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Combine/Merge Layouts...


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I have developed a FileMaker solution for logging my observations and generating report documents of those findings as noted on my inspections. However, I am burdened with having to generate multiple separate documents as opposed to one flowing report.

For example: Each report has a Cover Page, and an Observations section. This I can handle with the Title Header, Header, Sub-summary by Section (Leading), Body and Footer Part Definitions, no problem. But how can I combine other layouts (sub-reports) to create/compile a single printed document? ie; Supporting Images, Scope of Repairs, Legal Boilerplate, etc...

I would like to print, email, fax, and pdf the report based on my client's needs. Also, choose which sub-reports to compile ie; Cover Page + Observations + Supporting Images vs. Cover Page + Summary + Summary Images + Scope of Repairs.

It doesn't matter if there is a ton of scripting involved. This seems to be an obvious necessity. Can we do this within FileMaker 8 and make it cross platform compatible?

Thank you in advance,

Todd Rosene

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I can't talk about cross platform since I only do Windows. For output going to a printer, just follow printing the 1st layout with the 2nd, 3rd, etc. All this is fairly easy to script.

PDFs are more of a problem, since Filemaker's new PDF capability doesn't permit concatentating 2 or more PDFs. I know there are ways to do it in Windows: I bought the Schubec plugin (which may run on the Mac) that creates the Postscript file, and then silently calls Ghostscript to create the PDF. If I were only interested in merging PDFs, I'd use PDFtk (PDF Toolkit: only runs on Windows), a free utility. Unfortunately, those 'clowns' at FMI disable the PDF creation when you create a runtime, which I do. The Schubec plugin allow allows you to email the PDF using the email facility that's available on the platform of your choice.


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