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How do you convert from FM pro 2.0 to FM pro 7.0?


billy3
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Hi,

I have a file made using the Mac version of Filemaker pro 2.0 and need to open it in FM pro 7, which is on a win2k machine. When I try opening the file, I get a message saying that the file's made by FM pro 2.0 and cannot be opened in this release (FM pro 7). Is there any way I could convert the file to an FM pro 7 file? I need to preserve the formatting (fonts, bolding, etc), so I want to avoid having to export to a text file and loosing the formatting.

TIA

Version: v7.x

Platform: Windows 2000

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Hey Billy,

I would imagine you are going to have to do a couple of conversions. I would start with FMP 4.1, Then work my way up to FMP 7. If you do not have 4.1, I have it somewhere you can send me the file I will update it for you. However I will tell you from personal experience that it is wiser to start from scratch and just import the data. There are many changes in scripting and calculations from version 2.1 to 7.

Thanks,

PSC

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Hi,

I managed to get my hands on FM6 and was able to convert the file from FM2 to FM5 format. I can view it fine in FM6 now.

However, now I have another problem. I have the character alpha ("a" using the "symbol" font set) in several fields. If I export the file, the alpha gets converted to an "a", but I need to retain the symbol alpha. Since the alpha is really an "a", I can't do a search and replace to change the "a" to something else. Is there some way I may export the file so that the text formatting (fonts, etc) are retained, or some other way for me to retain or replace the alpha symbol? There's over 6000 records, so I want to avoid having to change the alpha manually.

TIA

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billy3 said:

However, now I have another problem. I have the character alpha ("a" using the "symbol" font set) in several fields. If I export the file, the alpha gets converted to an "a", but I need to retain the symbol alpha. Since the alpha is really an "a", I can't do a search and replace to change the "a" to something else. Is there some way I may export the file so that the text formatting (fonts, etc) are retained, or some other way for me to retain or replace the alpha symbol? There's over 6000 records, so I want to avoid having to change the alpha manually.

TIA

Billy, are you saying that the 'a' that is in the symbol font is in a field that is not entirely in the symbol font. So only the alpha character is in symbol and the rest of the field is in a standard font such as "courier" or "Ariel"

Paul

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Oh, boy!

How did you get the alphas there in the first place?

I hate to suggest this but .....

I suspect that, if you use Cut and Paste, you might keep the formatting of the original text. You could do this with a script.

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People over here have been using "a"s and alphas to denote different things in several columns. So, in order to get the alpha symbol, they just used "a" with the symbol font.

Cut and paste to where? I tried pasting into MS word, but it looses the formatting. The formatting is maintained when pasting (with formatting) within FM6 (lost if I try pasting in FM7).

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I'll be honest: formatting a single character in a text string within a database field was *not* a good idea, especially when it was a common alpha-numeric character. Since the formatting would be lost whenever the data was exported, and generally speaking export is the only way to get stuff in and out of databases, it was always going to be a bit of a technological dead-end idea.

My only suggestion would be to go back to the original v2 database and replace the formatted "a" with a unique character or word (like "%a%" or something). Then when the file is converted you'll be able to locate the alphas and do something with them. (I don't think you'll be able to do much in FMP 6, as text formatting features have just been added in FMP 7.) How to perform the find for the alpha character? I dunno, FMP 2 does not allow a search by format as far as I know (I don't think any versions do). You might have to use a brute force method ie, go through the text manually record-by-record and field-by-field looking for the alphas and changing them. Then perform the conversion to FMP 6.

My only other suggestion would be to explore ideas already presented by others that involve copying and pasting the field contents between databases. You may be able to script the process somewhat.

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I tried viewing the hex and ascii of the file in ultra edit. However, looking through the file, I can find where the a's and alphas are, but I can't figure out what set of hex chars indicates the font or formatting. Anyone know what group of chars indicate the font or formatting?

tia

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I envisaged pasating to a separate field in the same file. I haven't tried FMP7 yet but do you convert the old way - i.e. open the V6 file with FMP7 and let it convert for you? Is that when it loses the formatting?

