1 2 Previous Next 23 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2009 8:29 AM by mmccoy@mifortnox.com

    Can't print to PDF



      Can't print to PDF

      Your post

      FMPA 8.5v2, Mac Mini C2D (2 GHz), OS 10.5.7.


      I am suddenly unable to print to (or Preview) pdf format. Obviously a file inadvertently either became corrupt or was deleted. I have no problem printing to pdf or previewing the pdf format using any other application on my computer. ONLY the FMPA app lost that functionality. 


      I've read that it might be possible to do get that functionality back by creating a new account, which is a silly solution. I've also read it could be a corrupt FONT file, but I've tried all the workarounds of separately screening the two "Library > Fonts" folders (in the main HD and user domains).


      Obviously, by creating a new user, some relevant files are created for that new user that are not functioning properly in my current user domain. I "simply" need to replace those files in my current user domain. I know of nothing I've done that could have damaged or deleted the relevant files such that only FMPA has lost that function and no other app.


      PLEASE HELP! It will be MUCH appreciated.





        • 1. Re: Can't print to PDF



          Thank you for your post.


          It's difficult to determine where the problem lies.  Creating a new User Account will help identify if it is a FileMaker Pro problem or a User Account problem.  That is, if you create a new User Account and it prints successfully from FileMaker Pro, then we can focus on the original User Account files.  If it doesn't print, then we can focus on FileMaker Pro files and see which one is damaged/changed.  Does that make sense?



          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Can't print to PDF

            Thanks so much for your reply, TSGal:


            I know that FMPA 8.5v2 printed to a pdf just fine on my iMac G5 running OS 10.4.11. But on my new Mac Mini C2D running 10.5.7, I can no longer print to a pdf with FMPA, while all other apps print to a pdf just fine. I was under the impression that FMPA 8.5v2 is compatible with 10.5.7.


            It's not clear how there could be problem with the User Account when FMPA is the ONLY app that exhibits the problem. I have just verified, in the same User Account, that printing to a pdf if successful with the following applications:


            • Preview
            • QuickTime Player
            • Mail
            • MS Office X (all apps)
            • Safari
            • FileMaker Pro Developer 6.0v4
            • Appleworks
            • iTunes
            • System Profiler 


            Since FMPA 8.5v2 is the only app on my computer that fails to print to a pdf, it seems logical that the User Account is fine and that the problem lies with FMPA, no?


            Your assistance is very much appreciated.




            • 3. Re: Can't print to PDF



              I created a new User Account and am experiencing the exact same problem: FMPA 8.5v2 is the only app that is unable to print to a pdf file from OS 10.5.7 running on my Mac mini C2D. All other apps are able to print to pdf just fine.


              Any help will be GREATLY appreciated.



              • 4. Re: Can't print to PDF



                Thank you for testing this out.


                I am able to print to PDF using FileMaker Pro 8.5v2 Advanced on my iMac running OS X 10.5.7, so there is something else occurring.


                With a lot of these printing issues, there could be a number of factors.  Many times, it is a user account preference that changed.  That is why the suggestion to try printing from a new user account.  Since you tried this and had the same issue, it is not any user account setting.


                When FileMaker prints to a PDF file, it uses Adobe's AdobeFnt08.lst file located in the following folder:


                User Account -> Library -> Application Support -> Adobe -> TypeSpt -> AdobeFnt08.lst


                Sometimes, this file is corrupt and stops users from printing.  Although we saw this occur mostly in FileMaker Pro 9, it is possible it may have started with FileMaker Pro 8.5.


                The size of the AdobeFnt08.lst file should be greater than 100K.  Users who could not print to PDF usually had this file size under 100K.  If that is the case, please let me know, and I'll have our Technical Support liaison send you a replacement AdobeFnt08.lst file.


                Any other information you can provide may be helpful in determining possible causes.



                FileMaker, Inc.

                • 5. Re: Can't print to PDF



                  I do have that file where you said it should be and it is 116k. 


                  One thing that is very interesting is that I have FMP 8.5 (not Advanced) on a MacBook Pro Core Duo running 10.5.7 and there is NO ADOBE FOLDER anywhere on that computer and yet FMP can still print to a pdf just fine.


                  The thing that's killing me is that I am converting an FM6.0v4 solutiion to FMPA8.5v2 and I need to print the scripts and field defs to pdf files (and make several DDRs, which is why I need the Advanced version to work on my Mini) because I need to find all the locations where I must do the necessary post-conversion manual intervention, and this snag has paralyzed my efforts. 


                  Needless to say, please stay with me on this, OK? I REALLY want to get into the new FMP format, but this pdf snag is holding me up!!!


                  THANKS TSGal!



                  • 6. Re: Can't print to PDF



                    Thanks for the additional information.


