emory_brown

Calibri + unrecognizable character breaks FileMaker PDF Engine

Discussion created by emory_brown on Apr 3, 2017
Latest reply on Apr 18, 2017 by BobbyO'steen

Product and version: FileMaker Pro 15.0.3

OS and version(s): macOS Sierra, Windows 10, Windows 7.

Hardware: tested on Mac Mini, virtual machines, and windows PC.

Description:

When an unrecognizable character is included in a field, Save Records As > PDF will render anything in the Calibri font family completely screwed up--visually all letters from all data are stacked on top of each other, resulting in a blob.

 

The first problem is FileMaker is allowing non-recognizable characters to be inserted into the database. The second issue is that the FileMaker PDF engine cannot handle these with certain fonts (Calibri is the only confirmed, there may be others.)

 

How to replicate:

Save records as PDF from example file. If you backspace out the last character in the first field, the PDF will then render normally (note: the cursor will not move, since there is an invisible character beyond the "SA").

 

Workaround:

Font Issue: Don't use Calibiri. However, the entire system is in Calibri because Arial broke PDFs in the last patch (15.0.2), and the workaround was to not use Arial in the mean time. This is sort of a vicious, very costly cycle at this point.

 

Data issue: Find and replace all data in every field in every table with a custom function which utilizes Filter() function to ensure only letters, numbers, and symbols are allowed into the system. Additionally use a third-party plugin to capture clipboard data before it is pasted into the system and do the same. I've found that this workaround presents challenges when dealing with multiple languages, as all characters and symbols from every language's keyboard will need to be included. There is also an concern here with large data stores because sifting years of data entry including unrecognizable characters presents huge risk for introducing error.

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