A quite mad idea (but it might get a good one going somewhere) -

If your alpha-containing field is not too long, could you extract the individual characters and put them in a Container field then do a compare with a global Alpha field? (I'm going to try this now.)

Get six of your mates to manually do 1000 records each and bung on a keg of beer AFTERWARDS.

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I envisaged pasating to a separate field in the same file. I haven't tried FMP7 yet but do you convert the old way - i.e. open the V6 file with FMP7 and let it convert for you? Is that when it loses the formatting? Or are you pasting later?

Get six of your mates to manually do 1000 records each and bung on a keg of beer AFTERWARDS.

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It looses formatting, both, when I open the v6 (FM5 format) file in FM 7 and it converts it, as well as when I export the file to some other format.

Any ideas on what chars, or set or chars (or hex codes) in the file (viewed with a hex editor) denote the font or formatting for a set of chars?

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Although I think there are industry standards for the way in which format is coded, my guess is that every vendor uses a 'better' one. You might be able to talk FMI into telling you how they code it.

Where did you find your hex editor? I've been idly looking for one for ages.

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Hi, I think you have some bad news here.

There's no distinction between a lower case "a" and the "alpha" in symbol any more than between an "a" in times and helvetica. They are in the same ascii position, so they are the same character.

As a test I did a line of "a"s mixed in with symbol alphas and then did a search/replace to change "a" to "c". Result: all the characters changed.

Also, test a database with a field where some records have an "a" and some the symbol "alpha". Find alpha. Everything shows up.

There's no more difference between the two than a serif and sans-serif "a". It's a typestyle, not a different character.

jeff

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If you've ever read the instructions on the backs of cans of expanding-foam (an eclectic reader I am) they say something along the lines of "...product can be removed with acetone or thinners before curing. After curing the product can only be removed by mechanical means."

Funny how a turn-of-phrase stick in the mind sometimes... "mechanical means" here means scraping aka bloody hard work. Either do it right first time or you'll never get the mess off.

I think that our friend will require "mechanical means" to solve this problem.

In all seriousness I thank you for making the post. I'd have never imagined a scenario like this, where users need to enter special symbols into text strings. I've now learned the pitfalls thanks to you.

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Sorry, Jeff, but you are only half right. As far as searching and so forth goes, there is no difference but somewhere in there is a code that says 'display and print me using Symbol font'. If Billy can find out where it is then, with a hex editor, it would be possible to find the alphas and change them to something properly unique.

I still think the keg of beer is the best solution. And that classifies as 'mechanical means'.

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Hi, yes there is a differentiation but I think it's pretty convoluted and not a practical solution for a one-off. Dunno how you would extract just the bits you wanted and change them.

In this ps code:

f48 sf

-.142(the helvetica font a )A

f82 sf

-.181(the symbol font a)A

44 63 :M

f48 sf

-.164(a )A

f82 sf

(a)S

the "f48sf" and "f82sf" show where the font calls start, so maybe here changing all the "f82 sf(a)" to f48sf(zzz) might work, providing no line endings etc. get in the way, but I don't see how you get at this at application level

regards, jeff

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By ps do you mean postscript?

I was thinking that the hex code would probably have something encapsulating text with a given formatting in "start" and "stop" delimiters (think html open and close => <blah> and <blah/> tags). Howeverk, I can't find anything like that in the hex code. I.e. for "a/(alpha symbol)", in the hex I see "61 2f 61" (which in the ascii shows as "a/a"), but there aren't any start and stop delimiters. So I have no idea what marks a piece of text as having a certain font assigned to it frown.gif.

So any more ideas? I don't wanna have to do it all manually :'(

btw, the editor I'm using is from www.ultraedit.com. They have a 45 day demo you can try out. It's pretty cool.

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How about a brief summary?

