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[FAQ] FileMaker Pro - database for Macintosh and Windows
Section - 9 Data Exchange

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Top Document: [FAQ] FileMaker Pro - database for Macintosh and Windows
Previous Document: 8 Miscellaneous Tips
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
9.1   Copy a layout from one database to another
 It is not possible to copy complete layouts between databases. However,
 it is possible to copy any picture information, fields and buttons to
 other databases.
 Open Layout mode, select, copy, go to other database, paste.
 Fields will be copied only if a field with identical names is already
 defined in both databases.
 The link of scripts to buttons will be copied only if there is a script
 with identical names in both databases.
9.2   Modify layout objects
 First a tip to select all objects of a certain type:
 In layout mode you can select objects by type. First select one object
 of the type you want, for example, click on a field. Then press
 Command-Option-A to select ALL the fields on your layout.
 (from FMUG at MIT)
 Now some other tips:
 (1) While in layout mode you can hit the ENTER key and the tool palette
 will toggle between the arrow tool and the last chosen object tool.
 (2) Using the DUPLICATE command will offset the duplicated object by 6
 pixels to the right and 6 pixels down. Using the ARROW keys you can type
 7 left and 7 up to create a highlight or offset of the original object.
 (3) Using the OPTION key on Mac or the ALT key on the PC will allow you
 to drag copy a selection. Hold the SHIFT and OPTION or ALT keys and it
 will constrain the copy while you drag.
 (4) Locking your background objects will allow you to drag select your
 foreground objects.
 (5) Once a button is created, simply duplicate it and double click to
 assign it another function. You don't have to go to the Define Button...
 menu item.
 (from Matt Petrowsky and its FMPro online user magazine / ISO)
9.3   Copy a record or list of records to other applications
 * If no field is selected, the copy command will copy the current record
 to the clipboard. The clipboard includes all fields, in order of
 creation, as tab-delimited text without styles.
 If you press option while doing this, all selected records will be
 * Open Preview and Copy.
 The records are copied to a PICT as they are displayed on the screen.
 They can be pasted to and modified by other drawing tools.
 * To copy text info only, see Print2Pict.
9.4   Export / Import
 FMP supports multiple export and import formats for databases as
 described in section 8 of the User's Guide.
 Some aspects should be pointed out:
 * Most export and import formats use the <Carriage Return> (ASCII-13) as
 a record separator.
 For that reason the returns within text fields get translated to
 "vertical tabs" (ASCII-11).
 Macs use <Carriage Return> as EndOfLine delimiter, while Unix takes
 <Line Feed> (ASCII-10) and DOS takes both. This might confuse imports
 and should be fixed before.
 * Repeating fields are separated by <ASCII-29>. The export formats
 "Tab-separated Text" and "Mail Merge" support repeating fields
 Check the section on repeating fields for details. There's an export and
 import option to split repeating fields.
 * Take care of various limitations:
 FMP supports text fields up to 32K characters, while BASIC, SYLK and DBF
 use 255 or less characters.
 Some special characters have to be translated when they are used as
 field delimiters, e.g. quotation marks to double quotation marks.
 There is no export format for pictures and sounds. Only the import from
 one FMP database to another FMP database is possible.
 * Various applications use output formats that may be imported by FMP
 easily, while others have to be converted.
 Many common text editors may get used to replace one type of delimiter
 by another one, e.g. <quotation mark><colon><quotation mark> by <tab>.
 Alpha allows to highlight, copy and paste text by columns.
 Add/Strip allows to convert fixed width field formats by inserting
 delimiters and deleting noise characters.
 * Finally, you may use import to reorder your records.
 Create a clone of your database "old", select all (if you wanted all),
 sort, open the "clone of old", import from "old". Backup (or delete)
 "old" and rename the clone to "old".
9.5   Export formatted text / RTF
 Formatted text may get exchanged between applications by the usual
 On export any text format information is lost - only plain text will be
 available. A mail merge export may get used for mail merge capable
 applications to re-assign formats on complete fields.
