8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 28, 2016 12:24 PM by fishtech

    PDF insert and viewing problem, seems Mac specific?


      I've replicated this issue on four macs so far. It doesn't seem to occur on pc's.


      1) Mac Mini, Late 2012, 2.5 GHz i5, 16GB RAM. El Capitan 10.11.3. Filemaker 14.0.4

      2) iMac, late 2011, 2.5GHz i5, 8GB RAM. Yosemite (latest before El Capitan). Filemaker 14.0.4

      3) Macbook Pro 13, late 2012, not sure on specs on this one. Yosemite (latest before El Capitan). Filemaker 13.0.1

      4) Macbook Pro 15, mid 2015, 2.5Ghz i7, 16GB RAM. El Capitan 10.11.3. Filemaker 14.0.4.


      Macs 1, 2, and 4 have Acrobat Pro DC. Mac 3 has the latest Adobe Reader.

      All are set to open pdf's with preview by default.

      I also deleted AdobePDFViewer.plugin and AdobePDFViewerNPAPI.plugin on all so preview is used to interact with containers in FMP.


      We have two layouts which are identical except for the "optimize for" setting on the container fields (6 of them).

      One layout is set to optimize for images, the other optimize for interactive content. (start playback automatically is not checked)

      Ideally I would like to have only the one layout set for interactive content, the other is a back up in case this layout fails in some way.


      The problem is, when I try to insert pdf's into the containers from any of the above Macs, they do not display correctly.

      If I drag and drop from downloads or wherever, this is what I get:

      (containers 1-3 are pdf's inserted from a pc, container 4, bottom right, is from a mac)


      Layout optimized for images:

      Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 7.06.36 AM.png


      Layout optimized for interactive content:


      Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 7.06.49 AM.png


      In the first layout, optimized for images, I can right click, export field contents, open automatically, and view the file in preview.

      If I use the scripted open button on the layout, I get this:

      (pretty much the same as above)

      Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 7.12.04 AM.png

      In the second layout, optimized for interactive, using the open button on the layout yields the same result as the above screen shot.

      However, right clicking over the container offers "reload" which gives a chime and nothing else. Same chime if I try to open in preview with the third button from the left below.

      Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 7.15.14 AM.png


      So, after that long winded explanation, what I'm looking for is:


      To be able to drag and drop pdfs into all containers, regardless of optimization setting.

      To be able to open all pdfs with the above button directly into preview. (on interactive content layout)


      It is also worth noting that, at one time more than a year ago, I was able to do this on my iMac (Mac #2 above).

      I wish I could recall exactly when the problem began.


      I've spent hours searching this forum and google etc. I would be so grateful if someone could suggest a solution.

      I'm so tired of the conversation in the office about it, the words "pdf" and "container field" raise my blood pressure at this point.


      Thanks in advance,



      (mark hamil works too, its a long time nickname )

        • 1. Re: PDF insert and viewing problem, seems Mac specific?



          Thank you for your post.


          I am unable to reproduce this behavior with a local or hosted file using FileMaker Pro 14.0.4 on OS X 10.11.3. To attempt to reproduce I followed these steps:

          1. Created "test.fmp12"

          2. Created "Container" container field

          3. Set "Container" up for Interactive Content (left "playback automatically" unchecked)

          4. Dragged "test.pdf" into "Container"

               *Tried locally and then uploaded the file to the server, repeating step 4.

               *PDFs show up as expected with the container using Preview. (your images and description suggests you are using preview)


          -Are you able to reproduce this behavior in a new file both locally and hosted?

          -Does this behavior occur if you right-click (or control-click) on the container and "Insert PDF"?

          -How large are the PDFs you are inserting? (file size)


          I look forward to your response!



          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: PDF insert and viewing problem, seems Mac specific?



            Thanks for getting back so quickly. Sorry it took me a while to respond afterward.


            When I create a new file saved locally on my mac, I am unable to replicate the issue.

            However, when I host the file, the issue returns. So it seems like you may be onto something there.

            Right click, insert pdf produces the same unwanted result. (grey box, inoperable)

            Pdfs are seldom larger than 500KB, never larger than 1MB, generally btw 100KB-300KB.


