10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2015 7:50 AM by Fred(CH)

    Preview Mode on Windows not reliable



      Preview Mode on Windows not reliable


      FileMaker Pro


      11/12/13/14 tested

      Operating system version

      Windows 7 / Windows Server 2012 r2

      Description of the issue

      After 7 years of FileMaker adventures, i just realized yesterday, during a mission critical project, that on Windows only, you just cannot rely on Preview Mode.

      In some very simple situations, Preview Mode will present you a result that is far different than the printer AND than the save as PDF. In particular, the tested behavior was the ability to fit a text on a field or merge object (same results).

      For example, whereas the Preview Mode is displaying a text on two lines because not enough room, the printer and FMP Save as PDF both agreed that "yeah there is enough room", and the result only take one line.

      In my original case, the result was 1 page instead of two.

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      Just open the sample files i made, switch to Preview Mode, Print, Save as PDF and compare results.
      One file were created with FileMaker 11 and the other with FileMaker 14. No conversion.
      Link :

      Expected result

      Preview should render the same than the printer or the save as PDF. That mean only 1 line on the four objects.

      Actual result

      Huge differences. I mean you can play with it. Even if you remove or add one char, the results can perfectly remain the same.

      Configuration information

      Tested :
      Arial and Tahoma
      Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012 Server r2
      FMP 11 -> 14
      Canon and HP printers
      (All produced the same results above.)



        • 1. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable

          This is a known issue.

          For More Information see:     FM 12 preview mode issue

          This is one of many acknowledged bugs that can be found in the Known Bug List thread here in the Report an Issue section of the forum.

          It can also be downloaded as a database file from:    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jt09b82i0xijbu3/FMP%20Bugs.zip

          • 2. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable

            Thank you Phil. But i am not sure. As i stated, the bug is at least reproducible with v11 and maybe other past version.

            Am i missing something ?

            I cannot believe that Preview Mode never worked on Windows... or i am wrong ?

            • 3. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable

              My records don't show this as reported with versions earlier than 12, but that may just mean that no one had reported it here until that point in time.

              And it's not just preview mode and not just the data found inside a field. Zooming the layout or changing between the "enlarge window contents..." option can also change how text "Wraps". This created some significant havoc for me when I was working with the first two installments of the Adventures in FileMaking  series as I have lots of text entered directly on the layout in order to document how to use, design and understand the function of each layout's demonstrated design technique.

              • 4. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable

                Dear Phil,

                As you know, my english is poor. I always may misunderstood your statements.

                To be clear and basic, are you confirming that Preview Mode (that does not care about anchors and its automatic sizing*) never was reliable on Windows even on very simple situations ?

                If so, can you just tell me in what a such Preview Mode can be of any help ?

                * Edit : and that is well and "as expected" to me. 

                • 5. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable

                  And i really think a TS-person answer would be much appropriated here.

                  If i am right, it is not a small issue but a a really nasty one.

                  If i am wrong, god bless us, it would be useful to inform us and tell us the key point.

                  • 6. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable



                    Thank you for the post. 


                    PhilModJunk is correct (thank you!) that we are aware of this issue. I reopened the original report made to Testing and Development and added your comments and example files to the original report. 


                    Although definitely not ideal, a note on the report indicates this does not occur with layouts after some adjustments. I will try to get more information on what specific adjustments. The fact that you reproduced in a new file that was not converted is new information and also added to the report.  



                    FileMaker, Inc.

                    • 7. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable

                      Fred, I just reported what I found in my database. I was not indicating whether or not the issue predates FMP 12--the earliest version found in the bug report record. I never noticed the issue in older versions, but this is usually very subtle when it happens at all so I personally may not have happened to notice.

                      Ever since Summary Reports could be viewed in Browse mode, I simply haven't had much need for Preview in my solutions and in the cases where I use it, such a minor difference in Wrap is not signficant. Obviously, I'm not using Preview to "check fit" in anything when I say that. If there is any chance that the text might not fit a field, I'm more likely to oversize the field and then set it to slide up in order to make sure the text is fully displayed.

                      • 8. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable

                        Thank you very much Phil and TSFalcon. I appreciated you took time to get my points and answered me. I am also glad that the Issue was reopened since it appear it was closed previously. I secretly hoped that indeed an adjustment of layout coud let me workaround this (specific font or whatever). But obviously, if that meant to temporarily adjust the layout until the next occurrence of the bug occur, there is no luck.

                        Now, i feel a bit sad and perplexed since the issue possibly always been.

                        Here are additional examples in real life (please TSFalcon, be kind and transmit to T&D as they can understand why it is important)  :

                        As a developer, i expect to be able to use Preview Mode to control number of pages by script. It was the way i discovered the bug : Switch to Preview Mode, Go to Last page, Get the Current Page and write it in a global field/variable. And then, i can print "1 of 2 pages". There  are obviously a lot of other cases where a page control is useful, but it is the more basic one.

                        As a enduser, i expect to be able to… preview. Then i see "oh this paragraph's break is ugly" and ok, i make a manual adjustment of a field value and print only when the result is "as expected". Suppose the nightmare it could be if you used justified text alignment !

                        And both are not possible in actual state of things, i mean reliably. I would have understood if the case were very complex or font were, don't know, a bit "exotic". But it is definitely not the case here. I even not used bold nor italic in my sample file...

                        I also "pre-disagree" T&D arguments like "FileMaker is a database software, not a Text editor". In what i would just answer : Preview is one of three FileMaker Modes and it was not my idea wink.

                        • 9. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable



                          Thank you for the reply. 


                          “please TSFalcon, be kind and transmit to T&D as they can understand why it is important”


                          I added your real life examples to the report made to Testing and Development. Once we have more information, this thread will be updated. 



                          FileMaker, Inc.

                          • 10. Re: Preview Mode on Windows not reliable

                            Thank you so much TSFalcon !

                            One of the best force of FileMaker is definitely his support staff smiley.