 In order to export formatted text, some additional steps are required.
 The idea is to add the special formatting options by calculations of a
 suitable format, such as RTF or HTML, and to use an application that may
 handle this coding.
 RTF (Rich Text Format) is the internal representation used on Macintosh
 to exchange formatted text between applications. You may see a sample of
 RTF coding if you save a document in RTF format from a suitable
 application. The RTF codes below were collected in this manner by (Forbes Robertson).
 A proper RTF document consists of a header and special codes around the
 text to format.
 RTF codes
   bold      \b
   italic    \i
   underline \ul
   return    \par
 Curly brackets are the way of splitting RTF codes from the actual text
 that is plain ASCII. The above can be combined e.g. {\b \i sample text}
 to give bold italic "sample text".
 Font changes are a little different, composed from corresponding font
 numbers in the header.
   Fonts     \f<n>   -- font number <n> of header
   {\f3 text \par}
 To set different font sizes the same layout as fonts is used. But
 instead of \f<n> the code is \fs<n> were n is twice the size of the font
 you wish to use.
 Example for font size 10:
   {\fs20 text \par}
 If you need to use the characters { } or \ precede them with a \.
 RTF header
 It seems that the minimum header is
 A matching final } closes the document as footer.
 The following information is part of the header as well:
 There is a list of fonts with numbers eg
     {\fonttbl{\f0\fswiss Chicago;} etc }
 Then a list of colours eg
     {\colortbl\red0\green0\blue0; etc }
 Then a stylesheet. This part has several variables some of which are
 obvious, while others may be word processor dependant as well
     {\stylesheet{\s242 \f16 \sbasedon0\snext0 page number;}
     {\f16 \sbasedon222\snext0 Normal;}}
 Then details on the paper size and margins, eg:
 In conclusion you need a header consisting of a lot of font info. The
 best way to get this is to save a file in your word processor as RTF
 then view the file without conversion.
 You may include the RTF codes by ordinary calculations.
 Example:  RTF Text (text calculation) =
   "{{\b " & [Name] & "}, " & [First Name] &
   "\par} {email: ""{\f0 \fs20" & [email] & """\par}"
 It's recommended to export this as tab delimited text, with only the
 calculated RTF field per record.
 You may put in the header and footer info while you use a separate
 record for each and ensure that they sort first and last in the sort
 Also can you get FM to save the exported text file with the correct
 creator codes so that double clicking it opens it in your word
 processor. This is possible to do using programs like Filebuddy etc.
 Print to file
 You may create a special layout where you place the proper RTF or HTML
 code around the fields, create proper header and footer parts and print
 this layout to a file.
 [header part]
 {{\b[name]}, [first name]\par}
 {email:" {\f0\fs20[email]"\par }
 [footer part]
 The [fields] and text objects may get defined as sliding to the left.
 FMP3 permits improved text merge options for the same purpose.
9.6   Access Files Remotely
 Date:         Thu, 18 Apr 1996 20:56:06 +1000
 From: Graham Nicholson <grahamn@VISION.NET.AU>
 Subject:      Re: Update from a remote source
 Something about accessing files remotely.  I am note sure if it was for
 maintenance only or if you wanted to use concurrently both on site and
 away.  If for maintenance or on line access only then...
 OK, I do this to remote access a site that is under my control.
 I offer you three solutions
 1) Carbon Copy
 2) Timbuktu
 3) Windows 95
 4) FMPro3 WWW Access
 1) Carbon Copy
 I use carbon copy for windows and have essentialy control of the login
 computer.  The database is running on the dial in which is both good and
 bad, good speed wise because only screen redraws are passed machine to
 machine not actual data (which ARA does).  The speed is not great but
 they have PC 386/40 which is bottom end for FMPro anyway, using 14.4
 modems. I think with a fast machine/modem it should be quite acceptable.
 Setup was a breeze, just install the remote software on each machine and
 choose the modem type.
 Pros - Speed of link is good.  If the machine you log onto is networked
 then you also have access to the network.
