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print to email

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ola

does anyone now how you can 'print to email' i.e send a FM formated invoice via email. Are there any plugins for windows? is it a standard feature?

thanks

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Email by its very nature is a text only media. To format things sent by email they must use some text based formatting method. Two of the available methods are HTML, which is not so good if the end user is to try and print a document that looks like the original. The other method is PDF files.

Your best bet is to use Adobe Acrobat (which operates like a printer driver) to print your document to a .pdf file and attach this file to an email. Your recipient can then open and print the document using Acrobat Reader.

-bd

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LiveOak is right, and if you're using OSX, then you don't even need Adobe Acrobat. You can create PDFs of any document by selecting Preview in the Print Dialog window, and then save as PDF. I use this for many FMP formatted documents that are too complex for text-based email.

I also usually setup 'email only' calc fields that assemble and concatenate the necessary data (invoices, sales reports, activity histories, etc.) in a text-based manner into one text field (which is then emailed in the Body). This is not as beautiful as a FMP sub summarized report with lines, logos, colors, etc., but it contains the same data, and can be emailed in one shot.

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Does any one know if you can print to PDF with a one click script? (OSX)

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Although I have figured out a cludge to name and save a PDF in one click for 9.x (using PrintToPDF and Sandi Addition to name it), I don't see any way to script PDF generation using AppleScript for OSX, at least at this moment.

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I attended a couple of seminars at the DevCon that pertained to what you are trying to do. The quick answer is XML. Appearently you can export FMP XML data directly to a PDF fillable form which you set up ahead of time formated to look exactly like your FMP invoice. I watched Ben Marshman from Alquemy do exactly what it is you want to do with the click of a single button. When he clicked the pdf button Outlook automatically started and created a new message addressed to the recipient of the email. The coolest part was that the FMP invoice was already attached to the email in PDF format. It was really cool! If you don't know XML and don't want to learn it you can buy a kit from Alquemy that helps you implement this technology. That's what I am going to do. It's kind of pricey ($249) but for me I think it'll be worth it. I don't know the first thing about XML. Here is the Alquemy website:

http://www.alQemy.com/

BTW this, I believe, is only possible in FMP 6 because it uses XML, so you'll have to upgrade to 6 (correct me if I am wrong about this)

Joe

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If you're on a Mac there is PrintToPDF, shareware 20 $, by which you can create a fixed-name PDF file in a constant location (I believe there are similar softwares on PC) ... add some file name management with AS/plugins and SMTPit to send emails from FM and you can create and send the pdf file with a single click

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If you really like to get into the nitty gritty of file formats, i.e. you're a nerd like me, and have a lot of free time, you can generate a PDF by exporting your records as a text file. The principle is the same as generating static HTML pages or RTF or XML. PDF is simply a text file with proprietary "tags". Try opening one up in a basic text editor; you'll see what I mean.

Go to the Adobe web site; there is much documentation on the file format and how to generate basic PDFs. Just be warned; you need a lot of free time to explore this option seriously. The obvious benefit is that once you've perfected your PDF code, you and your end-users don't need to rely on any third-party plug-ins or PDF printer drivers to generate PDFs.

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.sit is a stuffit archive. This is generally a mac format, but there is a windows version too. If you're a mac user, you probably already have stuffit expander on your hard drive. Otherwise, check out http://www.aladdinsys.com/

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