                    Don't worry.  I'll stick with you on this.  :-)


                    My AdobeFnt08.lst file is 144K.  I seriously doubt this is the cause, but since it works on my computer and not yours, I'm willing to try out this possibility.  I have sent the file to our Technical Support liaison, and he should be sending you the file shortly.  If you don't have it by tomorrow morning, please let me know, and I'll make sure a copy is sent to you immediately.


                    Assuming this is not the problem, we need to narrow down what is different between your computer and the MacBook Pro where it is working properly.


                    Even though you are trying to print to PDF, are you using the same printer driver?  That is, if you didn't print to PDF, would both machines print to the same printer?  If not, try printing the same printer as the MacBook Pro, and then try printing to PDF file.


                    Create a new database file and try printing to PDF.  Does this work?  If so, then it could be corruption in your original database file.


                    Is the file being shared?  If so, have the MacBook Pro access the file and print to PDF.  Does this work?


                    Try closing all other applications before printing to PDF.  Does this work?


                    Try pulling down the File menu and select "Save/Send Records As -> PDF...".  Does this work?


                    Any other information you can provide, even if it seems minute, may be helpful in narrowing down the causes.



                    FileMaker, Inc.

                    • 7. Re: Can't print to PDF



                      The ONLY thing that DOES allow FMPA 8.5v2 on my Mini to print to pdf is the File>Save/Send Records As...>PDF... menu. The "Save Records As PDF" is a very different window which I assume is an indication that this "SAVE to pdf" function is part of the FMPA code and therefore perhaps uses different resource files than the OSX "PRINT to pdf" code. I hope that is an important clue.



                      Otherwise, ALL of your other suggestions fail when trying to print to pdf on the Mini:


                      1. Using the same printer and printer driver as the MacBook Pro does not print to a pdf successfully using the Mini but does print to pdf successfully using the laptop.


                      2. Creating a new database does still does not print to a pdf with the Mini. No problem with the laptop.


                      3. Both computers have equal (full privs) access to a file being shared by FM Server 8 on a dedicated Mac G5 tower; the shared file behaves perfectly with both computers with the EXCEPTION that the Mini still cannot print to a pdf (the laptop can print to a pdf with no problem).


                      4. Closing all apps on the Mini makes no difference -- PDFs still canNOT be printed from FMPA ONLY (all other apps print to pdf just fine on the Mini).




                      "Other Info"... 


                      - The Mini prints to pdf fine with any other app I've tried. ONLY FMPA 8.5v2 fails. I RE-INSTALLED FMPA on the Mini and it still fails to print pdf.


                      - FMP Developer 6.0v4 prints to a pdf with no problem on that same system.


                      - FMPA 8.5 DID work on the Mini when I first bought it back in June. It only stopped printing to pdf about 2 weeks ago. I vaguely recall that it MIGHT have displayed an error about a file being 'outdated' -- it looked like a horizontal line was drawn through the name in the dialog box, I cannot rule out whether "Adobe" was in the name) but unfortunately I did not write down the name at that time, and the box no longer is displayed when I try to print a pdf! 


                      - Also, keep in mind that the laptop does not have an Adobe folder anywhere on the computer and does not have any AdobeFntxx.lst file either. It is running OS 10.5.7 just as the Mini is. 


                      - I just noticed that the Laptop is running FMP (not Advanced) version 8.5v1, not v2. The Mac Mini is running with the v2 update (which I understood to be more compatible with Leopard, no?!). 


                      - I tried many different files, including sample files from FMI including FM_Graphics_Pack.fp7, and none will print to pdf on the Mini. 


                      - I just noticed that my OTHER iMac (2.4GHz, C2D, OS 10.5.7) is now having the SAME PROBLEM with FMPA 8.5v2!!! THAT computer does NOT have the AdobeFnt08.lst file, it only has an "AdobeFnt10.lst" file which is in the user>Library>App Support>Adobe>Fonts folder!


                      It is curious that only FMP and no other app seems to use a non-OSX process for manually printing to a pdf! Why not just use the built-in OS process? 


                      Anyway, HELP!!! 



                      Thanks TSGal...


                      - Phil. 


                      • 8. Re: Can't print to PDF



                        Thank you for the additional information.


                        I was hoping ONE of the suggestions would work, but that isn't the case...


                        When FileMaker Pro (Advanced) launches, it reads information from a Preferences file.  If that file isn't there, a new one is created.  The preference file should NOT affect printing, and I doubt this is the cause, but let's eliminate that possibility.  Remove the file:


                        User Account -> Library -> Preferences -> com.filemaker.xxxxxxx.plist


                        Launch FileMaker Pro, open a database file and try printing to PDF.


