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Save Records as PDF of layouts containing PNG images crashes FileMaker 16 when the user temporary folder path contains non-ASCII characters

Question asked by shinsumita on Jan 17, 2018
Latest reply on May 20, 2018 by shinsumita

Product and version


FileMaker Pro

FileMaker Pro Advanced

Both on FileMaker Server 16 hosted and local fmp12 files.

(not in FileMaker Pro 11.0.3)


OS and version

Windows 10 Pro (Version 1709 Build 16299.192) Japanese Version



NEC Mate Windows Desktop PC




Hi, I’d like to report an issue that I encountered when doing a “Save Records as PDF” on a layout containing PNG images, on a computer when the Windows user name contains non-ASCII characters.

The user temporary folder path is by default under the user profile directory and so users with user names that contain non-ASCII characters save to PDF cannot save to PDF.


Monitoring what FileMaker Pro does when doing an export to PDF by Sysinternals’ Process Monitor, apparently FileMaker creates a temporary folder and puts a TIF file there while converting the PNG image. It succeeds in creating the temporary folder for it (something like FMPDF_35b4_1df8_2).


However when it comes to the point where it actually creates the TIF file for conversion, the path of the folder it requests to access becomes garbled when the folder name contains non-ASCII characters such as Japanese letters. The operating system says there’s no such folder and at that point the post-crash debug process begins.


Here the destination of the PDF file is "C:\localfolder\testoutput.pdf" and the user temporary folder is "C:\実験\ " (the backslash character is the yen mark in Japanese Windows environment)




You can see that the third line (with the arrow) is clearly different from the two lines preceding it.

The pattern of the garbling is similar to how it looks like when misreading Shift-JIS encoded Japanese text as UTF-8.


This conversion process does not happen when the image in the layout is from a JPEG file (and thus save to PDF succeeds).


How to Replicate:

- Change the system environment variable %TEMP% and %TMP% to one that contains non-ASCII characters (like C:\実験\)

- Launch FileMaker Pro 16 and create an empty layout and paste a PNG image

- Do “Save/Send Records as ” -> “PDF…” from File menu or run a script that contains a “Save Records as PDF” step



- Use other methods in creating PDF such as from the print dialog

- Use a user name that doesn’t contain non-ASCII letters.

- Change the system environment’s %TEMP% and %TMP% folder from the default to something that doesn’t contain non-ASCII letters (i.e. c:\temp), if security and other things permits.

- Do not use PNG images in layouts where you export to PDF.


We recently moved from FileMaker 11 and noticed that few of our colleagues could not output PDF while others could and found out that the above was the case. We usually avoid non-ASCII characters in Windows account names as it does have a tradition to mess things up but sometimes it is unavoidable and it would be nice if this could be sorted out.