1 2 Previous Next 22 Replies Latest reply on Apr 14, 2016 10:20 AM by rgordon

    Append in PDF without page breaks


      Is it possible? Is it possible to stop FileMaker to introduce a page break each time a script appends a record to a PDF pre-existing file? How?


        • 1. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks


          FM doesn't make page break there, only adding pages to the tail...

          • 2. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

            I have a script that prints only one record each time it's run. The record can be very short or longer.

            Imagine that the first time I run the script it creates a PDF file with one page and only the top third of the page is used.

            I need to keep using that same page the second time I run the script. And the third. It would only move to next page if the next record didn't have space in that page. In a similar way it would do if printing three records to paper.

            FileMaker allways adds a new page each time the script is run. No matter if the previous page is full or only has a couple of lines used... I would really need to give it a different behaviour...

            • 3. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

              If you want variable length records in the PDF, you need to switch to different solution. FileMaker doesn't do that.


              For example you can check the Catalog example database coming with MBS Plugins.

              I wrote it long ago for a client which creates a product catalog as PDF on a  FileMaker server each night.

              Depending on how much text or images an article has, we get one, two or three of them on a page.

              • 4. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                If you're up to a little programming check out the "iText" library.


                It's totally free, is well supported (via email group), and runs in Java and .NET.


                iText®, a JAVA PDF library | SourceForge.net


                Using iText, you have TOTAL control over your PDF output and what gets generated. iText has been around for a long time so it's mature. However, it's just a library so I would recommend you get a book like "iText in Action", written, as it turns out, by the iText creator: Bruno Lowagie. It's a great book and will help you get up to speed quickly.


                I can't say enough good things about iText.




                With FileMaker's extensible features, you should be able to use iText and FileMaker together.


                (I use Java and FileMaker together as the norm.)


                Good luck.


                - m

                • 5. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                  FileMaker doesn't always needs to print one page per record.  If you print your report in list view with sliding, you should be able to accomplish what you want.  You can also control the page breaks.

                  • 6. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks


                    not actually free if you want to be legal, but I am the source of licences for the FileMaker community.

                    support via mailing list is pretty much deprecated in favour of StackOverflow, but there are quite a few helpful posts in the ScriptMaster section of FMForums



                    that said, I agree with all you have said as a long time user and advocate for it.

                    my fledgling project is at www.fmtopdf.com will be coming soon

                    TOTAL control over output, and manipulation is the name of the game.



                    • 7. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                      Cool, thanks for your reply.


                      Back when I used iText (Java), it was not only totally free (at least as I understood it), but it supported RTF, which, as you know, later versions of iText dropped support for. I loved iText. Also, the "Romeo & Juliet" XML template example, which I understand has morphed into something new in iText since I used it.


                      How much does iText cost now for Java, the libraries?




                      - m

                      • 8. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                        A few years ago they decided to move to AGPL as other people were making lots of money out of a product without rewarding the  developers. All version since 5.0 are covered by this licence.

                        Given that FileMaker is a closed world we negotiated some pricing for developers at much less than their regular commercial licences, based on usage (how many people need to use the scripts and functions rather than total organisation licences)

                        50% off deal for developers to use in-house and for development

                        Pricing structure looks something like this.. (USD)



                        • 9. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                          Morkus  - open source is about the ability of developers to amend and contribute to the project, it is not a synonym for free.

                          Some stuff copied from their website which relates to more general discussions about how we use others code.>>


                          iText is a free/open source software (F/OSS) project, which lets you read through the full-code API to better assist you in creating a solution. F/OSS does not mean that it is free of obligations, it just means that the code is freely available. By following the rules of the Affero General Public License (AGPL), you may use iText at no cost. Otherwise, it is mandatory to purchase a commercial license to remove the copyleft restrictions.

                          The AGPL license comes with the following restrictions. The points below are not exhaustive, but merely the most important restrictions:


                          You may not deploy it on a network without disclosing the full source code of your own applications under the AGPL license.

                          You must distribute all source code, including your own product and web-based applications.

                          You must disclose any modifications made to iText.

                          You must prominently mention iText and include the iText copyright and AGPL license in output file metadata.



                          FROM the FAQ

                          Why shouldn't I use iText 2.x (or iTextSharp 4.x)?


                          We strongly discourage the use of versions prior to iText(Sharp) 5 for both technical as well as legal reasons.


                          Technical reasons: the MPL/LGPL version of iText(Sharp) dates from July 2009. Many bugs have been solved in the meantime. Industry specifications have evolved as well. For instance, digital signatures in the pre-5 versions of iText are either forbidden (in the PAdES standard) or will be deprecated (in ISO-32000-2), excluding yourself from extending the life of the signed document.


                          Legal reasons: Older versions of iText under the free model may contain code fragments that infringe other people's copyrights or intellectual property rights. The iText Software Group has done a significant investment in identifying and eliminating all those cases as of version 5.1. which is one of the reasons why it is now a paying commercial version. We do not recommend the use of versions prior to 5.1 for commercial projects as your company could be liable for copyright or IP infringements.

                          • 10. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                            Great reply thanks.


                            I would only use iText from Java.




                            - m

                            • 11. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                              Actually, from the 2007 iText in Action book, page xxv: "Software requirements and downloads", it states: "iText is a Free/Open Source ...."  (No mention was made to licensing "cost", only that the code was protected by the MPL.)


                              I think that may have changed now, but I don't have a current iText book and haven't used it on Java projects since about that time.




                              - m

                              • 12. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                                Although there may be a cost for a FileMaker implementation of iText, ...


                                IText 2 was and is available to use for free under the LGPL. IText 5 uses the Affero GPL which makes it a nonstarter for most business uses, thus requiring you to pay for a license.


                                If you want/need total control over PDF generation, learn a little Java, get Bruno's "iText in Action" book for iText 2, download the iText libs and get coding!


                                His book is awesome.


                                - m

                                • 13. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks


                                  There is a newer version of the book, based around iText 5

                                  As indicated above the older version is both not available any more, and also not recommended for production either. (I imagine you are making sure your customers are/have moved from WindowsXP for similar reasons)


                                  Manning | iText in Action, Second Edition

                                  • 14. Re: Append in PDF without page breaks

                                    As previously stated there ar elicences for FMP developer available at a cost poiny based on their acceptance of your real-world useage

                                    Advantage is that any code issues we dicover could be fixed in that version, which they never will be in previous versions.


                                    I am imagining that onve you get to put your own name in the producer line you will see the point about a properly supported version




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