4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 24, 2012 8:12 PM by dustyhanes

    Printing field contents and viewing field contents as PDF

    dustyhanes

      Hello,

       

      1. I was wondering first of all if it was possible to print a particular field's contents in FMP12.
      2. Second, if it was possible to view/save a field's contents as a PDF.

       

      A little background on why I ask and what I'm going for. I work at a service company and am in the process of developing a database for us. Our service technicians take lists with them to each job that show them the products that they will use and where they will be located at the job site. I want to be able to store these lists for each job and to be able to print them for the technicians as needed. First thought is a container field in each job's record, but I want to be able to edit the items on the list quickly instead of creating a whole new file.

       

      So it would be nice to have a field dedicated to listing the information needed, and then be able to print those contents whenever the technician is going to that job site. If a change needs to be made right before he goes to the job, I can just edit the field with the right info and immediately print or save it.

       

      This brings me to the two questions above. Are these things possible? Are there any other thoughts for how this process could work quickly and efficiently?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Printing field contents and viewing field contents as PDF
          Mike_Mitchell

          Dusty -

           

          The short answer is, yes, this is possible. You can just use a text field and type what you want into it, then put a copy of that field all by itself on a layout. Print that layout, either to a printer or to PDF. You can also use the "Save as PDF" command to create a PDF.

           

          However, based on your description, that may not be the best way to do things from a database standpoint. What you've described is a list that contains multiple items of information. In general, it's best not to store multiple items of information in a single field in a database. It makes it difficult to isolate the individual bits of information for later. Rather, it's better to store individual bits of information in their own fields and / or records, related back to the original record through a relationship.

           

          I'd suggest you get a copy of the FileMaker Training Series and work your way through it, especially the modules on relational database design. If you're a paid member of the Developer Network, you can get your copy for free.

           

          HTH

           

          Mike

          • 2. Re: Printing field contents and viewing field contents as PDF
            dustyhanes

            Thanks for your suggestions Mike. I actually have the training series materials and have used it a lot as I work to build my company database.

             

            I implemented your suggestion by adding a new layout dedicated to the field that contained my job requirement lists. It actually works well except for one issue. Some lists for the jobs we do are very long and some are very short. The problem that this creates is that in order to compensate for the large lists, I have the make the field really big in the layout in order for all the contents to be viewed and printed. We're talking like 7 pages or more. This would be ok, but when I print one that is only 1 or 2 pages, it will print out 5 or more blank pages behind it.

             

            Maybe there is a technique that allows me to make the field  a certain size, and if the contents of the field are greater than that space, it will all still show up when I print. Or if I need to setup the field to be as large as the largest list I have, I need a way for the system to know to print only the length of the list whether it be 1 page or 10 pages.

             

            Hopefully this makes sense. Any thoughts? Thanks!

            • 3. Re: Printing field contents and viewing field contents as PDF
              Malcolm

              Maybe there is a technique that allows me to make the field  a certain size, and if the contents of the field are greater than that space, it will all still show up when I print. Or if I need to setup the field to be as large as the largest list I have, I need a way for the system to know to print only the length of the list whether it be 1 page or 10 pages.

               

              Basics first: Have you found the "reduce enclosing part" option in the inspector? Select the object, open the inspector to tab 1 and look down the bottom. It will do what it says.

               

              Malcolm

              • 4. Re: Printing field contents and viewing field contents as PDF
                dustyhanes

                Thanks for the quick reply Malcolm! Yeah I was just reading about the Sliding and Visibility part of the Inspector. I'm sure that will do what I need to do. I'm going to experiment with that. Thanks!