14 Replies Latest reply on Nov 22, 2016 5:02 PM by Vaughan

    Insert hyperlinks in text


      This issue continues to plague and frustrate me. I am using FMP12. So how does one insert a unique hyperlink (NOT as a global thing but unique to each and every text field that I want to designate as a web link).  For some strange reason this question seems to always be misinterpreted or misconstrued by everyone on the Community Help forum.


      My question is very simple. I will explain.  Let's say that I have created a text field within a solution and I name this text field, "Home page".  Within this text field I type the words, "Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum".  Ok, with me so far?  Okay, now I want to insert (or embed or what ever you want to call it) the html link to this web site (which is:  http://www.automobilemuseum.org/#home.html  )


      It is inconceivable to me that this cannot be done. I can do this a Microsoft Word document. I can do this in a Microsoft Excel document. I can do this in Apple's Pages application. I can do this in "Numbers" application................. but you mean to say this cannot be done in an expensive, highly sophisticated application like FireMaker - RIDICULOUS!  (nevertheless, I have not found an answer and in the past no one on the help forum could provide me with a workable solution to this seemingly simple process.


      Has anything changed since I first posed this question several months ago....... Like has FileMaker wised up?

        • 1. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

          Sadly (and inexplicably) this cannot be done within a text field. You could do it within a web viewer. Set the source of your web viewer to the field in question, and properly format the HTML within he field. Not an ideal solution at all, but the only way to get it to work. Also- you have to set the target property of the HTML link if you want it to open in the browser vs. the web viewer.


          There is a feature request to have this functionality added- you should vote the request up and spread the word.

          • 2. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

            Well yes, you can do this several ways.  The most obvious would be to simply make the text field a button by right-clicking (Ctrl-click on Mac) on it in layout mode, choosing "Button Set Up," then set the button to perform a single script step, "Open URL."  When you specify the URL, you can set it to the field that contains the web address.


            The problem with this of course, is that once you make the field into a button, you won't be able to click into it to edit it any more.  That's why I generally use a small icon only button right next to the field set up as described above.


            Now, if you had a layout in which the text was static, or in a merge field or variable, then you can easily make that into a button and link it to any URL you specify (either hard coded, or through a calculation) using the method described above.  You can then give it some formatting behaviors when hovering/pressing (eg - turn text blue and underline to indicate it's a hyperlink, etc).


            Hope that helps.  If I'm not getting what you mean, let me know and I can maybe offer some other ideas.

            • 3. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

              two fields. One with text, the other with the URL.


              I mostly have URL (or more than one) field and push to Web Viewer and/or use Open URL (browser).


              Why more than one? I might need sources reference(s) and a final link for result.


              Sent from miPhone

              • 4. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                Appreciate your reply but frankly, I am not well versed with FM and your explanation has be scratching my head. Sorry to say but I have no idea what you mean by the term, "web viewer" unless you are referring to an internet web browser and if so, I would still be totally lost with respect to your further explanation.


                In reading the three responses that I received the "bottom line" seems to be that FM inexplicably (and ridiculously) does not allow for the insertion of hyperlinks into pure text. If as it seems, I would need to create a separate field in which to insert the html link, I might as well keep what I have - which is a text field containing an active link. Not the desirable solution but since, despite it's expense and its exceeding steep learning curve, FM is actually "Mickey Mouse" when it comes to simple solutions. Being a Mac user for the past 25 years I am used to relatively simple, easy to understand, logical solutions to almost all situation. FM on the other hand appears to turn almost everything into highly complex, convoluted procedures............. like "scripts" for example. I have been told several times by several people to merely "write a script". Write a script????  What script? Script is basically "code" and how in the hell am I supposed to know code if I have never been exposed or educated on it. I have absolutely no education of writing scripts. Even after being a Mac user for 25+ years, I have only the rudimentary knowledge of Apple Script and would never go into Terminal and simply start typing a bunch of characters, symbols, etc without knowing exactly what I am doing.


                It is incomprehensible to me that a application like FM does not have the ability to perform a relatively simple procedure like, 'inserting hyperlinks into text' when simple apps like Word, Excel, Numbers and Pages all have such a feature.......


                Thank you for your reply.

                • 5. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                  the Web Viewer is an object that can be placed on a FileMaker layout and display several things (web like things):


                  In addition several thread in this forum are questions and discussions on Web Viewer



                  • 6. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                    I think the problem may lie in your expectations of what FileMaker would be, vs. what it actually is.


                    While there are certainly some very good complete starter solutions that provide what many users need "off the shelf/out of the box," (even they are called STARTER solutions), FileMaker is primarily a very cool tool box built on a very good database engine.  It's not a completed database.  It's a set of tools for customizing a database--AND the database engine all in one!


                    I understand your frustration in thinking you were getting X and discovering that there was more work involved to get X than simply flipping a switch.  While you may not get exactly what you want right out of the box, you have a very powerful tool to build a custom solution, rather than trying to force an off the shelf solution to do what you need it to do (or more likely being forced to alter your needs to fit the solution that is "set in stone").


                    I don't think it's fair to call FileMaker "Mickey Mouse" (it certainly isn't) just because you wish it did one thing a certain way and it doesn't.  It's fair to say you maybe misunderstood what you were buying, but for what it is actually DESIGNED to be, FileMaker is AMAZINGLY GOOD!

                    • 7. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                      I understand your frustration, because many other applications make this easy for you. However, one important thing to recognize, is that FM stored Data. Word, Excel, Numbers, Pages, etc...all interpret data and display it to you differently. If you expectation is that FM will be like Word, Excel, Numbers, Pages...you will be disappointed. The aim is completely different.


