Since the advent of the PDF-Exporting functionality in FileMaker (because it enabled the possibility to save a PDF-file with a scripted name) we are using FileMaker to produce some kind of large inventory catalogs referencing high resolution images to the database records. For this kind of usage images can not be stored within the FM database. From these catalog FM-databases we are producing indexes with images and also detailed object pages with several images placed on the layout.
Unfortunately we have to big issues with the feature set and the processing mode of the PDF-Exporting functionality:
- creation/generation of the exported PDF-document is accomplished totally in FM working memory prior the PDF-document is written to the destination file. Thus for our purpose of exporting a large multi-paged document with high resolutions images, all image data is loaded in the FM working memory space, getting FM solving down more and more and make it to crash after exceeding about 1GB of working memory space (we had emitted this issue some years ago to the European FM-Support). Using the MacOSX print to PDF functionality works different, as page per page rendered/processed as PDF is written out to the destination file and the FM working memory space does never grow quasi infinitely. But this alternative is not really usable, as the destination files name is not scriptable. Our workaround is to export FM scripted page per page as a single file by the FM own PDF-Exporting functionality and thereafter to collate the single pages PDF-files by Adobe Acrobat to single PDF-document (though not every single page manually). That is really laborious.
- of course image data is exported to the exported PDF-files to the full extent, even if an image container on a layout has the displayed size of a thumbnail. Thus a single page may have as PDF-file an equivalent of more than 30MB. Thereforein addition to the above described collating process, every PDF-file has to be processed by Adobe Acrobat to be optimized on image resolution (300dpi, 150dpi, 72dpi ... whatever is needed). Thug also this process can be accomplished within Acrobat in a batch, but this is an additional and time consuming work step. Therefore it would be very convenient if the FM PDF-Exporting functionality would have the option for image resolution optimization as scriptable setting option, as for example have most desktop publishing tools like Adobe InDesing or CAD-tools etc.
When I contacted several year ago the European FM-Support, they told me, that FM is using the Adobe PDF Library for the FM PDF-Exporting functionality. So the possibility to set image resolution optimization options should be already there, as it is also for third party software using the Adobe PDF Library. And finally it should not be to much complicated to implement also the page per page write out to the PDF-file (as an option - in our case we will not envisage to store a 1000 page PDF document in the FM internal media container), as also other third party software using the Adobe PDF-Library are able to accomplish that.
many thanks for improving FM (with basic functionalities), best regards, André