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Export records as PDF crashes FM17 (Mac) - font issue

Question asked by nathanzamprogno on Jul 24, 2018
Latest reply on Nov 16, 2018 by keithatstorm

I'm writing to report two different bugs in Filemaker 17 Advanced, and a workaround.


We had a large and complex database in Filemaker 11 with a script that generates PDFs and saves them to disk. The script worked perfectly under OS-X 10.11/FM11


Then we upgraded the Macs from OS-X 10.11 to 10.13, and from 11 to 17 Advanced. Now, the script reliably crashes FM on certain Macs on our network, but not all.


We isolated the problem by realising the crashing Macs had additional fonts installed because they were used for graphic design work (Inc Adobe suite). Bizarrely, layouts including the Helvetica font now render using a variant of Helvetica which is "wrong" (font style appear as outline fonts in the upgraded database, font name is Helvetica Neue, style is "Greek Bold", whatever that is) and exporting records to PDF reliably crashes FM from any such layout. This change has only come with the upgrade. The old database had plain, garden variety Helvetica throughout.


Other Macs that only have "Ordinary" Helvetica continue to work OK.


The workaround was to change all use of Helvetica in the layouts to Arial, and the script now works.


Short version:

--- Upgrading our database caused inconsistent font substitution and rendering issues on-screen.

--- The PDF export engine is fragile and crashes if the "wrong" fonts are on the layout.