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Report output in plain text ?

Question asked by dandrake on Mar 10, 2010
Latest reply on Mar 15, 2010 by dandrake


Report output in plain text ?


I have a weirdly old-fashioned problem as the days tick down on my 30-day free trial.


The test case for the evaluation is a database that has been running for years in FoxPro -- version 2.6, how's that for old? I see no problem with FileMaker features, of course. The two things that need work are input and output. Importing the full FoxPro data, with Memo fields and all, isn't hard, though the method in the Knowledge Base simply can't work right, at least from FP 2.6. The right method brings the data through OpenOffice spreadsheet -- or, I assume, Genuine(R) Microsoft(R) Excel(R). Details if anyone wants them.


Output produces the odd problem. I want to put out a report in a plain Ascii (or ISO-xxxx) text file. Then another program can process that text into something I want. But I can't find any way that this 21st-century program can do that obsolete task.


To make it perhaps clearer: I want to get out something completely un-pretty with text fields identified by accompanying text, like the following, oncefor each record. (It doesn't really look like this at all, but it gives the sort of flavor of it.)


*new Record*  *field goofus is { some stuff from a table entry here}

and field foo is { some

very long stuff

with imbedded line-breaks also

and it might be very long}


field99 is{stuff}

*end page*



It's easy to output this in PDF, but that's not a format intended to be read by a text-processing program in Perl or the like!


Have I missed something? Is there an alternate approach to getting the plain text out? I know I could export data in some easy format and write a sort of mail-merge program to massage that -- and reinvent the wheel for implementing report concepts like grouping and breaks and things. Not too hard for this very simple format, but something easier would be better. Or maybe I could generate the usual PDF and find something to extract the text so that an existing program could read it? (Ugh)  Any help would be much appreciated.