2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2014 6:28 PM by keywords

    Displaying data in columns in an email

    ericvz

      I would like to send invoices via email, with the invoice in the body of the email (not an attached pdf). What is the best way to display the invoice line items in the body of the email so that the data is displayed in a table like format with multiple columns?

       

      Thanks,

      Eric

        • 1. Re: Displaying data in columns in an email
          beverly

          Eric, you can make "fixed-width" columns by using a mono-spaced font (the user's email may or may not read it that way). This simulates columns.

           

          I have two Custom Functions that I wrote to "pad" text or numbers. There are probably other CF's out there as well. Here's the article I wrote about this method:

           

               <http://filemakerhacks.com/2012/08/29/fixed-width-for-edi-and-other-reporting/>

           

          You probably want to keep in mind the character limit of width on the document, as well. Email typically has a natural 'wrap' at 80 characters.

           

          or...

           

          You may also be able to 'attach' a text document with tab-delimited columns and the email client may display this "in-line".

           

          or...

           

          You may also look at HTML email (via plug-in) to present an HTML table.

           

          or...

           

          If you have website, you can upload a table to it and provide a link in the email.

           

          Beverly

           

          p.s. I use the fixed-width method for quick tables in email when I cannot create/attach pdf (from server scheduled scripts, for example).

          • 2. Re: Displaying data in columns in an email
            keywords

            The obvious question is: WHY? The appearance of an email layout is very client machine driven, so you have very little control over it—ref Bev's caution above: "(the user's email may or may not read it that way)"

             

            The whole idea of PDFs is to pass a layout from its source machine to any other machine in a format that will retain its original characteristics.