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Import Data Problems with .csv file

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I seem to be having problems with my imports. First, the URLs that import to the picture fields only show the URL and not the actual picture. This does not occur if I manually enter the URL in the IMPORT PICTURE area. Secondly, when importing data to checkbox or radio button type fields, the fields do not respond to the data and nothing is selected.

I appreciate any and all assistance on this matter. Thanks.

- Wagner

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CSV is a text file format: it cannot contain binary information like pictures. You're never going to transfer images through an import via a text file.

Regarding the checkbox problem, make sure the value list contains the correct data: it only shows if it matches.

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Thanks for the reply. However, I think you misunderstood me. I am not trying to import any binary information. All I am trying to import is the actual URL to where the picture is stored so that it appears in the picture field. I can do this manually without a problem but when it's part of an import, the field displays the URL address and not the picture.

Does that make sense?

- Wagner

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I'm afraid we cannot tell what kind of field your "picture area" is. I assume container, and not Web Viewer, as you say FileMaker 8.

You can show a picture in a calculation field, with container result, using a FileMaker syntax; "image:" with a relative path, or "imagewin:/" with a full Windows path (look in the dialog box, or in FileMaker Help).

But if your URL is URL syntax, ie., "http://path" or "file://path", then that won't work with a container field; though it will work with a FileMaker 8.5 Web Viewer object. It can be converted to a FileMaker syntax path (as above) though.

Be more specific. Tell us what kind of field, and show us an example of the path.

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Thanks for the help. The field is in fact a container field. As I stated before, I have no problem when manually inserting the URL into the INSERT PICTURE dialog box. It's just when the URL is actually imported.

Any suggestions?

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OK, that's a web-syntax URL, a remote path to a web server. It will not work in a container field. I don't know how you could Insert it in a dialog and show a picture; but I could be wrong :-?

1. You would need to either upgrade to FileMaker 8.5 and show it in a Web Viewer object (where it will work as is).

2. Or download the pictures to your local machine, and reference them there.

If #2, you would likely want to automate the process. I could do that fairly easily on a Mac, but not so easily on Windows. I"ve used a command line tool "wget" on Windows, which you have to go get and install. But it works fairly well. You can run it with one of the "shell" FileMaker plug-ins, such as Abstrakt, which is free (though no longer supported I don't think). Or I imagine Visual Basic, but I don't know that.

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Can you explain us how do you insert a URL into a container ?

Step by step, please.

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What do you mean by "manually input the URL within the Insert Picture dialog box"? In a script step? Because the manual Insert Picture command, run from the Insert menu, is an OS file choice navigation dialog; you click on the file, there's no place to "input the URL."

Also, are you on the web server machine itself?

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Yes, you can drag a picture manually off a web page into a container field. But this is the same as copy/paste. It will embed the picture, but it is not the best way to do it, as it will create a converted picture, which is much larger.

For example, dragging your picture: 833K

downloading then Inserting picture (embedded): 33K

Yikes!

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Actually what I mean is that when I manually type out the URL in the INSERT PICTURE dialog box, it works perfectly and I see the picture. I don't drag anything.

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You got me. I don't see anyplace to type anything in the Insert Picture menu command. If you're talking about a script, then please say so. Or maybe you're actually using Insert Object, which is Windows only.

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Well, you're right. We do not have that File name: box on Macs. But does your "http://path" work in that box?

I guess you're saying that it does. If it does, then it means that Windows is downloading that picture for you, then inserting it into a field. Pretty nice, but you may be "looking a gift horse in the mouth" :-], expecting it to work like that everywhere. That is a Windows operating system action it seems to me, not FileMaker itself. The OS typically handles those "look for a file" dialogs.

So you're saying it doesn't work if you import the URL (which is really just text) to a field? No, I wouldn't think so. If you want this to work easily you're going to have to upgrade to 8.5 or 9 and use a Web Viewer object.

Or get into some geeky command line, to do what Windows was doing for you in that dialog.

I'll have to boot up Windows in Parallels and see whether I can do the "insert with a URL path".

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Well, Windows does indeed download the picture, then embed it. And does a good job of it, as it's the same size as the one I downloaded on the Mac. But none of that helps, because it cannot be easily automated.

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I have a similar, but different problem. I am actually trying to embed the physical file (word documents, etc, it will depend depending on the record) into the import. My records are importing properly except for the documents in the container fields, which are being left out. I understand that text-based export formats won't work for this.

I tried directly importing the filemaker files, but the container contents are still not importing - the container fields end up blank while the other ones are filled in properly. Is there a specific export format that works? Why isn't it working when importing directly from the FM file?

*Don't know if this is important, but the container contents are objects. For example, I have some charts/tables in a word document, and I put them as an object into the container field so they show up properly in the report. The problem is that I can't get them to export into another FM database - I need to be able to merge a number of populated databases.

Edited by Guest

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Thanks for taking time on this with me. So I am in fact running 8.5 (I just changed that in my e-mail) so how do I change the container field into a web object without messing anything up?

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Well, you don't change the container field to a web object. A web object is an entirely different thing. Just drag a web object (the icon looks like a globe) onto the layout. Then define its URL to be the URL field. That should be enough to show the picture.

It will only show the picture if you're connected to the Internet, and the picture is still there on the web server however. If you want to Insert it locally into your file, you've got more work to do.

Just for fun (and yeah, I have a weird idea of fun), I created a small file which uses the Abstrakt Shell plug-in (free) and the wget.exe (also free) on Windows XP to download a web picture to a local file, then Insert it into FileMaker. It's not very fancy at present; it doesn't delete the file afterwords or anything. But if someone wants to take the trouble, I will upload it. Don't ask if you're not willing to go get and install the pieces however.

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