                        The "built-in OS process" for printing uses Adobe technology.


                        The AdobeFnt10.lst file is fine.  Most users who have encountered this problem were using Adobe Acrobat 8.  That's why I continue to keep it on my machine. 


                        I'm not really sure where to go from here as I have run out of ideas.  Now that it is occurring on two of your machines makes it that much more difficult.  On the plus side, it is working on one of your machines.


                        I'm very curious to know what is causing this problem since I'm unable to reproduce it.  Let me think more about it over the weekend.  Please continue to update me with any further testing.



                        FileMaker, Inc.

                        • 9. Re: Can't print to PDF

                          Thanks for your thoughtful reply, TSGal:


                          Deleting com.filemaker.pro85A.plist does not allow me print to pdf with FMPA 8.5.

                          Nor does booting in Safe Mode.

                          Nor does re-installing FMPA.

                          Nor does repairing permissions.

                          Nor does creating a new User Account. 

                          Nor does pulling the fonts out of the /Library/Fonts/ folder at both HD and User levels before relaunching FMPA. 

                          Nor does removing the AdobeFntxx.lst file(s) (or the entire Adobe folder...on the computers that have one).

                          I have NOT tried to reinstall Leopard! 



                          At this point, I have tested printing to pdf with FMPA 8.5 on FOUR different Macs:


                          - All four computers are Intel-based and run OS 10.5.7 and FMPA 8.5. 

                               - THREE are NOT able to print to pdf with FMPA 8.5 but CAN print to pdf with other apps. 

                               - Two computers are on my office LAN and are clients to Server 8 on a G5 tower running 10.4.11. 

                               - The other two computers are on my LAN at home (no server).


                          - Only ONE of these four Macs is able to print to PDF using FMPA. It is a more "barebones" system (MacBook Pro) in our conference room and is used primarily for presentations and notes (MS Office) and for referencing our corporate FMP database.


                          - On the other three Macs, printing to pdf is NOT possible with ALL fp7 files I've tried, including sample files from FMI. 


                          - All FOUR computers CAN print to pdf with any OTHER application, including FMP 6.0v4.


                          - Only 1 iMac has the /Library/App Support/Adobe/TypeSpt/AdobeFntxx.lst folder/file path. FMPA does NOT print to pdf on that computer. At least one other computer does have an AdobeFntxx.lst file, but it is not in that same folder path (e.g., MacHD/Library/App Support/Adobe/PDFL/7.0/CMaps/AdobeFnt10.lst). Does that matter?



                          Quick questions:

                          - Do you know of any compatibility problems with other apps/files, perhaps from MS, Quark, Adobe, HP, Epson, etc.?

                          - How about plugins, etc., like Perian, MouseWorks, Growl, Flip4MacWMV, DivX (although they are disabled in Safe Boot, no?)? 

                          - Can you give me any guidance for investigating why the laptop IS able to print to pdf (it's a barebones system in our conference room) while the other three are NOT? Perhaps you can offer a catalog of files FMPA uses in its print-to-pdf logic so I can investigate further? 



                          This is becoming catastrophic for me because we have been trying to convert our 73 file corporate db solution from FMP6 to the new format for over a year and have encountered many conversion problems that require much manual intervention and rescripting to accommodate incompatible logic between formats (meanwhile, it is absolutely amazing how stable Server 5 still is on our G4 tower running OS 9.2.2 while all clients continue to run our currently LIVE db with FMP 6.0v4 on OS 10.4/5). This pesky print-to-pdf snag is 'merely' the latest obstacle we've encountered with FMPA8!


                          I am sure my FMI salesperson is getting frustrated that I am unable to spend any more money on new FMI products until I can confirm that the initial $3,000 we spent on our first set of FMP8 licenses results in a fully functional conversion (I don't blame her; and believe me, I am SO looking forward to multiple script windows and FMP10's triggers!).


                          Of course, I promise to not lose my cool here as we move forward to resolve THIS problem, so PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP ON ME TSGal !!! 


                          I will do my best to get you ANY info you need to help research this problem.

                          Thanks so much!!! 


                          - Phil. 

                          • 10. Re: Can't print to PDF

                            TSGal, et al.:


                            Here's another clue to the "Can't Print to PDF" problem I've been having with FMPA 8.5 on a Mac:


                            Recall that on 3 out of 4 Macs here, the "Print" command in the main menu is not able to print to a PDF file using the menu:


                                 File > Print... > PDF > Save as PDF...



                            Well, I just tried the FMP menu:


                                 File > Save/Send Records As > PDF...


                            and I DID get a pdf file which properly displayed the graphic elements...BUT the TEXT was all jibberish characters place in approximately the correct location as the original text on the FMP layout, just not readable as English text!


