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Import - desired file is dimmed greyed out

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In the file selection dialog my desired file to use is dimmed out.

All Available is selected on popup. The file is a tab separated file.

It is called batch.xls afaik only so windows user can open easily Excel.

In reality it is indeed just a text file with that extension attached.

FM will not read whether the extension is removed by simply changing name or "get info" and changing name and extension field.

FM cannot even do a File| Open either.

BBEdit ok

Text Edite ok

MS Excel ok

FM fails

This files is born by a server side application on a non windows non mac non FM non Lasso server - how's that.

It is then emailed to me.

I use Mail.app

OS X 10.2 Jaguar

FM 5.5

File persmissions in get info are ok

Current workaround - is to make significant changes to document like deleting a couple blank records at the beginning of text or doing a Save As. This allows the file to be selected for import.

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When it arrives at your Mac from a non Mac Computer, your computer looks at the extension and uses that and the configuration set up in File Exchange Control panel to set its creator and type. You will have to go into the control panel and change the file type for .xls extensions to 'TEXT'.

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Ok I redid and reproduced all.

batch.xls is indeed tab text.

I change the extension in Get info to .txt and also no extension.


Under OS X there are no control panels or File Exchange.

I could not find a similar equiv in OS X.

batch.txt has the same problem I think but it is not usable since the file is separated by the pipe character that FileMaker once again fails to handle.

I do a Find/Replace for the pipe and save or do a SaveAs I forget now getting dizzy.. and the file works.

Is there some other way to view a file llike batch.xls to see what is blinding FileMaker since a simple Save As to batch or batch.txt it works fine and lets FM use it?

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I'm not very familiar with OSX control panels or whatever they are called in OSX. I assume there should be an equivalent though.

Can you change the extension of the file to .txt on the Windows computer before you transfer it? If OSX sees it with a .txt extension when it is copied to your computer, it should automatically set the type to 'TEXT'

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No and no.

It is not created on Windows computer it is made by server side application on a non Windows computer.

I'll have to update our MacLink Plus and take a look at the file that way.

I did attempt to call FM tech but I'm not going to pay money for discussing an apparent deficiency of their application. I say deficiency since several other applications I have can handle the file just fine including Text Edit and MS Excel. (remember it "ain't" no real excel file either)

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It may not be a real Excel file, but it has an Excel extension, so when it comes onto your computer, it becomes an Excel file. That's why Excel can open it. And, text editors tend to be able to open almost any file.

I agree with you though. In OSX, Filemaker seems to be especially picky about file types, (unless it's OSX that's doing this).

Maybe one of the OSX wizards here can shed a little light on this.

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A quick update on this.

Today I went through the same deal. I had 3 text files with pipes and replaced with tabs, deleted 2 blank records at the top of each file, saved.

Did not work today.

They were still dimmed out.

Did a SaveAs for each one.

When the dialog box came up this time all 6 items were choosable.

It is looking like an OS X problem. The sleepy Finder as I call it.

I'll need to reproduce later to make sure I didn't somehow create the illusion for myself.

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FMP under OS X relies on type and creator info, not filename extensions. OS X has been evolving in how it handles extensions vs. type/creator info... and as a result, its not quite as consistent about fixing up type/creator info as it ought to be. The combination gives these kinds of results. While OS X is partially to blame here, I think FMP... a data processing app... should be able to open any file and try to interpret it as delimited text.

Anyway, to get around these problems, go to versiontracker and pick up Typeator or DropInfo or one of the other OS X programs that allow you to set the type and creator. Then set both to TEXT on files you want to import and FMP will happily open the file as if it is a text file.

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