6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 28, 2009 2:16 PM by FentonJones

    Containers drive me nutz!



      Containers drive me nutz!


      Is there a way to make the containers behave for like the Finder? All the importing and exporting just when I want to look at a file......... I wish I could just open a file right from Filemaker, save it, and close it. Quick Look would be nice too.


      Also to make matters worse. A lot of the files I work with are actually packages. All these "files" (all iWork, Omni Outliner, etc.) can't be imported into a container. That means I have to Zip it just to get it in there. Adding a compression/extraction step to the process.


      All this makes makes for a very tedious process just to view/edit files from Filemaker. Very disappointing. 

        • 1. Re: Containers drive me nutz!

          Script it, that way your tedium factor will be reduced. Write down all the steps you currently do. Think it through, then go into ScriptMaker and try find script steps that do the same thing. Watch for context (go to layout script steps will help create that, you need to be on a layout where a field exists to set or go to it), and script parameters and script results. Your buttons should ideally be just a one script step (Perform Script), that carries with a script parameter for, say, the name of the button, this parameter can then be called for by the performing script ( with Get Script Parameter ( or is it Get Parameter... ) )


          Might be plug-in's out there that you'll like as well. Look at SuperContainer, and look up the companies other plug-ins as well. I saw something by them that was really interesting, though can't remember exactly the name right now.

          • 2. Re: Containers drive me nutz!

             I agree. FileMaker really should support seeing packages as files. That's kind of the whole point of a package. Especially as more and more apps use packages as a file format.


            I was just messing about, and found that the OpenURL step will open a folder or package. So if you could get the path into FileMaker somehow, you could use that to open it. 


            file:///Users/fej/Desktop/folder name


            There is also AppleScript, which can easily open either a folder or file. It just uses a slightly different path syntax:


            tell application "Finder" to open "Macintosh HD:Users:fej:Desktop:folder name:"


            or AppleScript via shell script:


            set unix_path to quoted form of "/Users/fej/Desktop/folder name/"

            do shell script "open " & unix_path



            The various syntaxes (FileMaker, URL, Mac, Unix) can be accurately converted from one to the other. So you can use whichever tool works best for a task, or which you prefer.


            • 3. Re: Containers drive me nutz!

              Minor picky detail:


              "you need to be on a layout where a field exists to set or go to it". If by "set" you mean the set field script step, then no, you do not need to be on a layout were the field exists.

              • 4. Re: Containers drive me nutz!

                Hi CaseyH,


                I agree with you on the packages.


                As for the rest, if you store your file as a reference in the container field, then you can just double-click it in FMP to open the file in its parent application. 

                • 5. Re: Containers drive me nutz!
                     Unless I'm misunderstanding you. I don't even think I will store a reference if the file is a package.
                  • 6. Re: Containers drive me nutz!

                    I guess I left out one bit of information, which is important in this case. If you're dealing with packages, you cannot use FileMaker to Insert them, so you have to no way natively to get their file path. But AppleScript can. It sees a package as a file (which is the whole point :-).


                    choose file


                    This returns an "alias path", but you can easily convert that to text:


                    (choose file) as text


                    You can then convert that to a URL path for FileMaker's GetURL, or you can keep it in a text field as a Mac path, and use AppleScript to open it later. Example (choose and open):


                    set file_txt to (choose file) as text

                    tell application "Finder" to open file file_txt 



                    [ I left out one more critical point, if you don't know it. You can run AppleScript via FileMaker's Perform AppleScript step.]