1 2 3 Previous Next 36 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2016 3:09 AM by dkb

    Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13



      Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13


      FileMaker Pro



      Operating system version

      OS X 10.9.1

      Description of the issue

      The GetThumbnail calculated container we use in FM12 to create thumbnails from PDF files does not generate the thumbnail in FM13. We get the attached "?" and trying to export the contents generates a text file with the "?"

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      Create GetThumbnail container in FM12 referencing a container holding a pdf. Open in FM13


        • 1. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

               Bob Rowe:

               Thank you for your post.

               PDF files are not images, so in FileMaker Pro 13, newly inserted PDF files into Container fields as pictures will no longer have the ability to be displayed as a thumbnail.  If you need to thumbnail PDF images, then either save the PDF file as an image, and then insert the image into the Container field, or insert the PDF file in FileMaker Pro 12, as they will continue to display the thumbnail image in FileMaker Pro 13.

               FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                 It is not true that pdf's entered into Filemaker 12 will display the thumbnail with GetThumbnail in Filemaker 13, at least not when using FMS 13. My test above is from pdf's entered in FM12 and they are not displaying in 13.

                 It's hard to understand why a feature like this would just be eliminated in an "upgrade." It is easy to just make a statement that PDF's are "not images" but apparently they were in previous versions of Filemaker and they certainly are considered images in our workflow. 

                 Our entire Filemaker solution is based on the use, manipulation, display and ability to export PDF files to press and it is frustrating to say the least, all the PDF issues with the new version 13 release. We are sitting here wondering if we are going to be able to continue with the Filemaker platform because we cannot be sure features we are building around are going to just be summarily eliminated in the next version as this one seems to have been. It has also been very unclear if the PDF transparency issue and PDF exporting to bitmap issue that has been reported in this forum are bugs that are going to be fixed or if they are part of some new approach Filemaker is taking toward the handling of PDF's moving forward? Some kind of statement in this regard would be very helpful. This kind of uncertainty when you have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a solution that is at the heart of your entire company is VERY disconcerting. 

                 I used to be excited when Filemaker upgraded it's products but I must say that excitement has now been replaced by fear. What features that we have deemed valuable and incorporated into the fabric of our solution will just be eliminated with matter of fact explanations like the one above?

                 With respect and frustration,


            • 3. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                   Bob Rowe:

                   Here is what I have done.

                   1. In FileMaker Pro 12, I opened a database file that contains a Container field (non-interactive) and a Calculation field with the formula:

                   GetThumbnail ( <Container field> ; 100 ; 100 )

                   2. In Browse Mode, I added a New Record, put my cursor in the Container field, pulled down the Insert menu and selected "Picture..."

                   3. I selected the file "fm13_webdirect_guide.pdf" and opened it.  The file appears as an image in the Container field, and the Calculation field displays as a thumbnail.

                   4. I closed the file, opened FileMaker Pro 13, pulled down the File menu and selected "Sharing -> Share with FileMaker Clients...".  I set the file to be accessed by all users.

                   5. I pulled down the File menu again and selected "Sharing -> Upload to FileMaker Server...".  I selected a server with FileMaker Server 13 running, entered in the credentials, and uploaded the file to the server.

                   6. I pulled down the File menu and selected "Open Remote...", selecting the server, and opening the file.  The file opens and displays and image of the PDF file along with the thumbnail.

                   Anything else you can tell me about your FileMaker Server 13 setup may help me replicate the issue.

                   My apologies for not letting you know that your post above was sent to Testing and Development for additional review.

                   The other two issues you mentioned (PDF transparency and exporting PDF as bitmap) have also been reported.  No other information is available.

                   FileMaker, Inc. does not discuss future product releases.

                   FileMaker, Inc.

              • 4. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                     This is really scary!! I am building a document system where we will be scanning a room full of file cabinets, approximately 425,000 documents, to be stored in a Filemaker Pro database. Based on Filemaker's recommendation, I am using Filemaker 13 Server, with secure storage, rather than Supercontainer, which I have used on other projects. 

                     Of course, thumbnails are critical, as is the use of PDF format. With PDF, the images can be read on any platform, and you can zoom in easily to read small text and see engineering details.

                     When I import a batch of PDF's, the thumbnail is generated when I check the box.  When I bring in one at a time, which will be necessary for several users to do from their own computer, the thumbnail is NOT generated.


                     This clearly looks like a bug to me, and I cannot fathom any reason why Filemaker would purposefully remove this functionality!  Please restore this in the next incremental release! The code is obviously there, and is just not being accessed correctly.

                     Also, I started building this solution on Filemaker 13, and my users will be accessing it on Filemaker 13, so to propose that somehow flipping to FM 12 to import the pdfs is completely unworkable, and ridiculous! Fix the bug, please!

                • 5. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                       Yes! If we could get all the PDF bugs fixed we can move to FM 13!

                       1- Vector issues with Save layout as pdf or print layout

                       2- Ability to retain container transparency with pdf images 

                       3- PDF thumbnails

                       Desperately seeking some good news on this front!

