10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2015 9:32 PM by user19752

    How can I display external text files



      My records have fields containing the path & filename of textfiles. How can I automatically create a container field on a form to show the contents of those external text files?

        • 1. Re: How can I display external text files

          you should be able to set up your container field to use external, nonsecure, storage and then, in manage containers, point the containers to the location by setting a new base directory. The only thing you have to ask yourself is how are you going to deal with changed or deleted text files because the link to the external file will break if the text file name is changed, the file is moved, or the file is deleted.

          • 2. Re: How can I display external text files



            We use a plug-in named FileFire to handle files attached to records.


            We had a situation where we wanted to attach files to our customer database - Word, Excel, pdfs etc. - that contained contracts, pricing structures etc. I set this up (using FileFire) to manage all attached files from within the Filemaker customer database. Basically, I created a 'files' database, created a relationship to the main constomer database via a unique customer number, decided on a common path where files would reside on a shared volume and then showed the (files) records via a portal within the customer database. Ergo, via FileFire a user clicks a button on the customer database, the file gets copied to the destination folder, a record is created in the 'Files' database and Filefire creates a nice little matching logo, which appears in the portal row. I added an additional user friendly field where users could type in some appropriate accompanying text to further explain what the file was. Everyone satisfied and it works very well. The downsides are - price of plug-in(s) and access to the shared volume for local and non-local users.


            Don't know if that's of interest.



            • 3. Re: How can I display external text files

              ... sorry meant to add... the portal contains a link (the file icon) to the file, which when clicked opens the file in the appropriate application... Word, Excel, Preview, Acrobat, whatever. The file can then be edited/updated (with appropriate permissions) and re-saved.


              Apologies for the two-part response.

              • 4. Re: How can I display external text files

                If it's just TEXT, you may also consider webviewer to display the text.

                • 5. Re: How can I display external text files
                  Mike Duncan

                  A web viewer could work, and you might also be able to use "insert from URL" and use the same path you would use in a web viewer.

                  • 6. Re: How can I display external text files

                    Use import and bring the text files into a FileMaker text field. That record could be used for temporary viewing or to store the file itself. The import routine is almost foolproof and you can import every file in every folder within a folder.

                    • 7. Re: How can I display external text files

                      Jack, I have to respectfully disagree on this issue...


                      FileMakers text import functions are perhaps one of FileMakers greatest weaknesses.  There is no way to bring a text file (which has any carriage returns) into a single record, without first having it broken into multiple records, then re-assembling it.  Additionally things like Comma's and Tab's get interpreted as delimiters, even if Tab or Comma delimited is "NOT" chosen.


                      This has been an "ENORMOUS" problem which many other developers have been frustrated with as well.  This area has not been improved in over a decade.  For this reason it may be worth exploring other methods.

                      • 8. Re: How can I display external text files

                        You are correct, but there is always a work around. Don,t ask me what it is.

                        • 9. Re: How can I display external text files

                          Hi James,

                          You can also take a look at our Troi File Plug-in:



                          This is designed to get data and text files from disk, and also manupulate the files on disk. You might want to move or delete the text files when you are done.


                          Let me know if that helps.


                          Greetings from The Netherlands,



                          • 10. Re: How can I display external text files

                            If jamesdalgety want to print the layout, "Insert from URL" may be better since web viewer is printed as "low resolution captured image".

                            This seems not changed in FM14 on Windows.wv.png

                            (printed to PDF and see it with 200%)