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Best way for users to print from the web

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I am just finishing up a database that will mainly be used by web users and I am caught in a corner when it comes to the best way for users to print from the web. Here are the particulars of the database.

Records are created inhouse not by end user

Users run from beginners (What's a Browser?) to semi computer literate, all having never used Filemaker before. Using any possible OS system and config.

User needs to print about 15-20 records from the web on one sheet of legal sized paper


The user will need to print these records on a daily basis.

Each record contains 35 fields side by side plus other info that is easily placed above or under the 35 fields.

This process needs to be done for over 50 users per day.

What would the simplest way be, for the User to print these records to thier local printer?

I have thought up 3 possible solutions which are:

Print out 5 records at a time. Not exactly great because certain setups cut off some of the 35 fields

Preview and Copy/ Paste a copy of the 15-20 records into a container field for them to download and print. This works but it makes for huge files that load on the web really slow and it takes a bit of user knowledge to be able to download and print locally.

Have Filemaker send out an e-mail once users records are completed for the day.

Not to sure how this will work and how to send out records in a format that is easily read and printed.

Are there any other ways that you can think of to do this :

Any Ideas or thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Jeff B

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Hi, Jeff! I imagine printing from the web is a difficult task since it was not really designed for it, per se. If you're copy/pasting, I assume you're doing manual searches for each user, anwyay, so why not create a PDF from a nicely formatted FMP layout and either send that to the user via e-mail or allow it to be downloaded and printed... anyone with web experience has probably done this before and not even thought about it. Those w/FMP client can do this themselves and you (and/or helpers w/FMP) can do it for the rest. Or you could probably automate it w/ScriptMaker.

I could not tell if you were using FMP Unlimited, FM Server, or what, but that could make a difference, too.

I'm not sure exactly what you meant by 5 records at a time, but if you're talking about an FMP layout, you could use the REDUCE ENCLOSING PART option with columns to maximize usage of your printed page and eliminate "white space".

Hope this helps or inspires a solution for you!


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Thanks Steve,

I am using FM 7 on both OS X and XP

I'll try to make the pdf's and see how it goes. The final solution will need to be some how triggered by the end user over IWP since this will be the companys way of determining if the person is actually doing their job (BIG BROTHER).LOL

With IWP in Version 7 the problem with the user printing directly from the web, is that it will only show and print the first 5 records in list view.It doesn't matter if there are only 5 records per legal page, but the records need to belong to the specific user and they need to print all 15-20 records which is somewhat a nasty operation because the browser will only allow printing of the viewed page. There is no way I know of to script a multi-paged report through the browser.

As I mentioned before there will be about 15-20 records printed daily by approx

50 + users, so we would really like this to be as painless for them as possible and also again be triggered by each seperate user.

Back to the PDF system, would there be a way to link up a multi paged PDF to a container field that only the specific user would access ?

Thanks again

Jeff B

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