                  • 6. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                         Ken Weeks:

                         Thank you for your post.

                         I have attached your comments to the original report.

                         I also recommend that you enter your comments in the Feature Requests web form at:


                         The entries into this web form populate a database that is hosted by Product Management and Development.  Each entry is then discussed and considered for future releases.  Although I could copy your post and paste it into the web form, there are a couple of questions asked on the web form that only you can answer.

                         When entering the suggestion, please let them know what you have been doing, why you are doing, and how it is affecting your solution.  This will get more attention than just saying "Add this feature" (or something to that effect).

                         FileMaker, Inc.

                    • 7. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                           So this feature has been deprecated and now we need to begin requesting it as a new feature? When PDF usage and manipulation is pervasive in a digital world it would be nice to understand why Filemaker is deprecating PDF features? This is the first new version that has me completely terrified for what decisions might be made in the future that will potentially render relied upon features and perhaps entire solutions irrelevant. 

                      • 8. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                             Bob Rowe:

                             From the original report, PDF files are not images, so any PDF files added to FileMaker Pro 13 will not render as an image like it did in FileMaker Pro 12.  PDF files added in FileMaker Pro 12 will render and attach a JPG of the PDF file so it can be displayed as a Thumbnail.  If the PDF files are added in FileMaker Pro 12, then they will continue to display as an image under FileMaker Pro 13 since the rendered JPG is still attached.

                             Currently, this is not considered an issue.  This may or may not change.  That is the reason for the Feature Requests web form.

                             FileMaker, Inc.

                        • 9. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                               Well, I don't want to belabor the issue TSGal. I realize you need to promote the corporate line, but re-defining what is and isn't an image in order to justify a deprecated feature is just semantics. Someone at Filemaker must have thought pdf's were enough of an image to institute the initial need for a thumbnail "image" feature in the first place, right?  I'm sure Mr Weeks above considers his scans saved as PDF's as "images" of the documents he scanned? I've been in the graphics industry for 30 years I don't know anyone that doesn't consider both vector and bitmapped based graphics files as images. 


                          a physical likeness or representation of a person, animal, or thing, photographed, painted, sculptured, or otherwise made visible.
                          2.     But definitely not PDF's (sorry, I couldn't resist cheeky)
                          Come on guys . . . just don't deprecate important and extremely usable features out of Filemaker. We LOVE YOU and we NEED YOU to continue to support important features through your versioning!
                          We need to know that we are building solutions on a solid foundation with solid features we can trust are not going to disappear in an upcoming version! 


                          • 10. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                                 Yes, but this isn't TSGal's call to make. She's providing you with the current opinion of powers further up the "food chain". That's why she has suggested that you make a feature request out of this as it is the only suggestion that she can offer you at this time.

                                 And this issue is a bit more complex than you'd think because "PDF as Image" was never a working feature of Windows based Filemaker solutions so I would guess that there are folks at FileMaker that argue that this change was needed in order to make the windows and Mac versions more consistent with each other. Please note that I am not expressing agreement with that opinion, just speculating as to a possible reason for this change.

                            • 11. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                                   Phil, I completely get what you are saying. TSGal is very helpful and I know what she can and can't say in these regards. I'm just a little worked up because this is only one issue regarding Filemaker 13's handling of pdf's that has our solution's growth completely hanging in the balance. We still don't know if they are bugs that are going to be fixed or if our solution will be stuck in v12 forever! So it is just very disconcerting when I'm hearing logic like "pdf's are not images" like this is somehow a new revelation at Filemaker that somehow needs to be addressed with feature deprecation. It begins to make you wonder what is next. 

                                   TSGal, I do apologize if my frustration seems directed at you in any way. It is not. You are always very helpful, knowledgeable and kind. I understand your roll. I'm just trying to yell loud enough to get these issues on the agenda! smiley heart

                              • 12. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                                     Then I will gently point out that the people that you want to hear your "yell" probably will not see your post here in Report an Issue. The feature request page, on the other hand, is seen and evaluated by those individuals at FileMaker Inc. that are responsible for the design of upcoming versions.

                                • 13. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                                       Bob Rowe:

                                       No offense taken, as I did not take your comments personally.  It is natural to feel frustrated when something you relied upon has been adversely changed.

                                       One of my main roles on the forum is to make sure problems get reported to Development and Testing.  Occasionally, I receive feedback that the issue is "by design" (like this issue).  I would rather give out some communication rather than no communication, even if the communication isn't what you want to hear.

                                       The post from PhilModJunk is correct.  Product Management makes product decisions, and the best place to state your case is through the Feature Requests web form.

                                       FileMaker, Inc.

                                  • 14. Re: Get Thumbnail from PDF does not work in FMP 13

                                         I am one of those badly affected by this insane decision. 

                                         What is the best way to work around this ?  Keep a copy of FM 12 to do this or  convert PDF to image  or go with SuperContainer ? 

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