4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2012 2:37 PM by ender

    PDF Import on Mac and PC


      We've been importing a folder with thousands of (single-page) PDFs into a container field using a script on the Mac. We're using this Filemaker database as a visual "catalog" of PDF images. The script basically uses File>Import>Folder, and specifies "Picture and movie files" and "Import only a reference to each picture file".


      I'm now incorporating PC users. But when I try the same import operation on the PC, I get this error message: "No files of the specified file type were found in the specified folder."


      Not sure why the import is working on the Mac but not on the PC. All programming appears OK... I've hit a brick wall with this, have no idea what to try. And the natives (PC users) are getting restless...


      Served Filemaker database using FMS 11 on Imac with OS 10.6

      Mac OS 10.6, Filemaker Pro 11 Advanced

      PC Microsoft WIndows XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 3 (System/software managed by IT department), Filemaker Pro 11 Advanced


      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: PDF Import on Mac and PC



          This appears to be a limitation of the Win version of FMP. I just tried this on a test DB and yep, there is the one page PDF on the Mac (inserted as reference). Opened the file on the Win version and nope, get a "This file cannot be displayed:xxx.pdf" in the container field. Note that both are running the latest, updated versions of FMPA and the Mac is 10.7.2 and Win 7 Home Premium.


          I ran into a similar issue with the requirement of needing a lot of single page PDFs to be inserted, and from a Win platform. What I ended up doing was converting them to JPGs first. Using Ghostscript and ImageMagick (on Win) I was able to convert a folder of 229 PDFs in under a minute with one command line entry. That's one way. Another would be to perhaps look into using SuperContainer from 360 Works. Or you could create your own "scaled down version" using a web viewer. Just some thoughts



          • 2. Re: PDF Import on Mac and PC

            So it IS a brick wall. I suppose I can create a JPG collection for PC use, but the Mac users need the PDFs for other reasons, so I'm looking at maintaining two collections.


            I will definitely research SuperContainer; it looks interesting.  (However, we have quite a time authorizing any purchases these days. American companies aren't what they used to be.)


            Thank you for the verification that I'm not missing some obvious answer.

            • 3. Re: PDF Import on Mac and PC



              I haven't heard of this problem - but I never store files as reference because of the many problems with file paths and permissions - usually files stored by reference are located on a system drive - and actually macs seem to have more problems with this setup than PCs, because they require the drive to be mounted in order to see the files..


              A Clue might be in the container field itself - if you are getting <file missing> in the container field, then likely it is a file path problem.  If the file is showing up, but can't be opened, check permissions for the PC users ( and firewalls, and security issues, etc.)


              This may be an obvious question, but since the files are imported as reference - are you certain that the path for the PCs is correct?  The PC will need to use a DIFFERENT file path than the Macs.  So if you are trying to link to the file by capturing the path in the field, this will not work.  There is a huge difference in file path requirements for referenced files between macs and pcs.  A better option would be to write a script that modifies the path to the referenced file based on platform.


              Another option is to use an Open URL command to see if you can see the pdf in a web browser.  I use this for multi-page pdfs because it allows the document to be viewed.

              • 4. Re: PDF Import on Mac and PC

                Just a quick reply, Karendweaver (I'm behind on my emailing... way behind). It's not a referencing issue; we indeed have separate scripts--and layouts--for Mac and PC users.


                Filemaker on a PC does not, apparently, recognize the PDF as an "image".  Which is apparently why we get the message "No files of the specified file type were found in the specified folder."  We don't even get to the point of performing an import as Filemaker does not even see the PDFs in the file. It thinks it's looking at an "empty" folder.