                      The question comes down to, what are you trying to do? There may be a better way to present the data, or automate the opening of the link. If you tell use what the purpose of the database is, the problem you are trying to solve, we can help direct you to a solution. The usage problem is not "I'm trying to create a hyperlink and FM won't let me". What is the business problem you are trying to give the user by embedding that link. That's the question we can help with.

                      • 8. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                        In addition to using a web viewer, it's possible to do this with script triggers as long as we are using FileMaker Pro and not FileMaker Go.


                        Start with OnObjectEnter

                        The script thus performed scans left and right from the insertion point to capture the link "label" text. When I've done this previously, I used a distinct text style for the link label text. Once you've extracted this label text, you use it via a relationship, ExecuteSQL or a scripted find to search a table where one field is this link label and another field is the actual URL text to get the URL text and open it via Open URL.


                        A simplified version of this technique may be examined in the "resources" layout found in


                        Adventures in FileMaking #1 - Conditional Value Lists


                        Please note that this is a simplified approach that uses embedded URL text, but it can be enhanced to use "label" text instead if you were to used the methods outlined above.


                        All in all, the webviewer approach is probably simpler, but if you prefer, this method also can be used.

                        • 9. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                          While I sincerely appreciate everyone's time and efforts to explain this, I am totally lost - primarily with the terminology being used by several. Like: "OnObjectEnter" and especially when you refer to "scripts" which maybe mistakenly interrupted by me, denotes "writing code". I have absolutely no idea about writing a "script"......... just as I have no idea as to writing html.  This is totally "Greek" to me. I apologize but I am (without meaning to sound egotistic) an expert in the use of graphical interface applications like: Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign but as far as a highly complex application like FileMaker Pro, I am totally lost. I am a Digital graphic artist and photographer. Previously in order to keep certain records in a very basic form, I used AppleWorks. When, due to technology advancements, newer computers and OS upgrades, AppleWorks became a thing of he past and unfortunately, I was unable to find any substitute for AppleWorks. Only when I saw an offer for a "Special two user" sale of FileMaker, did I shell out much more money than I had wanted to purchase FM Pro 12. Frankly, I am almost sorry I did.


                          Phrases like: "ExecuteSQL" or "scripted find" mean absolutely nothing to me.......... Not only have I not found any relatively simple help sources for understanding all these terms / procedures, I am not inclined to begin an indepth study of any of this. My concentration and interests lie in graphic arts - not highly complex data bases.


                          For Judd45 who seems to have been so greatly offended that I called (his) FM "Mickey Mouse", I apologize. I will say that with the very patient and thorough help of one gentleman out of Australia several months ago, I  managed to create several data bases (or as I guess one is to say, "Solutions") which are fine for what I need except for the issue of inserting hyperlinks into text. Despite the somewhat sarcastic comments of Judd45 who basically seemed to be saying to me that I didn't know what I was doing when I bought FM, you're absolutely right......... to a large extent because the literature on line provided very little information about FM. About all I knew coming into this thing was that numerous people on the internet complained that FM was highly complicated and would require a steep learning curve. Basically most recommended against buying FM but then pointed out that there really wasn't any good, simple database apps to replace AppleWorks. I'm not sorry I bought this FileMaker - only disappointed that it is so ridiculously over-complicated............ and, I might add, highly irritated that FileMaker has not, nor apparently will not offer version upgrades (like all other developers do).  Rather, FileMaker coyly comes out with a whole new version and a whole new capital expense for the users.


                          Thanks for everyone's time but I can see that we are going nowhere with this due to the fact that I don't have the time, the energy or the inclination to spend hours and hours trying to learn something which is not my primary requirement, no interest. Let's just chalk this up as a bad experience (for me) and close this discussion.

                          • 10. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                            If you are serious about using FileMaker, you need to invest the time in learning how to use this tool. There are a number of free resources for learning how to do so.


                            Building a solution in FileMaker without knowing how to create scripts is like rowing a boat with only one oar.

                            • 11. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                              For the record, I was not offended in the least, and was trying to be understanding, and hopefully helpful.  Looks like I failed at that.

                              • 12. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text
                                David Moyer


                                I started using FM with version 2.  It was Mickey-Mouse.  But it was also priced thusly.  Over the years, it has remained, for me, the inexpensive, easy to build, beginner, sole-proprietor-friendly, introductory tool for databases.  It wasn't until version 7 that FM joined the "respectable" world of databases, IMHO.  Nowadays, it's become more expensive, and more capable, and more contemporary.  It still seems to require a fair amount of "work-around" solutions, but much better than in the past.

                                My concern is that FM's price remains consistent with its capabilities, relative to other software.

                                • 13. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                                  "Microsoft Word" supports the feature, but "WordPad" (built in micro application write.exe in Windows) doesn't, it has same level of richtext support as FM. It can treat URL in text as clickable link, but not label & hidden URL.

                                  This shows FMI hadn't interested in supporting the feature.

                                  • 14. Re: Insert hyperlinks in text

                                    Let's say you take a photograph that includes the text of a URL. Can I click the photo to open the link?


                                    The answer is yes, but only as long as the photograph is in some kind of system that can track where the user clicks, convert the pixels of the photograph into the text of the url, then pass this url to the web browser.


                                    Is this something that Photoshop can and should do?


                                    In web development you'd display the photo on a page, map a clickable area over the photo where the user might click, and program the clickable area to go to a url. FileMaker has functionality that can do something similar but some assembly is required. FMP is, after all, a development environment and not a solution in itself -- you use FMP to make solutions.