8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2013 12:00 PM by philmodjunk

    Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility



      Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility



           Hi all,

           I have recently spent a pretty considerably amount of time creating a new solution in Filemaker Pro 12. I decided to totally rewrite one of our existing files in Filemaker Pro 12 and in the process change the structure and add a lot more features. This all went according to plan (apart from taking about 3 times longer then I'd though).

           I develop on Filemaker Pro Advanced 12 on Mac OS X generally, however we do have one or two Windows users that end up using the solutions which causes us problems.

           I have a laundry list of annoying oddities that seam to occur when a file which displays perfectly in Filemaker on Mac OS X, but cause issues on Filemaker for Windows. Here's a selection of the one's I've noticed recently:

      1.           The font spacing, particularly line spacing is bigger on Windows the it is on Mac OS X, so some things don't fit and printed pages look different on Windows then they were designed on Mac. And yes, the font's used are available on both Mac OS X and Windows.
      3.           On my newest file (created from scratch in Filemaker 12) a collection of images which have transparent backgrounds and display correctly under Mac OS X suddenly have white backgrounds when the File is opened under Windows.
      5.           A popup Menu that under Mac OS X the user can type and the list will jump to value in the list for quick entry doesn't work under Windows. The user must scroll through the list until they get to the right record. In my latest project there is over 1700 items in one popup menu and since the menu's scroll so painfully slowly, it can take ages to get to a value near the end of the list. This takes mere seconds on a Mac.
      7.           We're unable to copy and paste text from a web page shown in a web viewer on Windows where we can on a Mac.
      9.           Images and text sometimes don't print correctly (a top section of the text is cut off or an image is blurry) when printing a layout on Windows that otherwise displays as expected on Mac OS X.

           Overall database files that look rather impressive under Mac OS X just look off and somewhat wrong when opened on Windows. The Windows version of Filemaker just looks like a somewhat badly put together look alike to the Mac OS X version.

           With all that in mind, has anyone else come across any of the above? Are there any tips for ensuring Mac / Windows compatibility? Is the issue worse under Filemaker 12 or has it always been this bad? I have seen some commercial Filemaker solutions that seam to work and look almost identical on both Windows and Mac OS X, so I know it's not totally impossible to get things to work between platforms.

        • 1. Re: Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility

               Items 1 through 4 are Standard MacOS versus Window issues.  FileMaker has no control over them.

               I am not sure about number 5.

               I have exactly the same situation as you do.  MacOS development.  Windows users.

               File paths, Sound and Voice Speaking are also different.   PhilModJunk, and consultant and Robust helper in this Forum, will soon be sharing a FMP tutuorial on File paths.


               Save pictures a .PNG vs .JPG.  

               Use common Windows Fonts in MacOS.  Note which ones are in FMP templates.

               Don't make small spacing between Layout objects.

               Use minimal number of multiline Text Objects.

               Have a Windows tester during your develoment to "catch as you go"wink


               Search the knowledge base for Mac vs. Windows.... I dont have the link but FM put out a paper on them.




          • 2. Re: Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility

            Troubleshooting layouts designed for both Windows and Mac OS


                 Separate Layouts for Windows and Mac is sometimes the solution

                 If[Abs(Get(SystemPlatform)) = 2]
                 # code for windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7 is -2
                 Go To Layout["Windows layout"]
                 Else if [Abs(Get(SystemPlatform)) = 1]
                 # code for powerPC Mac is -1; Intel-based Mac is 1
                 Go To Layout["Mac layout"]

            • 3. Re: Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility

                   I recommend using MacBook Pro with Parallels, then you can run MAC os, Windows 7, and Windows 8.  You have to purchase each operating system but it still better than having three different machines to test. Filemaker comes with Windows and MAC version on same CD.  You can install Filemaker on the MAC then on the Windows virtual machine, for testing and building runtimes for both platforms.

              • 4. Re: Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility


                     If you are Windows based, buy a Mac Mini and do the same as S chamblee suggest.enlightened


                • 5. Re: Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility

                       Thanks guys... I run an IT company so I'm pretty sure I can work out how to run Windows or Mac OS X on darn near anything if I wanted to....

                       I actually don't accept for one second at all that "Items 1 through 4 are Standard MacOS versus Window issues.  FileMaker has no control over them." Mac OS X / Windows cross platform issues like this pretty much died with Mac OS 9. I can write a word document in Word Mac print it, and then open the same file on Word under Windows and print it there to the same printer. The documents are identical in both character spacing and line spacing and on a light box I can line up the text of each page without so much as a millimetre of difference. I even used in my test the font used in one of Filemaker's template, Tahoma which is the font I use throughout my new file. Now those of you in the know should be aware that Word Mac and Word Windows are two totally different applications written by two different teams. If they can managed to reproduce the same results cross platform then I don't see why Filemaker can't.

                       Have a look at the screenshot and you'll see what the image issue I'm seeing is... It's just plain random.

                       Now in what world would not being able to copy and paste from the web viewer in Filemaker be normal behaviour, under any operating system? As for the popup menu, it's a Filemaker popup menu, not an OS style popup menu. Those of you have used Windows would also know that if it was a Windows popup menu then it would work as expected as I regurarly use them this way when I'm working on a Windows machine.

                       The print quality thing is just frustrating and doesn't make any sense whatso ever...

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility

                         I have no problems converting Mac Word to Windows Word, since Word/Excel was born on a Mac.  I am not here to convince you of my help.  Take it to FileMaker, see if there is a bug in their programing. 

                         1) Mac does a "Screen Image and prints it"  for some dumb reason Windows document do a final character shift for spacing. Not Filemaker.

                         2) JPG on Window assume a white background, Mac not. FMP has nothing to do with it

                         3) PNG formats don't assume a background.

                         4) Clipboard copy and paste are differnent from Window to Mac.

                         Please read the links for David.  Good luck in trying to get FM to change a Mac/Win problem


                    • 7. Re: Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility

                           BTW  all controls [buttons, scroll bars, radio buttons, check boxes, menues] , windows styles, Text Editing fields, video card calls, network call, etc 

                      ARE NOT controlled by FileMaker.  For platform consistancy the are generate by each platform.

                           Filemaker simply passes the parameters that you, the User, and/or Filemaker want to do, to a subrountine in MacOS or Windows.

                           Every Mouse click is dectected and passed to FM with time, point and if was clicked in a window, control or various objects created by the platform.

                           FM reacts to the clicks.

                           This is how you program a machine/platform level.surprise

                           Applications like FileMaker are 4th generation interpreters.


                           Pop Up menus are Platform specific.


                      • 8. Re: Filemaker Cross Platform (Mac / Windows) Compatibility

                             Because the space requirements increase for text in windows. Often, there is less "tweaking" needed for your layout if you do the original layout design in Windows and then open it for checking on the mac system.