Undocumented Change in FileMaker Pro 13

Discussion created by david_lalonde@d-cogit.ca on Jan 22, 2014
Latest reply on Jan 23, 2014 by david_lalonde@d-cogit.ca




There is a change in the behaviour of container fields I have not seen documented anywhere.



Container fields in FileMaker Pro 12 display transparent zones of PDF files correctly. Container fields in FileMaker Pro 13 replace the transparent areas with a white background.



You might suggest that I use a PNG instead because its transparent zones are displayed correctly. PNG is a bitmap image. PDF files can contain vector graphics. You might also suggest that I use a PS instead. FileMaker Pro does not reliably display PS files.



Attached is an example file. The PDF file contains a white arrow surrounded by a transparent frame. The arrow and its frame are vector graphics.



Start by opening the file in FileMaker Pro 12. Change the window size to see the change in size and position of the PDF file. Then do the same in FileMaker Pro 13.



One of my customers reported this bug to me many weeks ago. I reported it to FileMaker once I verified it. FileMaker informed me this was not a bug. It was a deliberate change.



FileMaker believes most customers insert PDF files from Word or Pages. Word and Pages create PDFs with transparent backgrounds. This caused problems with themes. I am conjecturing they thought most customers would have similar problems. FileMaker chose to fix this problem by changing the container field behaviour.



FileMaker is aware this change in behaviour breaks some solutions. FileMaker has no intention of changing FileMaker Pro 13's behaviour.



I am angry about this change.



First, it breaks some of my customers' solutions.



Second, FileMaker did not announce the change anywhere I am aware of.



Third, they fixed a problem by introducing another problem where it was not needed – for example, they could have chosen instead to use conditional formatting to automatically insert a white background to the container field when a PDF file is inserted.



Fourth, FileMaker made assumptions about what I want, thinking I would never want transparencies in PDF files.



Fifth, I no longer know if I can rely on features from one version of FileMaker Pro to the next. In this case, there is no viable workaround.


I encourage those who agree with me to do two things: send a bug report to FileMaker regarding the container field's new PDF transparency display behaviour; send a feature request to FileMaker requesting that container fields be able to display PDF transparencies correctly.