 Cons - No cross platform capability (Windoze only (3.1 or Win 95)
 2) Timbuktu
 This has always been a very *cool* piece of software that allowed
 control over appletalk and also dial in.  Recently Timbuktu has been
 updated to include also a Windows equivalent.  There is an immediate
 *Huge* advantage, you can control a Mac from a PC and also a PC From a
 Mac (also PC-PC and Mac-Mac of course) so now if you need to access a
 clients site which is PC based you can log on with your Mac :-)  As with
 Carbon Copy only screen data is passed on so speed of the link is not a
 vital ingredient.  Fairly processor intensive on both sides though, same
 as Carbon Copy
 Pros - Speed of link is good.  If the machine you log onto is networked
 then you also have access to the network.  Cross Platform capability, oh
 securtiy measures are good also
 Cons - None spring to mind but I am sure there are some
 3) Win 95
 I believe that Win 95 (or Microsoft Plus anyway) has a type of ARA built
 in and have seen it in action.  No idea about performance speeds,
 remember that you are now accessing a network not just screen data so
 having it open on a machine on the network and logging on as a guest
 would give better speeds than accessing the file off a server as a
 shared file (I think, not too sure how FMPro handles this)
 Pros - Built into OS so should be widely supported (Win 95)
 Cons - I have not used the system, not even sure if FMPro would work
 using this should in theory
 4) WWW access.
 If both are using FMPro 3 then it is possible for the "host" to have a
 permanent internet connection and the dialup to access it as if it were
 local talk (nearly, not quite as fast)

Subject:10  Useful Tools
10.0   Useful tools
 This section is still at work. Please join your experience.
 Most of the recommended tools are available at the usual umich and
 info-mac sites and its mirrors. If you want any special tool included in
 this list, please provide the appropriate information. I reserve to
 include only tools that I consider as useful.
10.1   Print2Pict
 Print2Pict is a chooser extension. Instead of printing to a real device,
 the output is directed to a file. Different file formats are available.
 The most important are TEXT and PICT.
 URL: <ftp:/umich-mac/system.extensions/chooser/print2pict3.6.cpt.hqx>
10.2   Acid Jazz etc.
 tools for fax, phone calls, etc.
 URL: under construction
10.3   BBEdit Lite
 Freeware text editor; powerful find / replace, suitable for handling
 repeating fields (ASCII-29 dilemma)
 It's very handy to edit calculation fields within, and to move to FMP by
 "Starting with BBEdit 3.0, BBEdit Lite 3.5 there is soft wrap
 capability. This makes convenient editing of FMPR calc fields possible.
 Calc fields are TEXT, and can be copied and pasted into. Copying to a
 tmp BBEdit file makes powerful editing of formulae possible, useful once
 you have formulae longer than the minuscule scroll window of FMPR.
 Application: US versions use ,'s as separators, eg If(,,), some
 localized versions may use ;'s, eg If(;;), depending on the installed
 system. This makes copying of formulae from templates tedious. Compiled
 formulae will run between versions, any change in a formulae caused
 recompilation and all ,'s must be changed to;'s. BBEdit does it for you,
 without errors, but you have to rescue bona fide ,'s occurring between
 Note: FMPR calc fields use Apple's text engine, and are thereby limited
 to 32K."
 (from (J. J. Lodder))
10.4   Ram Disk
 Use a Ram Disk for import / export - it might be much faster.
 URL: under construction
10.5   Send Mail from within FMP
 You may send EMail directly from within FMP via TCP/IP by AppleScript
 You will need e.g. the "TCP/IP scripting additions" osax. Its script
 "emailer" will show a possible example.
 As another approach you may create outgoing messages in other,
 scriptable mail applications. The template release of these FAQs,, contains a send mail button to do this via the included script
10.6   Dump Mail to FMP
 * Direct approach
 FMP may download mail directly via TCP-IP connections. Marionet is a
 commercial TCP tool suited for that purpose.
 The AppleScript "TCP/IP scripting additions" may be suited for that
 purpose as well.
