5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 21, 2015 2:05 PM by BruceRobertson

    Text Style Differences


      So I'm doing an import of data and comparing the text to the live data to determine if a change has been made, basically if a change has been made I update the text and if it hasn't I don't.


      Then the "modified" records show in a list.


      The interesting problem I recently encountered is that I'm missing if a stylized difference was made.  For example


      Sample Text  = Sample Text


      When using filemaker text functions, the text appears to be the same when doing any type of comparison that I can figure out, even though the 2nd version is bolded and underlined.   And therefore I'm missing that I should update the text for this style formatting change.


      Does anybody know a way to do this with a plugin or Java script or any other technique?


      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Text Style Differences

          Interesting challenge! I never considered that, since text functions work on just the plain text, this could be an issue.


          If you're looking for modified fields, though, could you use a modification timestamp?


          If you don't want to check modifications to the whole record, but only to particular fields, you could define a timestamp with the auto-entry:


          Evaluate (


          "Get ( CurrentHostTimestamp ) "


          ; [ monitorField1 ; monitorField2... ]




          This would trigger only when one of your "monitorFields" got updated.


          Caveat 1 is that if a script changes one of the fields, the auto-entry won't trigger, so your script would have to update the timestamp, as well.


          Caveat 2 is that the timestamp will update if a user "modifies" the field, but sets it back to the original value. I'd imagine that erring on the side of too much updating is preferable to too little, though.


          Could this help?


          Meanwhile, I'm curious if anyone else knows how to catch the difference between text strings where the only difference is formatting.


          Chris Cain


          • 2. Re: Text Style Differences

            Thanks Chris.   Yes I've done lots of change log stuff.  The problem in particular here is that I have people modifying both the hosted solution and a copy on several iPads and some people on Excel (the real problem).   Edits are getting done in multiple places at one time and then merged all back together.  Since I can't get a field by field timestamp on the excel changes it's really throwing a wrench in things.

            I kinda said "wow", like you, and realized I had never really considered this before, I do text comparison all the time.  So I'm hoping someone else has found a way to compare these things.   In my cursory web search via Javascript, I haven't found anyone who's skinned this cat either.  Since the operators don't appear to be native to filemaker I figure it'll take Javascript or a plugin to get a way to do this comparison.

            • 3. Re: Text Style Differences

              What about comparing GetAsCSS ( Text )? This will have all formatting in it.


              Just a thought.




              • 4. Re: Text Style Differences

                That's why I love the discussion group.   Rock on Jason,  you've done skinned the cat.

                Man I tried so many things this afternoon, knew that had to be some way to leverage something somewhere.

                • 5. Re: Text Style Differences

                  Here's a simple example file that uses GetAsCSS and MD5 checksums to test for matches.