1 2 Previous Next 26 Replies Latest reply on Jul 24, 2013 3:51 PM by kiwikaty

    Inserting MS Word into layout alternative

    MichaelMaher

      Now that v12 no longer supports OLE, what is the best alternative?

      A client needs to have a Word formatted letter on a layout for reports, which has fields overlayed for dynamic data. In the past I tried converting the Word doc into PDF and image formats, but the results were never as clear as inserting Word via OLE object. Now I can't insert anything except an image. I'm uncertain how FMI calls this an improvement.

      Given we are into CSS, what is the best way to get a Word formatted letter onto a layout for printing clearly? Is there some way to convert the Word doc to CSS and paste onto the layout?

       

      Michael

        • 1. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
          taylorsharpe

          OLE was basically just an alias or link to the file that would open by clicking on the container field.  You could use a container field with a reference path or you could have a script open the path to a file with a particular location (path) stored in a text field.  I personally prefer to just do the normal process FileMaker has which is actually store the Word document in the container field.  You can put a button next to it that they click and it downloads to the desktop or documents folder and there is an option to automatically open it up.  The only drawback now is that if you make changes to the document, you'll need to reimport it into the container field.  But with drag and drop now, it is pretty easy. 

           

          You can insert any file into a container field with the Insert File script setp including Word Documents.  But you really do want to get away from OLE since FileMaker deprecated support in 2010.  I generally avoided it because it only worked on WIndows machines.  But now it is just a bad idea and you should be helping clients convert those links.  While you can still see the links in the current version of FM12, I would not be surprised if they won't work in the next version. 

          • 2. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
            MichaelMaher

            Hi taylorsharpe, I'm not trying to store a Word doc. I want it to show as background on the layout with fields of data overlaid, such that it will print out. This is a form letter to hundreds of medical practices to make claims on the governement for training students. Surely this is a common process for any database? I can insert a JPG or PNG of the Word document, but it prints out fuzzy compared to the original doc inserted. the only answer I can think of is to manually format the layout itself to match the original Word doc, but that is quite tedious as there are many small formating elements.

             

            Michael

            • 3. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
              taylorsharpe

              My misunderstanding.  Sorry about that.

               

              Yes, save the Word Document to PDF.  Then in layout mode, insert the PDF into the layout and send it to the back and you'll have your form all ready to go.  Use a high resolution PDF for the best results so that you don't have the fuzzy graphics problems described above.  When you print-to-pdf or save it, choose a print resolution. 

              • 4. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                MichaelMaher

                Neither can PDFs be inserted. Although in v11 that along with image also did not match the clarity of inserting Word.

                The point is, nothing can be inserted along these lines except an image.

                This is not a very useful state of affairs for a business application.

                 

                I did search the forum, but so far have found nothing on this, which surprises me.

                • 5. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                  taylorsharpe

                  Only Images and PDFs are supported to be imported into FileMaker's layout mode.  Are you on the latest version of FM (12.0.4)?  What OS are you using?

                  • 6. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                    PSI

                    Michael,

                     

                    So you have 2 options. Use the pdf as at template to build the form yourself. Then it woud be all native FMP objects.

                     

                    The other option is to keep the document outside of FMP. I havent' tested it with the latest version of word but in the past i created word templates. I used VBA code to load the data from .mer and .csv files exported from the database and troi file to name and save it...If intrested i could provide more info.

                     

                    John Morina

                    PSI, Inc.

                    CCQ-FM, Inc.

                    • 7. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                      MichaelMaher

                      V12.04, Windows 7: I can't see any option under Insert Menu to insert a PDF.

                       

                      I did do some experiments today with converting Word to image, via Snipping Tool, Photoshop, and simply copy/paste from Word direct to layout mode. All are possible, but the results are not as good as the Word insert from v11. In v11 I had previously experimented with converting to PDF then inserting onto layout, and was not happy with the results. And it will not be easy for users to modify. All up it is unsatisfactory.

                       

                      I did see a higher quality program of converting Word to JPG, which I might trial - if it will create in higher than 72 px/in that could be the best workaround, as there is only one user who manages these quality printouts.

                      • 8. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                        MichaelMaher

                        Yes John, that did occur to me - using .mer or a print-to-word plugin. Not impossible, and at least they could edit the doc. But it is a complex layout for the data.

                         

                        I was wondering if I had missed something in the Word insert depreciation, but it appears I will need to explore all these more tedious alternatives.

                        • 9. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                          pmconaway

                          Michael, is there any particular reason you are not creating the form as native filemaker layout? By that I mean create a text box with the form itself and inserting merge fields in appropriate places for the data that changes. I also always create forms using this method. It gives more fine control. And if there are any graphics on the original form I can also scan the graphic and import as a image and basically mimic the original form.

                           

                           

                          Paul

                          • 10. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                            taylorsharpe

                            When you need to insert a PDF, you choose INSERT > INSERT PICTURE and it will let you select a PDF and import when in Layout Mode. 

                            • 11. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                              LyndsayHowarth

                              You can save as HTML...

                               

                              Years ago I coded an export of html/CSS and Word Styles with external references to images which I then saved as a .doc.

                              MS Word would open the file and so long as you did a save as and chose MS Word format straight after opening, it pretty closely resembeld the page I required and would print constently, depending on the settings of the application opening it.

                               

                              Doing the save as internalised the image in the file. The consequence of not doing a save as resulted in a damaged file.... in windows only.

                               

                              HTH

                               

                              Lyndsay

                              • 12. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                                MichaelMaher

                                Hi taylorsharpe, that option does not appear for me, either on my own Win7 computer or on the Win Server 8 R2.

                                • 13. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                                  MichaelMaher

                                  Hi Paul, actually there are three pages, 1 Word and 2 PDFs, all with data fields overlaid. To reproduce this on the layout itself is not impossible, but it would be very time consuming as these forms are complex. It is not impossible, and I am considering this along with the .mer or a Word/PDF to image solution. The client is keen for us to move to a more user enguinity rather than developer approach, so I will first do more testing on which image format and process produces the best results. PDF insert would be best as users are already familiar with PDFs, but I can't see yet how to insert a PDF. They will just have to live with a slightly less distinct print, as I did a lot of testing a few years ago and found Word insert produced the clearest results.

                                  • 14. Re: Inserting MS Word into layout alternative
                                    MichaelMaher

                                    Hi Lyndsay. I am not trying to export from FileMaker to Word (except as possibly a .mer to template). But I have looked at exporting from Word to image, of which there are many ways, including to OneNote, which I don't know if anyone uses. But that's still all to be examined which method works best. With the PDFs, I pereviously found PDF to image to FM layout did not produce such good results, but good-enough may have to be the only way to go now.

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