 * Special Applications:
 MailProcessor converts mailbox files to tab-delimited text that may get
 imported into FMP. IMO the version I tried was slow, noninuitive and of
 poor performance.
 MailConverter by  R Shapiro <rshapiro@BBN.COM> is an excellent tool for
 converting mailbox formats, but doesn't include a database format.
 However, R Shapiro might develop yet another tool for that special task.
 I suppose this would be the premium choice.
 * MacPerl
 MacPerl was recommended to write a scriptable conversion utility. It's
 very powerful on text operations.
 Bob Dalgleish developped a  MacPerl script that does an excellent and
 fast job. Check on <> for 'mailbox to
 tsv'. It's still under construction, but already to recommend. It
 requires MacPerl 5 (<>).
 * AppleScript
 Stefan Schütt ( wrote the consequent AppleScript:
   tell application "Eudora 1.5.1"
         set many to (get number of message of mailbox 1)
         -- (comment from the Author: mailbox 1 is the In box)
   end tell
   repeat with i from 1 to many
         tell application "Eudora 1.5.1"
                 set day to word 3 of (get date of message i of mailbox1)
                 --this will get only the short date of the message.
                 set send to (get sender of message i of mailbox 1)
                 set sub to (get subject of message i of mailbox 1)
                 set bod to (get body of message i of mailbox 1)
                 --delete message i of mailbox 1 -- This one is optional
         end tell
         set lista to {day} & {send} & {sub} & {bod}
         tell application "FileMaker Pro SDK"
                 Create Record With Data lista
         end tell
   end repeat
   In the FMPRO database you need the following fields: Date, Sender,
   Subject and Body. To be sure it will succeed, I think you should
   the fields in this order. If your database for Eudora mails is the
   frontmost window in FMPRO when you launch the script, then you don't
   have to specify the name of the database.
 An improved version is included as Eudora2FMP with the FileMaker Pro
 FAQs. Its major drawback: AppleScript is slow. On an LC II import is
 about 100 messages per hour, twice the time of the import itself. The
 import to FMP 2.1 is so slow  due to extensive indexing of lenghty
 message bodies; FMP3 can do much faster without.
 Bob Cusick <> composed another set of templates
 <>. They
 contain an AppleScript to import from EMailer ( by Claris). They are an
 example for most polished FMP 2.1 layouts - give it a try. FM Mailer is
 freeware and unlocked. Bob Cusick announced to work on a new FMP3.0
 version with improved features and direct import capability.
 * HyperCard
 "ETD (Eudora To Database) is a great utility that allows you to read a
 Eudora® mailbox, and create a file that is suitable for importing into a
 database or spreadsheet (tab-delimited field, return-delimited record
 format).  I have included a template for use with FileMaker Pro®.
 Registered users (Shareware - $5.00 [US Funds]) can get support at"
 (from Doug Jacobson <>)
10.7   Fax from FMP
 * see Acid Jazz
 * FaxExpress (fax software) from Glenwarne Ltd.
 * FileFax allows for a clean and easy connection between FileMaker and
 FaxStf , they have a demo version, the full version costs 100US$
 An automatic mail answer is also available,, to
 receive an email documentation. No specific syntax required.
 * FaxStf
 * use Quickeys to change to a fax driver, and do a print command
 * 4-Sight, LC has a network Fax solution that is now AppleScriptable...
 It also includes some sample scripts that work with FM Pro.
 515-221-3012 - Kevin Clark is a very helpful sales rep.
 * Prefab Player (scriptable) , Scott Lawton <>
 * MacComCenter from Smith Micro Software Inc., 31 Columbia, Aliso Viejo,
 CA 92656 (maybe slow, but works with AT&T Paradyne DataPort 14.4 modem)
 * Windows: FileMaker is not capable of selecting a printer.
 You will probably need to use WinBatch to do that (& any usual Fax
 (from various replies on FMPRO-L)
10.8   Speed Doubler
 FMP on Power Macs with Speed Doubler ran 225% or 230% as compared to
 100% for FMP without Speed Doubler.
