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Brochure Panel


cbear
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Hello,

My manager has asked me to create a brochure databse in Filemaker pro 7. He wants the database set up so that a user can go in and create a brochure from a selection of panels. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to use FileMaker Pro. Can someone please help me on this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Whoa, FileMaker is a Database, not a Design Program. You can maintain your data selections in FileMaker, and export it to a page design programs, but I doubt that you will be happy with the results trying to do it all in FileMaker.

Having made a living designing, brochures, newsletters, print ready ads, logos, etc., I can tell you from experience that it is not easy getting it right, even using a full feature program like PageMaker or QuarkXpress. When you add into this mix, the desire to make it flexible, I think your results will be less than what you (your boss) are wanting. A designer makes their living making the final product appealing and readable. A good brochure strikes a balance between the type, images and the White Space. Too much white space and it is as much of a distraction to the eye as over crowding the layout.. My point is if, you layout out a page so that it contains the right amount of white space, and then either add paragraph, or subtract a paragraph of text, it will mess up your look.

I think I would approach this differently. I would layout the panels using the different variables, so they can choose the finish product. Then all they would have to do is to click on the link to the container field.

Check out the sites to see how you can import the Data.

http://www.quark.com/products/xpress/

http://www.adobe.com/print/tips/pmk7boilerplate/index.html

HTH

Lee

Edited by Guest
changed it a bit
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Not that I think that FileMaker cannot do this, I know it can as I have seen it used for exactly think kind of thing. I have personally worked with 2 publications that layed out thier entire magazine with FileMaker Pro as the controling element. These were the kind of publications that you might find on a stand at the gas station or in your mail box which have all the local advertising, classifieds or job listings.

However in each of these cases, the organizations employed graphic designers who supervised the final layouts. FileMaker Pro was used to store and track all the information, but page layout software was actually used to lay out the pages themselves.

In each case, this is not something simple, but for weekly publications it was very cost effective.

So Lee is correct in that I think you will not achieve the result that you want very easily, but it is possible to do this. You might want to consider hiring a profession Filemaker consultant to assist you with this effort.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Newbies

After talking to my manager, I found that the brochures are going to be created using MS Publisher. Is there a way to create a database that will allow me to export data to publisher?

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Altho I haven't tried it, my version of Publisher (Office 2000) supports Mail Merge & Merge fields. My guess would be that it's not to dissimilar from Word which I've automated using WinBatch. VBScript might be able to do it as well.

However, passing container data, as opposed to text and numbers might be impossible. You'd need to see what Microsoft has exposed in the VBA interface (the documentation is on the CD somewhere). Also, I don't think Filemaker will allow export of containers, so you'd need to reference the container data.

Steve

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Im guessing that passing the container data wouldn't be completely impossible as long as it was referenced to a file or exported? I.e. if all that was being passed along was a filepath?

But i'm just guessing here.

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