A. Billy, I am worried that you started off by saying you wanted to keep the formatting. Most of the responses have assumed locating the alphas and changing them to another character. (The former option is for people who base jump. Do you?)

B. Your best bet appears to be to get to the most recent version where you don't lose your formatting and then work in that version until you can get to A.

C. Jeff, That's great stuff but where did it come from? If it's a postscript stream, it would be generated from FMP internal code which might be quite different.

D. Billy, you seem to have been hex-editing your FMP DB. Correct? If so, are you sure the "a/a" you've found is the "a/a" in your data - as opposed to in some other stuff?

E. I think the second best solution, after the keg of beer, is to get the coding either by reverse engineering or by talking to FMI. However you find it please take care. A war story -

I have this great little (DOS) package called Cookbook for recipes. It indexes on Recipe Title, as you'd expect. It didn't tell me not to use "(" in the title; it just messed up the index. Nothing daunted, I proceeded to hex-edit the DB. Found the offending "(" and changed it. (Ah, the joys of hex! and leeches.) SWMBO was rather less than amused when I finally had to let on that I'd had to extract, manually, and text-print, every recipe in the DB and that they'd have to be re-entered in my One-Day-Soon-Stop-Nagging-FMP-Recipe-DB.

Your stuff isn't an index - I hope! - so you might not have that trouble but....

I can't help thinking that the display is not a string as shown by Jeff but an indirect thingie, where Display is a calculation which works on the text field which is stored as a simple, basic text field. So Display would hold your start/stop instructions - rather like a mask. Start/stop makes a lot of sense for word processors, and they use it, but it doesn't make sense for DBs where the same data is shown in zillions of different formats. In your case, Display would have something like "start Arial/5 chars/start Symbol/1 char/start Arial...." (converted into unreadable hex, of course.)

If I'm right, you have buckley's of finding the 'Display' thingie on your own. I really think you have no alternative but to get (maybe hire?) a FMP wizz from FMP.

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WOOHOOO!!!

I think I may have found a way to retain my fonts (and Oldfogey, the answer to (A) is yes smile.gif.

However, there's a bit of a problem... but 1st, here's what I've done:

1) print to file (ps) from FM 6

2) convert the ps file to pdf

3) use acrobat reader's text select tool to copy and paste the text into ms word, and tada! it's in the word file and the format's retained

4) select the alpha character and do a replace all... and it actually replaces only alphas and not the a's!

However... now the problem comes in where the fields have only spaces between them, no tabs, no other funky delimiting chars, just spaces. Some of the fields have spaces within them too, so I can't use spaces as my delimiters. So what I was thinking is that I could use FM 6 to add some delimiter (i.e. "|||") to the begining of each field, then go through the whole print->ps->pdf->word process... only problem is, I have no idea how to stick "|||" to the begining of every field in every record!

Any ideas?

And thanks for all your help so far guys, I probably would've given up on this a long time ago otherwise... *sniff*, group hug!!! grin.gif

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Hey Billy,

If you want to convert up to FMPro 7, there is a script that could replace this alpha for you.

What you would do is create a loop to bounce through all of your records, and basically create an if statement specifying to replace that particular char with a Text Formatting function, which was not available in 6. You can specify everything right down to the font face (What kind of font you want to use), to text colors and sizes. That way you won't have to bother exporting to word processors and jumping through those extra hoops.

Version: Developer v7

Platform: Windows XP

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Well, I think I've figured out a script that would allow me to add delimiters to the begining and end of a field, would this work?

Set Field ["Blaaah", "|||Blaaah|||"]

Would that work in sticking "|||" to the begining and end of the contents of field "Blaaah"?

As well, any ideas on how to strip/replace the newlines in a field?

Thanks

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Hi BIlly,

No I'm afraid that won't work. Not quite...

You will need:

Set Field ["Blaaah", " "|||" & Blaaah & "|||" "]

instead.

BTW as regards your earlier question about stripping the line breaks from a field, try running a 'Replace Contents' command with the calc formula:

Substitute(YourField, "

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