. To tell the formula parser that this is a single name, not a series of separate elements, you must surround the name with the « and » characters (called chevrons), like this:
«P/E Ratio» * 2
Since using this technique a field or variable name could contain any character, you could even use a
( symbol in a field or variable name, then use it in a formula like this:
So this formula means "get the value of the field or variable named
today(), which is different from using the today() function, which is the same but with no chevrons.
Of course this is extraordinarily confusing, so I don’t recommend giving a field or variable a name like this. In fact, I almost always stick to field and variable names with only letters, so I don’t need to ever use chevrons and any possible confusion is avoided. Remember, in Panorama X you can give a field a name with only letters, while still giving it a title that will be displayed in the data sheet with other characters. So you could make a field named
PERatio, with a title of
P.S. The one character that you cannot put into a field or variable name is »!