6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 7, 2016 3:05 AM by paulwatts

    Document headers and footers


      A customer has asked me to set up a document management system using Filemaker but in a highly regulated industry. There are nearly 700 finished documents that are to be made available for her clients to read or, in some cases, to be filled in. This raises 2 issues. The first is the ongoing saga of how many licences she will need to service her clients with FMS15. However, I will let the dust settle before I address this one. The second problem is that each document must appear to the user with the client's own logo in the header (and should also appear in the header when they print the document). A related issue is that all documents must be "re-issued" every 12 months and so must be dated (in the footer) accordingly (whether or not they have been changed).


      I can hold the documents (PDF, WORD or EXCEL) in container fields with external storage. I can hold the logos in other containers. I can identify which user relates to which logo. What I can't figure out is how to bring the documents and logos together when viewing or printing. A sledge hammer approach would be for my customer to copy all documents for each client organisation. This would create14,000 documents for 20 clients which would be unmanageable. I've then got the problem of re-dating each document at 12 monthly intervals.


      I suspect that the solution lies outside of Filemaker but I would appreciate your thoughts and ideas as to how to deal with this one.


      Thanks for your attention.



        • 1. Re: Document headers and footers


          Can you replicate the documents as layouts and output them from FileMaker? If this is possible, then generate the documents from FileMaker, as needed and store them in containers for historical reference.

          If you can not use FileMaker to generate the documents from FileMaker, then you would need to parse data out from FileMaker into other formats.

          • 2. Re: Document headers and footers

            Thanks for your response Peter.

            I've thought about producing the documents as FM layouts but maybe I should think a bit harder about this option. Perhaps I should try it out on a couple of test documents to help me decide. I think it's the volume (700 docs) that has frightened me off.

            I'll also have a go at "parsing data out" as you suggest.


            Someone asked me if I could put each document inside an editable document but I don't know how this would work with multiple pages. I need to give this a try too.



            • 3. Re: Document headers and footers

              I have a client who puts pdf's in a container, then pdf's the whole page.

              For some reason, it works fine on Mac, but not windows. Not sure if version 15 is any different... it could be.

              It was similar issue with web-viewer content, printing would not turn out well, when printing from FileMaker.


              I have spat out data out to from FileMaker to facebook, word documents, html format, Quark Express and so on. the big question is, what are the documents you need to create...? Find the best tool for the job and make it work with FileMaker, but keep in mind that FileMaker has extremely flexible layout design.


              700 documents, but are they all unique in design? Or is that the total number of documents of a few different types?

              My point is... I've seen some layouts in FileMaker that have some pretty clever ways of being one layout with multiple elements, but suit multiple different types of documents. Sub-summary parts that show/hide depending on how it's sorted, show/hide objects and so on... you may find that the 700 different document types are in fact, a lot less layouts than the imagine. But heck, even if you took one standard layout and duplicated it multiple times and then modified them, it still might be easier than other methods... worth thinking about.

              • 4. Re: Document headers and footers

                Are all these documents single-page documents ?

                • 5. Re: Document headers and footers

                  No. Some are as much as 30 pages.

                  • 6. Re: Document headers and footers

                    Hi Peter.


                    The documents are policies and procedures including, in some cases, forms to be filled in. They are up to 30 pages in length and have similar but not the same format as they cover very different topics.




                    I like the idea of putting a fixed document inside another editable document or even merging 2 documents (this being a standard manual feature of WORD, XL and Acrobat). The latter could use the original fixed document as the first with the second being a document with blank content but with an editable header and footer.


                    I will look at reproducing the documents in Filemaker layout(s).


                    Thanks for your ideas.