5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2012 8:29 AM by philmodjunk

    Printing Imported PDF files

    JimMac

      Title

      Printing Imported PDF files

      Post

      I am creating a multiform database FMP 12 on Mac Lion.  I am able to import a multi-page PDF file (or form) into a single container field and scroll throught each PDF page.  I want to print a copy of all PDF pages from within Filemaker.  Single page PDF files work ok, but depending on how the PDF was made, they can be distorted.

      I can right click on the container field that has multi-pages and get an drop down menu option which includes "Open with Preview". If I select this, I get a complete, clear set of pages in the Preview application that prints perfectly.  However the database will be accessed by Windows (no Preview application) and Mac users.

      Questions:

      1) Is there a way to print each page of a multi-page PDF in a single container field from within Filemaker 12 with or without distortion?

      2) Can I get the drop down menu to say "Open with Adobe"?

      3) If any answer is affirmative to 1 or 2, can I program Filemaker to Print each page, even if it is an external application?

      Thanks...

      Jim...

        • 1. Re: Printing Imported PDF files
          philmodjunk

          "open in preview" on a mac is just open the PDF file in Windows using a PDF reader.

          Export Field Contents can export a copy of the file and then open the file stored in the container via the computer's installed PDF reader application and then you can print it. This will work on both platforms and can be scripted.

          • 2. Re: Printing Imported PDF files
            JimMac

            Thanks for the fast response.  I was just reading the FMP12 Manual (last resort,Wink) when I saw your response.  I did a quick script and found that I can print one PDF container at a time.  Mac will also open Adobe if the preference to open .pdf is set to Adobe.  This may be the only course open to me, but I was hoping to print a series of PDF containers i.e.,  Record 2,9,15 & 24 for example.   I found only 1 FMP container at a time was possible.  A bit tedious, but functional.

            I was hoping to script a loop of user selected forms or a found set (separtate records like example) and print them all while user sipped some coffee.  Alas, each time I opened Adobe or Preview it deleted the previous file, thus; select one record in FMP, send to Adobe, print the PDF file, return to FMP, select another FMP record and repeat the procedure by hand.

            I am open to a more automated, multi-PDF container bulk print if you have some thoughts  or suggestions.

            Thanks again for clearing up the Windows side for me.

            Jim...

            • 3. Re: Printing Imported PDF files
              philmodjunk

              WHen you use export field contents to open a file, you can specify the name and location of the file, thus you can export each file using a unique name and one will not delete the next when you open them.

              • 4. Re: Printing Imported PDF files
                JimMac

                Thanks again.  Although I confused "bulk printing" try, your answer did lead me to a "work around".  If i looped through mulitple "forms", the "Automatic open file" option seemed to restart the Adobe application clearing (deleting the document not the file) the last PDF.  This required the tedious single print mode.

                However, you triggered the Mac "drag and drop" print option (not sure on Windows).  Prodcedure:

                1) Create a "Print Folder"

                2) Create a print document for each PDF print (unique file name) inside that folder.  Thus Multiple print files are created in a loop inside FMP12.

                3) Create an alias (short cut) of the desired printer.

                4) Drag and Drop the "Print Folder" onto the Printer alias and all the files inside the folder will print automatically.

                A bit more automated, but requires a user to do some file management.

                Thanks,

                Jim...

                • 5. Re: Printing Imported PDF files
                  philmodjunk

                  You may want to investigate to see if a system script such as AppleScript can cause Adobe to print a PDF for you. If so, such a script can be performed from a FileMaker script. The downside to this as you will need a different system script (or batch file in windows) for each platform. But that way, you can spool up a series of print jobs that will print each PDF document.

                  Another alternative to consider is that if you can design FileMaker to produce a report that matches your PDF document, a script can then use Save As PDF to both generate the PDF and append such a PDF to an existing PDF file. This might make it possible to generate a single PDF that can then be printed from the PDF reader's file menu instead of a group of such documents.