3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2014 7:54 AM by philmodjunk

    Can I do this in FMP?



      Can I do this in FMP?


           Hi folks,

           I'm a relative newbie to FMP.  I am using FMP 12 on a Mac, and I have a pretty good idea of what I am hoping to get from it, but I don't know how to get there, or if it's even possible.  My work involves the analysis of hundreds of legal documents per project.  I typically receive a "table of contents" (of sorts) from a contractor, in Excel, with each row containing descriptive information for one document.  I have figured out how to take the contents of that into a table in my FMP file, and have created 4 other tables with complementary information (client information, project information, etc.), all of which constitutes my database.  My goal is to use all of this information to help me create my final report to my clients.


           My reports to my clients are done in Word, and typically 50-150 pages long, including various exhibits.  Among the things I'd like to be able to do would be this:

           Select certain records in FMP (based on various criteria), and for each of those records, effectively populate a Word-friendly form or layout.  This needs to be effectively a "two step" kind of process.  The first step would be to get the data (properly formatted) from FMP, and  into a MS Word file, in a standard format.   As the second step, once I get this data Into Word, I'd then add text to the Word document to provide my client the details of my analysis. 

           So, for example, I'd like to run a search and "find" all of a certain type of document, say after a certain date or based on some other "flag" I'd put into the records.   For the complete set of found records, I'd like FMP to be able to output something that I could copy directly into word, such that each found record's information would be included in an individual "form".   So if my search found 30 records, the final output would contain 30 "carcasses" of my final report.  If each "analysis" or form took up about a half page, then I'd be adding about 15 pages to my Word file when I'd copy that single output into word, and then complete the analysis in Word for each of these 30 individual reports/records.  (Make sense?)

           Is this kind of thing possible in FMP12?  If so, can somebody point me in a direction where I might learn how?  If it's not, has anybody found something that lets them do something like this?  FYI, I also have MS Access, and could probably shift in that direction if I had to, but my sense is that FMP is likely a better overall platform (or am I wrong on that one too?)

           Any thoughts/help would be most appreciated.


           Thank you



        • 1. Re: Can I do this in FMP?

               Take a look at Merge documents and using Export Records (which can export the records in your found set after performing a find), to export to a file of type "merge". This file type was long ago developed specifically so that data in such a file could be imported into MS Word.

               You'll need to research how this works on the MS Word side of the fence to see if it will work for what you need to do.

          • 2. Re: Can I do this in FMP?

                 Thank you Phil.  What you've  given me gets me started, and I was able to make it work.  It took a while to get the Word side figured out, but I  think I have. 


                 For now, I am creating a FMP layout for each type of these reports I include in my opinion (about 8 or so).  I'm also creating a "form letter" in Word for each of these, inserting the "field" that is to be populated from FMP.  WHen ready, I do the appropriate "find" in FMP, then export the layout, and then use Word's "merge" capabilities to create the word file.  It's kludgy, but for now it works.  Someday, I hope to get a lot better in my FMP skills, but believe me, this is a good start.


                 Thank you: I really appreciate the help!



            • 3. Re: Can I do this in FMP?

                   Please note that FileMaker can also produce "form letters" in two different ways without the need to export to MS Word. FileMaker can't format the document with nearly as many options as MS Word, but if you can do it all in FileMaker, your workflow gets a lot simpler.