3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2009 8:08 AM by Josie

    Converting MAC created Database to use on PC



      Converting MAC created Database to use on PC


      We use FMP 9 and have created a couple of databases on Mac 0SX 10.5.


      We need to run them on a PC running XP Pro.


      But when I transfer the files and open them in FMP 9 running on the PC -  formatting goes completely.


      We are publishing to the web and the formatting looks ok via the web. It is also ok when opened Remotely by the MAC.


      We need to use the database all 3 ways web, remote, and direct on the PC. How can I get the Database to look the same (or as near as possible) on both platforms (is that the right word?)?


      I am a new user  (!)



        • 1. Re: Converting MAC created Database to use on PC

          Howdy Josie,


          You just found out why many developers own both Mac and PC.  They are...well...different.


          You'll want to look at two features right off the bat, and then load up on both machines and find any other differences you can.


          Fonts.  There are some, Like "Times", that may or may not be native to both platforms.  TimesNewRoman and Arial (among others) are native to both.

          New Windows.  Macs and PC's open them differently and there are side effects on PC's like primary window resizing.


          I run hosted Dbases on both platforms and have found that:

           ~10% of Dbases built on Mac look right when opened to Windows.

          ~99% of Dbases built on PC look right when opened on Mac.

          Correspondingly, I now do all my builds on PC...it just saves time.


          One last thing to look out for, I've found that printing layouts get shifted around fairly unrecoverably between the platforms...I just cant seem to find a layout arrangement that works for both platforms.  I therefore have a "PCprint layout" and "Macprint Layout".  The print script simply looks at Get(SystemPlatform) and prints the appropriate one.  I don't know if this is something you'll face or not.


          Hope this helps,

          • 2. Re: Converting MAC created Database to use on PC

            Verdana is also a good cross-platform choice. All fonts tend to be a little larger on PCs. FileMaker sets the bounding box around your text labels etc. whenever you edit their settings. Which can be a bit annoying at times. But you can use this fact to your advantage if you've created a layout on a Mac, open it on a PC, and see that some of your labels have their "feet" or right/left side cut off.


            On the PC, select all your text, by clicking on a text object then hitting Control-Shift-A (or clicking on the Text tool in the Toolbar, then Control-A). Change the style to Bold (if it isn't) or change the font size one size bigger. Then change it back. FileMaker will resize the bounding boxes to fit, with the result that they now look the same as before, but are not cut off anymore on the PC. Similar for fields, click on one first.


            Yes, it's a little tricky if you have mixed fonts/styles, etc., but you can deslect some objects. It's a lot faster than doing 'em one or a few at a time.


            You can also just get in the habit of just dragging text labels a little bigger right after creating them on the Mac. This is where the "annoying" part comes in, as FileMaker will resize the box again if you make further changes (even the color). There is a certain point, number/type of changes where FileMaker stops resizing it every time, but I've not determined exactly when that is. Personally I think FileMaker should refrain from resizing a bounding box if the user has changed it manually. But then it would be a pain if you typed more text. Maybe only resize if new or bigger text; but that's asking a bit much.

            • 3. Re: Converting MAC created Database to use on PC

              Helpful replies, thank you.


              Currently the Database is located on a PC, I am making changes to it's layout using Open Remote and working on my Mac (Adding and changing fields mainly). 

              Am I going to run into trouble working this way?


              And, Yes, the printing thing is going to be an issue I think.


              I will need to send PDF's and print data from a DB located on the PC (our server machine) using the Mac. 

              I know I can't do what I need to by opening the DB via the web and I will have to open it remotely, which is fine.

              From what you have said, this should be ok if I have created the DB on the PC and not the Mac.

              Which I shall try.


              If it doesn't work I'll be back again, which I probably will be anyway as I have loads to learn, being a newbie and you guys have been so helpful?