9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 17, 2011 5:59 PM by stevecarter

    Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF



      Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF



      The set up:

      FMPA 11.0v2 on both Win 7 Home Premium and XP (SP3)

      The issue:

      Container field contents do not render properly (very low quality) when saved  as PDF.

      These container fields contain Excel worksheets that have been entered as an  object (embedded, NOT linked); this is the desired method in this instance. They  display and print perfectly, exactly as desired; however, they also need to be  saved out as PDFs. The balance of the layout renders properly, it’s just these  container fields that do not. I have tried “printing” using cutePDF and the  results are a lot better, but the process cannot be easily automated (not by me  anyway :) ). Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


        • 1. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF

          Any ideas anyone? I really do not like to "bump", however I really need a solution to this soon and I see also that a similar post from back in '09 has no replies either. Am I (and this other poster) the only ones experiencing this? :)

          • 2. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF

            James Roland:

            Thank you for your post.

            Our Development and Software Quality Assurance (Testing) departments are aware of this issue as reported by a forum customer last year with objects created by Microsoft Visio.  In essence, image resolution is lost when using Save As PDF for this object type.  There is no additional information at this time.

            I have attached your post to this case.

            Do you know if this occurs with other Microsoft and/or Office products?  Microsoft Paint?

            FileMaker, Inc.

            • 3. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF

              Howdy TSGal -

              This issue occurs regardless of the application used; same low resolution results for:

              • MS Excel (2003, 2007)
              • MS Word (same versions)
              • MS PowerPoint (same versions)
              • pasted selection (graphic) from a PDF
              • inserted image files as JPG, PNG, GIF
              • basically, anything that can go in the Container Field

              As mentioned earlier though, when printed from within FMP, they are all perfect :)



              • 4. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF


                This issues appears to be limited to the Windows version of FMP. I managed to  snag a MacBook Pro to do some testing and came up with the following  results:

                FMP WIN > Record Created in FMP-WIN > Save as PDF-WIN > Container  field contents low/poor (unacceptable) quality when viewed or printed

                FMP MAC > Record Created in FMP-WIN > Save as PDF-MAC > Container  field contents adequate (acceptable) quality when viewed or printed

                FMP MAC > Record Created in FMP-MAC > Save as PDF-MAC > Container  field contents high (perfect – as expected) quality when viewed or printed


                - the same printer (HP Laserjet 2420) used for both Mac and Win

                - the Container field contents for testing was a formatted Excel spreadsheet  range, selected in Excel and pasted into the Container field

                • 5. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF

                  No "bump" intended, but it would appear that there is no one who sees this as an issue?

                  The reason that I keep pushing this here is that I have been working for the last 4 months to get FMP into the organization that I am contracted to and this issue is putting a very black mark on the whole situation ... know what I'm saying? I have been backpaddling around trying to mitigate things in FMP's favour but seeing no response to this issue other than "yes, we know about it" will not, unfortunately, make the sale.

                  As I mentioned in my last post, when the complete record is created and then saved as a PDF entirely on the Mac, things are peachy-keen. BUT .... DO NOT say that the solution is to go all Mac ... sounds good around the beer table but falls by the wayside at the procurement meeting ...

                  FM really does need to address this issue; I have been using FMP since version 1.0 when it first came out for the Mac back in '87 0r '88; the biggest issue I had promoting it was to put forward that it was not a "toy" solution ... please let me prove the purchasing department wrong! :)


                  • 6. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF

                    Confession from the off: I'm not quite clear about what you're trying to do.  Do you display the container field with the Excel document basically full size, say, on the layout, and when you print the surrounding area and the Excel sheet within the container field look fine, but when you save the record to pdf the surrounding area is fine, but the Excel sheet is not?

                    Things to throw in to think about as maybe the path to a work-around:

                    - embedding Excel sheets will explode the file size, and may be a show-stopper anyway

                    - why not link to the Excel sheets? (Out of interest, if you do, does it make any difference to the print quality?)

                    - why not save the Excel sheets as a pdf and link to them (or embed them, but exploding file size possibly still applies)? You can display the pdf file directly in a webviewer on the FM record, and have all the PDF Reader tools available on-screen.

                    - have you tried printing with doPDF http://www.dopdf.com/download.php ?  Would you be happ(ier) if you were able to hit a 'Print' button and print directly using cutePDF, say?  (That is perfectly possible, I would think)

                    If I'm only causing confusion I'll happily duck out, but I really want to see embedded Excel sheets working - in every respect -  too.

                    • 7. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF
                      I'm having the same problem and just came across your post. I too have been using FM for years (mostly on a Mac) and have created a solution for an organization in a PC setting.  My application is that use Snagit to grab screenshots in a dispatch center put them in a FM database, analyze them and create reports. The output to .PDF is horrible.  The images are not very good even on simple graphics.  I've tried saving them as every kind of image file I can come up with. There is no change to the PDF output. I'm not sure if you ever got anywhere with this, but if you did, please fill me in.
                      • 8. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF

                        @Geoffrey - Unfortunaely, what you read here is all that I have heard on the matter; it remains the same.

                        @Sorbsbuster - I have tried iterally all the methods you suggest, including cutePDF; varying degrees in quality change, but nohwere near acceptable.

                        This solution is for aircraft maintenance task cards. There is airline specific data that needs to be tracked and displayed along with images from aircraft maintenance manuals, parts manuals, etc. Excel is used to insert data from existing Excel documents as well as to create new tabular data as the text field in FMP is unable to easily reproduce this.

                        These task cards that are created are then saved as PDFs to be entered as attachments into another non-FMP solution, which are then ultimately printed and given to the technicians on the floor to perform said task. At the moment, there is absolutely no option to skip this last step with the non-FMP program.

                        Linking, embedding, insert as object (from existing or new - Windows) makes no difference; the container field is rendered poorly when the record is saved as a PDF from Windows.

                        • 9. Re: Container field rendering poorly when saved as PDF

                          According to the FMP Bugs database this Bug #226 and its ranked as a Nuisance, so I doubt FileMaker is going to release a fix with this version. 

                          I'm not buying the next version to see if this is fixed that's for sure.