4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 19, 2014 12:12 PM by MikeRing

    PDF files in container fields



      PDF files in container fields


      FileMaker Pro


      FMP 13 Adv

      Operating system version

      Win 7

      Description of the issue

      Unable to double click and open a pdf file in a container field. This was possible and a very nice feature in FMP7-11

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      Drag and drop a pdf file into a container field.
      Double click on the pdf icon in the container field.

      Expected result

      Pdf opens in Adobe reader.

      Actual result


      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      no error message


      None that I am aware of.

        • 1. Re: PDF files in container fields

               Drag and drop  in FileMaker 11, Windows, did an Insert Object operation that used OLE technology to reference the file. While you could open the file by double clicking the file, there were a number of other issues with that method and FileMaker Inc. deprecated Insert Object with FileMaker 12.

               You can, however, still open files by double clicking a container field. But you have to pay close attention to many different details that can prevent it from working.

               The container field cannot be "optimized for interactive content".

               Storage options for the container field cannot specify external storage.

               The file must be inserted with "insert File" and "Store a reference" must be selected.

               Avoid all three pitfalls and you can double click to open the original copy of the file. In all other cases, you have to use Export Field Contents to export and open a copy of the file and yes, this can create issues for certain uses of a file inserted into a container field. But this is a method that can be scripted and thus a single click on a button can make this option work.

               It is also possible to use OnObjectModify on the container field to export a copy of the file just drag and dropped into it to a specified storage location and then the same script can use insert file with the store a reference option specified to re-insert the file in order to produce a double clickable reference in the container field.

          • 2. Re: PDF files in container fields

                 Thanks Phil

                 Your 3 part solution does work concluding with inserting the file and clicking on storing a reference.

                 Unfortunately I had already dragged and dropped about 150 pdf's into my application without realizing

                 they would not open. 

                 Note to FM People - I do get a little bit nervous when an elegantly simple feature like drag, drop, store, and

                 view in a container field is replaced with something that is not intuitive and more time consuming.

                 Please remember your Apple roots.  But we still love you.

                 Thanks again Phil for your help.







            • 3. Re: PDF files in container fields

                   You can use a script that loops through your 150 records (assuming one container field to a record) that exports and re-inserts your PDF's to save some effort.

                   Or you might want to experiment with Insert PDF on a container field optimized for interactive content. This option allows you to view the individual pages of the PDF right in the field without having to open the file in a PDF reader.

              • 4. Re: PDF files in container fields

                     My application handles utility information. It's just really convenient to have a copy of a bill at your fingertips. In some cases there are

                     multiple bills to a record.

                     As you suggest I'll play around with that interactive thingy.

                     I do have one large FM database that it looks like will have to remain in FM Pro 11. Has 600 pdf phone bills.

                     Too much to redo.


                     Very much appreciate your input.