FileMaker and PDF Containers

Document created by monkeybreadsoftware on Aug 30, 2018
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There are sometimes problems with Containers as you see in various FileMaker forums. Well, the problem may be that FileMaker can do only previews on Mac as they don't include a PDF engine for Windows. So if you try and add files and check with Container.GetTypes function in MBS FileMaker Plugin what items are in the container, you get a table like this:


FileMaker 16 Win
Any ContainerInsert FileFILE, FNAM
Any ContainerInsert PictureFNAM, PDF
Interactive ContainerInsert PDFFNAM, PDF
After using DynaPDF.GeneratePreviewFNAM, JPEG, MAIN, PDF , SIZE
FileMaker 16 Mac
Any ContainerInsert FileFILE, FNAM
Any ContainerInsert PictureFNAM, JPEG, MAIN, PDF , PNGf, SIZE
Interactive ContainerInsert PDFFNAM, JPEG, MAIN, PDF , PNGf, SIZE
After using PDFKit.Combine functionFNAM, JPEG, MAIN, PDF , SIZE


We have a couple of common types in the containers:

  • "PDF " is the PDF file data.
  • FILE is the content of a file.
  • JPEG if exists is the JPEG preview data.
  • PNGf if exists is a preview as PNG image file.
  • FNAM is the file name for the container.
  • SIZE is the preview image size.


Now you need to know that FileMaker can render PDF on Mac on the fly (without annotations!), but on Windows it needs the preview. Or for all platforms use a web viewer for the interactive container to let the web engine render the PDF using it's PDF plugin.


You can of course always use MBS functions to check if preview is missing and add it on the fly using both PDFKit and DynaPDF functions. This could even be done on a server with a scheduled script or on a helper machine. The MBS Plugin adds a JPEG preview and you can use Plugin.SetPreviewSize function to configure preview size.




Christian Schmitz

Monkeybread Software


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I may receive some form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from my recommendation or link.

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