7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2015 10:21 AM by TSGal

    Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.



      Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.


      FileMaker Pro



      Operating system version


      Description of the issue

      When clicking on a container link to "Export to Field to File" in pdf format the download is always blocked by the browser's popup blocker (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari). This behaviour is particularly pronounced in Safari where no warning is given that the action is blocked.
      It appears that the export field to file is trying to open a new browser window every time.
      On an iPhone or iPad nothing happens when clicking on the links regardless of popup settings.

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      Click on a link to container with a pdf, see the "Export Field to File" box, specify a name to export, click ok and, in Safari, nothing happens. In chrome, Firefox and IE you get a popup warning.
      On the iPhone/iPad the "Export Field to File" box doesn't even appear.

      Expected result

      The pdf should really download or open without the need for a new browser window. On iPad it would be nice to open the pdf at all.

      Actual result

      Popup blocker blocks download.
      iPad/iPhone - nothing happens.

      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      No message


      Turning off popup blocker helps for Safari,Chrome,Firefox and IE but it is causing parents (we're a school) frustration as this didn't happen with FM11. Older version of Safari don't support webdirect at all.
      iPad/iPhone - no workaround.

        • 1. Re: Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.

               John Brindley:

               Thank you for your post.

               At this time, pop-up blockers need to be disabled for exporting, sending mail, and/or saving snapshot links.  This is covered at the bottom of page 21 of the FileMaker 13 WebDirect Guide:


               I recommend you also enter this as a suggestion into our Feature Requests web form at:


               The entries into this web form automatically populate a database file that is hosted by Development and Product Management.  Each suggestion is reviewed and considered for possible implementation in a future release.  Although I could copy your post and paste it into the web form, there are a couple of questions asked that only you can answer.

               FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.

            I just followed the advice of TSGal, spending 8 minutes to type in my own feature request, only to see this after I clicked the Submit button:

            Temporarily Closed

            So here's my feature request for you to Copy my post and Paste it into your web form (whenever it comes back online):

            Country: Japan

            FM Product: FMP 11 Advanced

            SummaryOpen URL in EXISTING Window/Tab, not a New Window/Tab, to avoid pop-up blockers

            ObjectiveThis feature will accomplish cross-platform browser compatibility.  In other words, it will make FM Pro actually useful when using IWP.  Right now, FM Pro is almost unusable because external content cannot be linked without causing iPhone/iPad/etc users to be excluded.  There are cases when you cannot get your user to DISABLED pop-up blockers!  And using a Web View is not a workaround in some cases, especially when you want separate authentication for the externally linked content.


            • 3. Re: Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.

              James Wages:

              Thank you for your post.

              Currently, our Feature Requests web form is not working.

              For clarification purposes, if the URL is open in the existing window, how would you suggest navigating back to the database file?

              FileMaker, Inc.

              • 4. Re: Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.

                Thank you for your kind reply, TSGal.

                In answer to your question, I would say, "Auto Logout the user when they click the external link, and let them log back when they click/tap the BACK button."  It may not be the best solution, but it's better than completely excluding mobile users and all desktop users who do not wish to disable popup blockers, don't you think?

                By the way, I've been chatting with others about FileMaker problems on "FM Forums."  I noticed the sparse date-stamps on posts in their "IWP" thread.  In inquired about it and was told by the moderator that "IWP has been abandoned since FMP 13."  Is that true?  He went on to say that the "replacement" for IWP is "WebDirect."  But what little I've read about WebDirect seems to indicate it is "more complex" and "more expensive" a solution versus IWP.

                In my case, I presently have 2 very simple databases hosted on a shared server with MacUSA.  I pay them $139/year for each database and their "max no. of users" is 100:  http://macusa.net/fminstantwebpub7.cfm

                My databases are both IWP, built with FMP 11 Advanced on a Mac.  One is auto login and the other requires authentication.  Users conduct very simple searches (they edit nothing), check the search results, then logout.  That's it.  No special client apps are required.  They just access via their web browser on a desktop, notebook or mobile device — easy and simple.

                But one problem I have with IWP is that I want to add a button that has an external link.  For example, one link takes the user to a directory listing on my web server (not the Filemaker server) that has a few PDF files for them to download.  That is password protected via .htaccess.  But again, the way things are right now, mobile users and every desktop user with a popup blocker cannot access that content.  I want to add other external links too, but they have the same problem.

                The other problem I have with IWP is that the DB content displays too small on mobile(e.g., Mobile Safari on iOS8.x).  The solution should be to add a Viewport, but I do not see how to accomplish that.  Because the DB is on a shared server using IWP, I am not allowed to edit the home page (iwp_home.html) or the login page(iwp_auth.html) or the exit page.  

                So that's why I am lurking here in your FileMaker forum.  I am struggling to find solutions for these IWP problems.  I am looking for easy, low-cost solutions, and please correct me if I am wrong, but I don't see that WebDirect would be the ideal solution for me.


                • 5. Re: Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.

                  James Wages:

                  Thank you for the suggestion, but in Instant Web Publishing, you should never use the browser back button, as it could lead to very erratic and incorrect results.

                  At this time, there are no plans to revisit the code base for Instant Web Publishing, nor the code base for FileMaker Pro 11 (or 12 or 13).

                  One option could be to connect to an external SQL data source to retrieve information and display in FileMaker Pro.  Another possible option would be to use a Web Viewer to access another web site.  For a simple example, create a Web Viewer that displays our web site:   http://www.filemaker.com

                  FileMaker, Inc.

                  • 6. Re: Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.

                    TSGAL, thank you for confirming that IWP is a defunct technology which (apparently) has been replaced by WebDirect.  The sentiments expressed about WebDirect in my previous post still stand, however.  Perhaps I am wrong (please let me know if I am) but WebDirect appears to be a more complex and costly solution than IWP.

                    You suggest linking to an SQL data source.  Not knowing what that is, I Googled and found this page on your website:


                    But even after reading that page, I still don't understand how to create such a data source, especially since all our data exists exclusively in FileMaker Pro right now.  Moreover, it seems rather silly to export that data from a FMP database only to link to it externally from a separate FMP database. But perhaps I simply don't understand what you are suggesting.

                    As to the creation of Web Viewers within existing FMP databases, if I understand correctly, Web Viewers are merely "portholes to the web."  It is a tiny window inside a FMP database through which one sees external web content, right?  That would mean the user would be unable to get an externally linked PDF (viewed via a Web Viewer) to display full screen, correct?

                    Lastly, please note that I have pondered upgrading to version 14, but I have yet to see if that is the right road that should be taken.  If costs rise dramatically over the solution we have now (e.g., I don't see how WebDirect is an improvement for us over IWP), there is no incentive to upgrade.

                    Thank you for your time.  I look forward to hearing your final thoughts.  

                    • 7. Re: Webdirect "Export to Field to File" links blocked.

                      James Wages:

                      My apologies for not understanding your original request.  External data sources are discussed on page 120 of the FileMaker Pro 11 User's Guide at:


                      After re-reading your post, and since you are not familiar with external data sources, this would probably not be a good option.

                      To display a PDF file full screen, you can create a layout with a Web Viewer that fills the layout.  When someone clicks on the field, you can have a button switch to the full screen layout.

                      Nothing in your post compels me to say to update to FileMaker 14.  However, keep in mind that support for FileMaker Pro 11 ceases on September 25, 2015.  See the announcement in Knowledge Base Article #14071 at:


                      FileMaker, Inc.