                            AND, it's not consistent. The Save/Send Records As > PDF  gives DIFFERENT results when I run it over and over again! Most of the times ALL of the text is jibberish, but SOMETIMES, here and there a segment of text will display CORRECTLY in the saved pdf!!!


                            AND to make matters even more bizarre, when I copied a piece of the jibberish text from that pdf file and pasted it back into the FMP layout as a text label, or in another text app like TextEdit, the text was PERFECTLY LEGIBLE!



                            Yet all other apps are able to "PRINT" to a PDF file just fine...except for FMPA! 


                            What on Earth is going on? FMPA isn't able to "Print" to pdf at all, and 



                            • 11. Re: Can't print to PDF

                              OK, here's more info to characterize the problem...


                              I created a simple FMPA 8.5 file on one of the three Macs showing the problem. This file contains one record, one layout that includes one button with a title, one text field with data, and two text labels.


                              I also wrote a single script and assigned it to the button, and contains the following script steps:




                                   Save Records as PDF [Restore; "Send Save to.pdf"; Automatically open; Records being browsed]

                              End Loop 



                               ...and when I click the button repeatedly (since it loops, and each time it does, it shows the new pdf file in Preview), I get a DIFFERENT result. The graphic elements (e.g., button, background color, and the placement of text elements) are displayed properly, but the actual TEXT, itself, varies apparently randomly between displaying normal, legible text, and jibberish strings of random characters with distorted tracking. Also, the two text labels behave the same way, so that when one is displayed as legible text, so is the other, and when one is displayed as jibberish, so is the other.


                              I've clicked the button to execute this script hundreds of times, and each time it runs, the three kinds of text elements vary independently so that, for example, the text labels may display fine but the button title and text data in the field are jibberish (each shows different jibberish). Likewise for any other combination of legible/jibberish among text elements. It is not consistent. It's like pulling a one-arm bandit with three wheels, most of the times all of the text is jibberish, but now and then it shows up ok in one or two text elements, but it is RARE for any two of them to display the proper text at the same time, and so far I have not seen all three display properly at the same time. They seem to randomly rotate in displaying legible text now and then.


                              This one takes the cake (and I've used many Macs since '84). 


                              You still with me, TSGal?



                              • 12. Re: Can't print to PDF



                                Yes, I'm still with you.  Sorry for the late reply.


                                The plugins and other applications don't matter (unless the plugins are used in FileMaker Pro), because the same problem occurs when you are in Safe mode.


                                You should not get different results each time you print unless you print current record and you skip between records.  Since you are using the option "Records being browsed", this is not a factor.


                                If you run that script on a machine that works, I am assuming you are getting the same printout/PDF file each time.  True?


                                Could there be a font issue?  What fonts are you using to print to PDF?  If they are not TrueType, that could cause a problem with Adobe.  It could easily result in jibberish data, and that would allow you to copy them and paste them back into FileMaker Pro successfully.  Look over all the fonts in the layout and reinstall those fonts from your system CD.



                                FileMaker, Inc. 

                                • 13. Re: Can't print to PDF



                                  Thanks for the reply. Fonts seem fine and problem still persists on three out of four Macs running similar software.


                                  There is nothing obviously different in any of the Fonts folder compared to the Intel MBP running the same OS 10.5.7 which does not show the same problem. In fact, if I remove ALL of the Fonts from the User > Lib > Fonts folder AND all of the fonts from the HD > Lib > Fonts folder, and restart FM (or even reboot) I STILL cannot save to PDF with FM even though Print/Save to PDF works FINE in every other app including FMP 6.0v4 and OS X.


                                  So what is the difference in the way FMPA8.5 prints/saves to a pdf that makes only THAT app fail on three out of four similarly configured Macs???


                                  Can you tell me what other files the FMP8 routine uses in the Print/Save to PDF process (Save to Postscript seems to work fine by they way)? Maybe I can grab them from the laptop that works fine?! 


                                  I need to be able to save the scripts, field defs, and layouts to a pdf and I cannot do this on three Macs right now!


                                  Can you direct me to investigate any other accessory file that is used ONLY by FMP to save to PDF but is not used by any other app to save a pdf? The evidence sure seems to point to something FM is doing differently than all other apps.


                                  Please advise, 



                                  • 14. Re: Can't print to PDF



                                    I asked our Testing team for more information about what occurs "behind the scenes", and here is the reply:


                                    "When you use the Save as PDF from the Print dialog, we are using Apple's save as PDF function and not using the one from our own code.  We rely on the OSX printer drivers where this feature is executed."


                                    Therefore, make sure you are using the same printer driver as the working machine, or copy the printer driver from the working machine and install it on the non-working machines.



                                    FileMaker, Inc.

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