 (September test MacUP)
 Actual problems on networks
10.9   ROFM CGI
 "ROFM CGI (Russell Owens FileMaker CGI) is an application that allows
 you to serve FileMaker Pro databases to the World Wide Web (WWW). It is
 easy to set up and use. It runs on Macintosh computers (only), and
 requires WebSTAR or MacHTTP, Filemaker Pro 2.1v3 and AppleScript 1.1
 (which comes with system 7.5). To email notification of new records, you
 will also need Eudora 1.5 (free) or 2.1 (commercial)." (From Russell
 Owen's FileMaker CGI introduction)
 The home site of ROFM CGI is
 General-purpose subroutines for adding records and searching databases
 are available as a compiled script (with included source code) called
 "ROFMUtil". This script is included in the ROFM CGI package, which is
 available from <>. The subroutines are
 fairly well optimized, and require Wayne Walrath's ACME Script Widgets.
10.10  GTQ library
 >Does anyone know if FMP3 has the capability of scripting your printer
 There is a OSAX called "Set Printer to" as part of the GTQ Scripting
 Library v1.2 that does this. You need AppleScript and the OSAX
 installed. Here is the OSAX library:
 set printer to: chooses the specified device type
         set printer to  string  -- device type name
                 [named  string]  -- name of device
                 [using  printer port/modem port]  -- which serial port
 to use
                  (valid for serial devices only)
                 [zone  string]  -- zone where device is
 it works fine with my serial StyleWriter,
 set printer to "StyleWriter 1200" using modem port
 find it at info-mac
 (From: ehsan saffari <>)

Subject:11  Special Solutions
11.1   Templates for collecting CDs
 A Box of Rain Database
 Allison's CD DB
 Audiofile 1.01
 CD Catalog (replaced by The CD Database)
 CD Club
 CD Directory
 CD Manager
 CD Tracker PRO (replaced by Audiofile 1.01)
 Music Store 1.2
 The CD Database 1.3
 CDLite Classical
 CD Coyote (helper appl.)
 Index of Umich-Mac (and
  463    12/21/94    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Filemaker Pro 2.x templates designed to catalogue albums, CDs,
    DAT, cassettes and other music media as well as song lyrics;
    print collection lists and custom tape cassette inserts; more
    buttons, scripts, graphics, special extras and neat tricks.
  425     8/6/95    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Music collection tracker with lots of features and
    a nifty interface; this is the next step up from
    CD Tracker Pro (and by the same author, so you see:
    it's an <*tah-dah*> 'Authorized' version! *heh*duck*).
  119    11/20/94    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    FileMaker Pro document for catloging compact discs allows
    search, print, and report generation; v1.2 includes a number
    of field changes and some changes in user interface.
   66     2/10/95    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Are you one of those people who likes to send in a penny
    to a CD Club and get back 10 CDs?  Here are three templates
    for you... one for the BMG Music Club (BMG Wantlist),
    another for Columbia House (ColumbiaHouseWantlist) and a
    third for Disc Club Account Info (where you can track how
    much you've saved, or spent, so far).  Includes FAQ and WWW
    page for the real junkies.
  134     7/18/95    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Catalogs CDs; requires FileMakerPro 2.1 or greater; search,
    print, generate reports; v1.3 has track numbers for each song,
    smart sorting (ie: ignores 'the'), and more.
   46     10/7/94    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Keep track of your valuable CD collection  Requires FileMaker 2.0.
   42     5/30/94    BinHex4.0,Compact1.51
    A library archive for musical compact discs created in
    FileMaker Pro; printing is disabled in demo.
  292     5/15/95    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Simple database catalogs CD's for those who don't want or need
    a lot of superfluous info in their databases; requires FMPro2.1.
  330     8/27/95    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Variation of CDelux/Lite, but more in line with the needs
    of a classical cd collector; requires FilemakerPro; v1.1
    has many new features and a user manual; free.
  502     6/23/95    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Contains CDLite and CDLite Pro, cd cataloging databases; require
    FileMakerPro2.1 and 1.4MB to run; free.
