6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2011 5:09 AM by DavidWerling

    quickly placing graphics into Containers



      quickly placing graphics into Containers


      I need to populate a whole bunch of container fields in a FileMaker 8.5 database with JPGs (that is, many, many records with a single container each, not a lot of containers in a single record). Problem is, the graphics are in a load of different folders in Finder--and you can't drag and drop JPGs from Finder into FileMaker. So far, I've added a bunch by opening them one-by-one in Preview, copying them, closing them, switching to FileMaker, then pasting.


      Slow and tedious. 


      Automation possibilities are limited--the files are spread out over a load of folders, and I'll need to manually select which ones are to be added within a folder with perhaps dozens of others. Though drag and drop would have been the easiest method, is there any other work-around?

        • 1. Re: quickly placing graphics into Containers

          Hi, ScottAR


          You mention 'Finder', so I assume you're using a Mac.  Unfortunately I'm using a PC but the principle might be enough to get you going:


          - (Actually drag-and-drop appears to work for me)

          -  Right-click on the container field (I know, I know... Does 'Command-click' replicate that?) and choose 'Insert picture...'.  (You get a range of other 'Insert...' choices.  If you have trouble sleeping some night, try playing with the 'Insert Object...' option - it is amazing.)  Or use the 'Insert' menu.

          - Use the 'Open...' dialogue box to navigate to the JPEG file you want.  Hopefully the Mac will give you a preview of it as you click to select.

          - Could I strongly recommend that you do *not* do a 'simple 'Insert' ', but click the option to 'Store only a reference'.  In my experience the size of the FM file will explode as you add more objects if you truly copy-and-paste them into the field (but I will stand corrected, of course, if that is not universally the case.)

          - The big upside is that you keep a small FM file.  A downside (if you can call it that) is that once you have linked to the file you can't move it or re-name it or the record will lose track of the file it is displaying. But that should be covered under your 'Good Housekeeping' rules, anyway.

          - Also, if you move the file on to another computer, for example, you will have to copy the referenced JPEG files as well, or ensure that their original location is still accessible to the FM file.


          I've used this lots to catalogue photos and files and never had a problem.




          • 2. Re: quickly placing graphics into Containers

            Unfortunately, that's just as slow and tedious as what I'd suggested--worse, actually, since I'd have to navigate to the folders in the open dialog. I'm taking about adding hundreds of images (over time), and right-clicking>Insert picture, then navigating to the folder would take forever. Opening the JPG and copy/paste is faster, though actual drag-and-drop would be much faster.


            Maybe it's the version of FM I'm using (8.5) that's the problem, but drag and drop won't work for me. I'd found this:


            a Google Books link to "FileMaker Pro 8.5 Bible." It states:

            "You cannot, however, drag the icon of a graphic from the Mac Finder (except for clipping files) or Windows desktop into a layout. I found that while searching for reasons why I couldn't manage it. 

            • 3. Re: quickly placing graphics into Containers

              Have you tried File > Import Records > Folder... Specify a folder location and include all enclosed folders. Import the pictures (maybe just a reference depending on your needs).


              Since you say "the files are spread out over a load of folders, and I'll need to manually select which ones are to be added within a folder with perhaps dozens of others", I see that as your problem with the images rather than something FileMaker Pro can solve. I would suggest that you import all the images and then run through deleting the records you don't want. Or just move/copy all the images you want to a single location and import from there.

              • 4. Re: quickly placing graphics into Containers

                Unfortunately, that also won't work. I have hundreds of folders with JPEGs in them, but I'm only importing *one* image from each folder--basically, a representative image.


                Basically, I'm trying to create a catalog of these folders. The main database contents are textual, organized on a folder-by-folder basis, one record for each folder. Each folder is a distinct set, and I'm using one JPEG from each folder for each record.


                Drag and drop from Finder would have been fine, but that doesn't work. Importing each image then deleting is a no-go; I'd be deleting 99% of scores of thousands of images. I guess I'm limited to double clicking the image and copy-paste. Awkward, but that's all that is available.

                • 5. Re: quickly placing graphics into Containers


                  ScriptMaster Plug-in

                  Function Get File As Container: This reads the contents of a file (pathToFile) into a container field.
                  If the file does not exist, the path of the file is returned. Change the path to an existing image on your hard drive and run again.
                  Whenever your script returns a File object, it is converted to container data.
                  Since the File object is the last evaluated expression, it is returned as the result of the plugin function call.



                  Troi File Plug-in

                  Get images and the metadata (IPTC, Exif, GPS, XML) of those images inside your FileMaker database and write IPTC and Exif metadata too


                  Happy FileMaking Ralph Nusser


                  • 6. Re: quickly placing graphics into Containers

                    One can drag and drop from iPhoto into filemaker 11,   Open iPhoto and and one after the other quickly import the various jpg. folders on your Mac.  Each import will be treated as a separate event so albums do not need to be created.  Go to events view.  Create a keyword such as "Representative Photo" and pop up or type R to quickly flag each representative photo from each folder import (event) .  Create a Smart album that automatically pulls up photos with the keyword(s) from across the entire iPhoto library.  

                    At this point one can drag and drop photos into record containers. Alternatively one could export the photos into an external file with the right picture format. However before exporting from the smart album one can use iPhoto to batch change the picture tiles to automatically sequence them in an order number that matches your Filemaker record numbers.   I would guess this would greatly facilitate using  the "get file As Container" script  

                    If your pictures are more than just a dozen k in size each would strongly recommend the advice on storing by reference or script otherwise Filemaker will respond slowly with the number of records you appear to be talking about.

                    [Warning: it seems that drag and drop on a Mac is in a Quicktime format which does not display on a Windows computer in Filemaker. ]

                    The latter may be only a lack of Windows plugin for decompression of jpgs in the Quicktime media container or other easily fixable issue.  DOES ANYONE KNOW a solution to the decompression and display issue.