4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 23, 2014 7:59 AM by RebeccaNielson

    Working with PDFs. New to FM - am confused

    RebeccaNielson

      Title

      Working with PDFs. New to FM - am confused

      Post

           My work has been keeping an electronic articles database manually. As in, to add something we...

             
      1.           open excel database spreadsheet
      2.      
      3.           enter  article name, database number, author... etc.
      4.      
      5.           rename file xxxx.pdf and put it into a folder on the network.

            

           I've been given the task of creating a FM 12 database that can hold all of that information. Here's what I have so far:

             
      1.           Created fields to hold all of the information
      2.      
      3.           Managed to figure out how to import the excel file
      4.      
      5.           Made an interactive content field and imported a PDF into it.

            

           This is my problem...

           --I have no idea how to open the pdf now that I have imported it.

           --I would REALLLY like it set up so that when you click on it

           ----It opens a field that displays the pdf

           ----I don't want it to open it in internet explorer, or firefox, or chrome, or safari, or opera...

           ------our main work database sometimes does this, and I don't feel safe having IE open on a computer running XP... (actually, it's just a hassle, and we come close to maxing out our computers when we use them, and don't want something else to open)

           ----I don't even want it to open in adobe...

           ----I definitely don't want it to download the file onto the computer that accesses it

           ------our main work database also sometimes does this. I think that this is the worst possible idea for how we use it... It's not an instance of 'well I might need to edit this file and then re-upload it.' It's an instance of  'I want to look at this for reference.' The articles don't get edited... If something needs to be changed, it has to be edited, printed out, signed, scanned back into PDF, and then uploaded, and only one person ever does that.

            

           So basically, I want to be able to upload a pdf to a field and have a way for it to open in a new FM window (maybe with script or something...?) *without* it downloading it or opening it in a browser.

           I'm building the db on windows 7, FM 12; but we have a few computers running XP with FM 11, so compatibility between versions is an issue.

           And are there any good tutorials I could find? I look like the person who doesn't try anything on her own before crying for help.

        • 1. Re: Working with PDFs. New to FM - am confused
          philmodjunk
               

                    ----I don't want it to open it in internet explorer, or firefox, or chrome, or safari, or opera...
                    ----I don't even want it to open in adobe...

               That will be a problem. You HAVE to open a PDF file in SOMETHING. And you just ruled out everything but Apple Preview--and that is only available on a Mac system.

               What we can do is set up a script that opens the file in Adobe Reader/

               

                    ----I definitely don't want it to download the file onto the computer that accesses it

               Well you'll have to do that to, but we can avoid the issues that lie behind the concern that you have here. We can export the PDF file to the computer's temporary folder and open it there. Files exported there will not persist  and are not readily accessible to the user. If you absolutely cannot risk even this, you might be able use a system script or a File manipulation plug in to delete the file after the user has opened it.

               Export Field contents can use a $Path variable loaded with the file path to the temporary folder to export a copy and open it there.

               Hmmm, but then again, you don't really have to open this file at all if you can use a container field optimized for interactive content. You could, with one click, open a new window or change to a different layout where an interactive content container field fills the window so that you can use Filemaker as the "reader" for accessing the file...

          • 2. Re: Working with PDFs. New to FM - am confused
            RebeccaNielson

                 Yeah... I know it has to be opened in SOMETHING... but what I would really like to do would be to open a new FM window and display it in that... But I don't know how to do that. I figured out uploading the file, but that's as far as i can get. i don't know how to set it up to open a new window...

                 We have used SuperContainer in the past (before I started working here), but I know absolutely nothing about how that works, and I would definitely prefer to just have a 'view only' window option, and when you're in that window you can choose to download it if you absolutely need to.

                  

                 Oh, we do have a mac running FM 12 too, but I don't know which OS.

            • 3. Re: Working with PDFs. New to FM - am confused
              philmodjunk

                   Assuming that your container field is defined in the table on which your layout is based, this is the simplest possible method that I can think of. Use it as a starting point for more sophisticated options if you can get it to work for you:

                   Create a new form view layout based on the same table as your current layout.

                   Place one field on this layout, your container field and size it to fill the screen as large as you want it to.

                   Then a button can do this:

                   Go to Layout ["specify new layout here" (Same Table Name here as current layout )]

                   That's it.

                   If you can get that to work, the next step is to preced the go to layout step with a new window script step to open a new window first before changing layouts.

              • 4. Re: Working with PDFs. New to FM - am confused
                RebeccaNielson

                     Yes! thank you thank you thank you!!! That's perfect because it will allow everyone to view the files without downloading them or anything. I got it to work and everything. (well, the first step. I'm now looking into the new window script step.)