How to use data entry field to pull proxy data instead of a drop down?

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In my parent table I have the field [Email] and in the child table many enteries that can be related to the unique field of [Email].  Rather than having a drop down where a user sees every email address in the table I want them to enter their email address and then have the form for the child table update with Name, etc.from the parent table.  I have tried several different iterations and only seem to get a drop down option to work.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Posted 3 years ago

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no problem

Make a formula field called [email mirror] with the formula of the [email] data entry field.

Make the email field the Key field of your contacts table.

Make the relationship where 1 email contact has many children based on that [email mirror] field.  What will happen is that you will key into the [email] field and when you tab out of the data entry field, the [email mirror] field will recalculate and pull in the lookup fields.
Here's another idea. You can have one relationship based on the direct email field drop down. Then another based on a formula field of the direct relationship if the drop down selected is not blank, else a data entry field.

That way you user can try a direct hit by typing, but if that fails, then they can still use the Browse option to do a search. Yes, search is slower, but you only use that when the fast method fails.