            Thanks again for your help,



            • 3. Re: PDF insert and viewing problem, seems Mac specific?



              Screen shot of my result in your database VS in my database. I attempted to reproduce by uploading my file to a FileMaker Server 14.0.4 and having the Container Field use External Storage (Open Security). I am able to reproduce the issue in a new layout in your hosted file, though I am not able to reproduce the issue in a new file altogether (hosted on my server). If you have not already, I would recommend running Recover. Please let me know what you find.


              You did mention the ability to reproduce in a Starter Solution, locally. Could you send me your Starter Solution follow the steps I left in your inbox?



              FileMaker, Inc.

              • 5. Re: PDF insert and viewing problem, seems Mac specific?



                I'm not seeing the issue at all in the Test File you sent me. I uploaded it to my Server and it looks like files your dragged and dropped, as well as files I drag and drop look fine. The Insert File... will not show the PDF interactively. You would want to use Insert PDF...


                Was the first screenshot showing gray when hosted on your server, while it is working properly on mine?


                Your record:

                Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 1.16.23 PM.png

                My Record:

                Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 1.16.31 PM.png


                FileMaker, Inc.

                • 6. Re: PDF insert and viewing problem, seems Mac specific?

                  Sorry for taking a while to get back, been busy with some other work stuff.

                  Honestly I’m getting a little lost with this issue at this point. I’ve self taught the little I know about FMP, so excuse me if any of my questions are silly, redundant, etc.


                  First of all, you mentioned trying “Recover”. Could you explain about what that is/does?


                  So it looks like I was wrong about being able to reproduce the issue in a local file.

                  I may have misspoke initially about that as I don’t recall trying it previous to our current string of troubleshooting.


                  The two files we have been working with were created 10-15 plus years ago.

                  There is a newer file (created within the past 3 years) which we have hosted with the same service.

                  I am able to reproduce the issue in this file as well.


                  I have spoken with a consultant previously and he mentioned something about an “outdated database architecture” which may be causing problems with our files. Having been upgraded between upwards of 7 versions of FMP.

                  Keeping in mind my cursory knowledge of the software, I think he was just trying to sell us his services for creating a new database.

                  (we don’t work with him anymore)

                  It would seem that my being able to reproduce the issue in a hosted file on the same server which was created in FMP 12 or newer would dispel that possibility.

                  Thoughts on this?


                  Lastly, is there a possibility that our hosting service plays a role in the issue we’ve been working on?

                  I believe we are hosted on FMS 14 (they also offer 12 and 13 hosting for lower prices).

                  We are accessing the hosted file through versions 12-14. Could this have a part in the issue?


                  Thanks again for your help, I think this type of online support is a great service! Two thumbs up!



                  • 7. Re: PDF insert and viewing problem, seems Mac specific?



                    Thank you for your response.


                    I just wanted to make sure I knew exactly what we were dealing with. No trouble on miscommunication or what have you.


                    I would check >FileMaker Recovery<. It basically runs through your file and attempts to find and even resolve damage or corruption that a file may gather over several years. It's a good step for cases that are out of the ordinary and may be file specific.


                    So, you have previous files created anywhere from 3-15 years ago that present this issue. It would make sense that if a hosted New Starter Solution, or New File presented the issue that those older files would not be the problem. I would troubleshoot towards the Server at that point. Also, being unable to reproduce on MY server may help point towards your Server or environment being the root cause.


                    You say you are working through a hosting service. Are any other companies hosted on the same server as you and are they having the same issues? (You may need to contact the Hosting Company for this information.)


                    Thank you for the compliment! It's what we are here for. I just hope to help guide you to a resolution.



                    FileMaker, Inc.

                    • 8. Re: PDF insert and viewing problem, seems Mac specific?

                      I am having a similar problem.


                      I have Server 12 and Server 15.


                      The grey box  happens when 'Insert PDF' is used from Client 13 or Client 14 to a file hosted on Server 12 .


                      "Insert PDF" from client 12 to Server 12 works fine.


                      Existing PDFs in the file display fine... only new PDFs added by Client 13 or 14 have the problem.