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Combine PDFs?


digitaljunkie
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Can you combine pdf's into one document in filemaker?

For Example

Print Report1 (Layout1) to pdf

Print Report2 (Layout2) to pdf

Print Report3 (Layout3) to pdf

Then combine pdf 1,2 and 3 into one final pdf?

I am sure I read it here somewhere but can't seem to find it.

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The thread you may be thinking of was a recent one where someone was getting 2 pdf's if the report went to 2 pages (from the same layout)and could not attach 2 pdf's to an email

The general consensus there was to create one pdf of the 2 pages rather than 2 pdf's of one page each and attach that to the email thereby gettin round their particular problem

Phil

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How long are these FileMaker layouts for the PDFs? There is an older work-around which involves entering Preview mode, copying the 1st page, going to another layout with a multi-repetition container field (usually global), enter Browse mode, Paste. Go back to first layout, go to page 2, repeat as necessary. Then do the same for your other layout(s).Then print or PDF the layout of the global. Multiple windows would help here, leaving one in Preview, the other in Browse; also Freeze Window.

It has the advantage that you can combine output from different layouts. But it is a bit of a pain to script. You also have to remove the margins from one or the other (can't remember which one is best); otherwise you get too much margins.

Alternatively, there are various 3rd party software to combine or split PDFs, after exporting. I've not used any, but I've heard of them. One is PDFOpen (I've used it to do the opposite, split PDFs). It is AppleScriptable. An interesting free solution is this command line tool, JoinPDF, which I've been meaning to try, but haven't yet. I imagine it is fast; it could also be driven from AppleScript, with do shell script.

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/18954

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I picked up a tip from the Automator list: how to compbine PDF files using a

python script that is stored in an existing automator action. I then used

this with a standard FileMaker script that concludes by performing a simple

applescript.

The output file in the example is "~/desktop/new.pdf" so you would change

this to reflect a valid path for your system. Email will probably mess with

line breaks:

Go to Record/Request/Page [ First ]

Loop

Set Variable [ $path1; Value:Get(DesktopPath) & Get(RecordNumber) & ".pdf" ]

Set Variable [ $pathout; Value:"file:" & $path1 ]

Set Variable [ $path2; Value:$path2 & " " &

Substitute($path1; "/Macintosh HD"; "") ]

Save Records as PDF [ File Name: “$pathout”; Current record ]

Go to Record/Request/Page [ Next; Exit after last ]

End Loop

Perform AppleScript [ Calculated AppleScript:

"do shell script "python '/System/Library/Automator/Combine PDF Pages.

action/Contents/Resources/join.py' -o ~/desktop/new.pdf " & $path2 & """ ]

I have created a simple example file, which is available here:

The example is a FileMaker 8 file. Requires OSX. The example is based on the

FileMaker Purchase Orders example, it just goes to each layout, prints to

PDF, and combines them into one document. Note that although an Automator

script is called, it is done by reading a script resource in an automator

action file, Automator does not run.

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Fenton: the old "copy in preview mode" trick broke in FMP 7 and 8 because a low resolution bitmap gets copied to the clipboard, not a vector graphic as in older versions.

There are hacks like copying in 400% zoom that lessen the problems but basically in FMP 7 and later that technique is dead.

What we need is an enhancement to the Save as PDF script step that allows us to append pages to an existing file.

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"What we need is an enhancement to the Save as PDF script step that allows us to append pages to an existing file."

Which is exactly what the previous post described. However, it is not a native xplat FileMaker command.

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