10 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2009 1:13 PM by ninja

    Build in Mac, use in PC?



      Build in Mac, use in PC?


      If a database is built on a Mac, will it appear and function the same on a PC? I know it’s cross platform, but need clarification about whether or not things will behave differently in the two environments.


      Also, where do I find a list of fonts that are native to FileMaker? When sharing databases between Macs, we’re seeing format shifts that appear to be font related.

        • 1. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?



          Thank you for your post.


          Yes, if you build a file on a Mac, it will function primarily the same on a PC.  A Knowledge Base article was created many years ago for designing your databases across Macintosh and Windows platforms.  Please look at the following link:




          When selecting fonts between computers, make sure they are truetype fonts.  Otherwise, you may have some spacing problems.  Again, see the link above.



          FileMaker, Inc. 

          • 2. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?

            First visit to the forums! Looks like a great tool for users! Thanks, FMI!


            Now, this thread caught my attention as I've seen the same problem. Searching through the MS links, I found one that might be a good general solution for font choices. There is a list of "Core Fonts for the Web." I hope we can assume that they would all be available on any Windows system out there! The obvious thing to remember is that we should limit font choices to what we think are available on all systems and that may be more limited than we'd like.  :)


            • 3. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?

              I'm with xairbusdriver; while knowing TrueType is critically important, obviously not all TT fonts are included on all computers. So...why don't I rephrase that part of my querie this way:


              1. Does FileMaker Pro ship with fonts included / embedded in the software?


              2. Are the same fonts included in the PC version as the Mac version?


              3. Where would I find a list of the specific fonts that cross into both platforms so I don't have to worry about what I build on my MacBook Pro appearing incorrectly on another computer (either Mac or PC)?


              Thanks for your assistance. 

              • 4. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?

                Well, if you stick to the "Web Core" set, you'll have 10 TrueType font families.:

                • Sans-seif
                  • Andale Mono
                  • Arial & Arial Black and tall)
                  • Comic Sans (not very formal/professionsl)
                  • Impact (very BOLD)
                  • Trebuchet
                  • Verdana
                • Serif
                  • Courier New (mono spaced, comes in handy)
                  • Georgia
                  • Times New

                Then there are Web Dings and Minion Pro, both of which are included in OS X, I think. But they would be of limited use and Minion is noted as having very limited installs in Windows. Not a lot of choices, I agree. But it's somewhat similar in web publishing. If everyone used a Mac, the font choices would be quite large but they don't and it is practically impossible to know what is installed on any system. On the web, we can use CSS to try to have certain fonts, defaulting to the basic 'serif/sans-serif' as a last choice. In designing a solution, it's probably best to plan on a limited set of fonts and not have to worry about base lines moving, text boxes being to short or the labels running under/over something.


                This leaves Linux still to be covered. Does FMP run on that OS?  


                As a last resort, you can always convert the text, in the font you want, into a graphic. But that limits your easy editing abilities in the future.

                Them's my opinions, anyway. No need to email the 2 cents!

                • 5. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?



                  FileMaker Pro does NOT ship with any fonts.  FileMaker Pro uses system fonts.


                  xairbusdriver's post about sarif and sans-sarif fonts is excellent (Thank you!).



                  FileMaker, Inc. 

                  • 6. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?

                    ...and with reference to the aside about 'does Filemaker run on Linux', the answer is 'Yes'.  ('If you use WINE.')


                    I'd guess that most Linux users are familiar with WINE, a program that emulates a Windoze application, for example, but is at pains to remind you its acronym stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator.  Dunno about all that: all I know is it runs well.


                    See? - there's No Excuse for not running Filemaker.



                    • 7. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?

                      Thanks, xairbusdriver, for your list of fonts. This helps immensely. I work in CSS all the time, building websites, but was clueless about which fonts cross over to the PC side in non-web applications.


                      You’re right about the massive number of fonts we’d have to work with if all the world used Mac....ah....one can dream....... 


                      Thanks again for the help!

                      • 8. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?

                        Just a quick tip about Tahoma, which is a sans serif font supplied with Microsoft Office. The nice thing about this font is that it is very narrow and takes up much less space then say Verdana which in contrast is wide.


                        If your users use Microsoft Office, and most business users do, you could try Tahoma and see if it works for you. 

                        • 9. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?

                          I have created a database in mac and host it through Apple Remote Desktop and it works fairly well, there are only a few of us on it at any one time. But I have considering purchasing a Dell laptop for my personal use with the idea that I could work on the database at off hours, traveling etc., and that it would also be good to see how it functions on a PC since most of the users use PCs. What I need to know is if I build it on a Dell can I host it on a Mac since the office computer is a Mac?




                          • 10. Re: Build in Mac, use in PC?

                            Howdy all,

                            PaperQueen wrote:

                            You’re right about the massive number of fonts we’d have to work with if all the world used Mac

                            Thanks for making me smile :)


                            As you're exploring the use of an FMP dbase across platforms, you might want to check out another thread on this forum regarding design and how platforms might affect them.  Fonts are one thing (a big thing) but not the only thing.  As a PC guy myself, I wish we'd all just use PC's and make life that much easier...but then I'd have to turn in my IPod...so I'll not worry 'bout it.


                            The link includes some layout tweaks and a couple of things to combat them:



                            Thought it might help...