  451     5/15/95    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    Nifty CD organizer; cool graphic interface tracks by
    artist/album, title/song/label, more; imports and exports;
    requires a 13" color monitor and FileMakerPro2.1 or later;
    v3.02 contains many new features and user requested changes.
  344     9/14/94    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50
    FileMakerPro database archives data about your CDs, LPs, DATs, CD
    Video, etc.
11.2   Numbers to Text
 These fields will convert to text any amount under one million dollars.
   Field Name      Field Type        Formula / Entry Option
   Amt             Number
   Tn              Calc (Number)   = Int (mod (Amt,100))
   Hd              Calc (Number)   = Int (mod (Amt,1000) / 100)
   TTh             Calc (Number)   = Int (mod (Amt,100000) / 1000)
   HT              Calc (Number)   = Int (Amt / 100000)
   TnTx            Calc (Text)     =
 "         One      Two      Three    Four     Five     Six      Seven
 Eight    Nine     Ten      Eleven   Twelve   Thirteen Fourteen Fifteen
 Sixteen  SeventeenEighteen Nineteen "
   TenTx           Calc (Text)     =
 "              Twenty Thirty Forty  Fifty  Sixty  SeventyEighty Ninety "
   AllNumberText   Calc (Text)     =
 if (HT, trim (middle (TnTx, HT * 9 + 1, 9)) &
   if (TTh, " Hundred ", " Hundred Thousand "), "") &
 if (TTh, if (TTh > 19,trim (middle (TenTx, Int (TTh / 10) * 7 + 1, 7)) &
   " " &
   trim (middle (TnTx,mod (TTh, 10) * 9 + 1, 9)),
     trim (middle (TnTx, TTh * 9 + 1, 9))) &
   " Thousand", "") &
 " " &
 if (Hd, trim (middle (TnTx, Hd * 9 + 1, 9)) & " Hundred ", "") &
 if (Tn > 19, trim (middle (TenTx, Int (Tn / 10) * 7 + 1,7)) &
   " " &
   trim (middle (TnTx, mod (Tn, 10) * 9 + 1, 9)),
     trim (middle(TnTx, Tn * 9 + 1, 9))) &
 " and " &
 round ((Amt - Int (Amt)) * 100, 0) &

Subject:12  About
12.0   About
 Composed by Martin Trautmann, <>, Germany
 Please give any corrections, feedback, comments, improvements, requests
 for additions or deletions or whatever you think might help!
 Although sometimes still under the construction, the always latest
 release is on:
 compressed database: faq.fp3.sit (almost recent, includes Eudora2FMP)
 or plain text: [FAQ] FileMaker Pro (less recent)
 The database release is made available on info-mac and umich. Previous
 releases are:
 <ftp:/info-mac/info/sft/filemaker-pro-faq-95-12.hqx> "Info-mac mirrors"
 <ftp://mac/util/filemaker/filemakerprofaq2.6.sit.hqx> "Umich mirrors"
 The FAQ as text release might be found at:
 ro_-_database_for_Macintosh_and_Windows> "Plain text"
 ker_Pro_-_database_for_Macintosh_and_Windows> "Plain Text, German
 pro/faq/faq.html> "HTML format"
 s/mac/databases/top.html> "HTML format"
 and the other FAQ sites that hold news.answers and comp.answers.
 Try also the November release at:
 Version history:
 3.1 Maintenance release
 3.0 FMP3 sorting portals, other FMP3 stuff
 All comments without any warranty - please tell me if I missed any legal
 aspects. Std. disclaimer, std. trade marks, std. copyright, no
 commercial distribution without my permission, ...

-- you may test my new mail address at  --
Martin Trautmann                        .   Solid State Electronics Laboratory
Tel:  ++49-6151-16-5141                   .   Technische Hochschule Darmstadt
Fax:              -5233                     .   Schlossgartenstrasse 8
EMail:    .    D-64289 Darmstadt

Author of the Frequently Asked Questions on FileMaker Pro:

User Contributions:

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