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keiko

Mac/PC cross-platform compatibility for FM files

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keiko

Hi,

 

Please excuse a basic question. I work on a Mac and would like to help someone who has FM on a Windows platform. I want to do the work at my convenience, on my computer. Will I be able to use a copy of his DB? I won't have access to his files for a few days and want to anticipate any problems.

 

Thanks...

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Maarten Witberg

Generally speaking, Filemaker is fully cross-platform.

 

If you're speaking about data entry and suchlike:

There are some minor issues that have to do with fonts and screen sizes; you might experience some non-optimized views because of this. all the machinery behind it works though.

 

If you're speaking about development work, then you should be aware of these issues depending on further cross-platform usability needs. Let us know if you need further assistance.

 

Maarten

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keiko

Adhering firmly to what I don't know...what I plan to do is export his Excel database to FileMaker Pro 8.5, then perhaps customize the graphics of the graphical interface of an existing client-management DB template.

 

This is a broad question...when FM experts refer to "development" - what exactly are they referring to? (stick-stick)

 

Thanks.

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Maarten Witberg

OK by development I mean building or modifying a database, not (just) filling it with data. So you are going to do just that smiley_cool

 

If you're going to use an existing template then you're probably good to go. just stick to arial as font and plan some test time on a windows machine before deployment if at all possible.

 

You do need to check if the template has all the fields necessary to import the excell data into. Oh and the excell sheet has to be a neat columnar report or importing will not work properly. But that is not platform dependent.

 

good luck!

 

maarten

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keiko

this morning: hmmmm...

now: ahhhhh....

 

thanks so much, maarten -

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Norma_Snockurs
Just stick to arial as font and plan some test time on a windows machine before deployment if at all possible.

 

maarten

 

Sound advice KJoe but it needs to be pointed out that the plain Arial font is installed by the MS Office suite. I don't believe it is a standard OS X font i.e. you don't get it for free by default.

Having said that Arial is by far the most consistently behaved font I've found when designing cross-platform databases in FileMaker.

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Maarten Witberg
I don't believe it is a standard OS X font

 

hey I never realised. thanks for the warning.

 

 

PS wouldn't it be nice if Filemaker 9 Developer Advanced Super Pro Developer carried at least one font that is cross platform optimized.... and looked nice (Arial's definetly out then).

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Norma_Snockurs
wouldn't it be nice if Filemaker 9 Developer Advanced Super Pro Developer carried at least one font that is cross platform optimized.... and looked nice.

 

Arial is functional I guess and not too far from the likes of the Helveticas which are old standards because of their clarity. But you get my vote for this years best suggestion for the Filemaker wishlist. Sure there are many things that would improve FM but something as fundamental as a font or two that behaves and looks as identical as possible on both platforms would be a major design headache taken care of.

 

Seems like an obvious one doesn't it? Installs with the application on either OS and is heavily touted in the docs as the one to use…

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Maarten Witberg
he likes of the Helveticas which are old standards because of their clarity

yup. that's the trouble with royalty free fonts... they usually are just not quite it. But I am a whine when it comes to fonts. Most computer fonts are awful. At my work we purchased a few especially for printed work. What I can't understand is the unbelievable amount of garbage fonts you get when you purchase illustrator, or indeed, office. I would be quite happy if they limited it to maybe four or five well designed fonts and trash the rest. Hooray for FontBook, if only Microsoft and Adobe put their fonts in regular library folders instead of their own app support ones.

End of semi-topical rant. Arial is acceptable as a multipurpose font (screen and print). On screen, it is actually one of the better ones. Printed, personally I hate it ( but that's perhaps because I have to read so many damn consultants reports that are printed using Arial) :rolleyes:

 

Maarten

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AHunter3

Verdana is reasonably consistent cross-platform. Courier New is also, but who the heck designs in Courier New (outside of a need for monospaced font, that is)? Times New Roman, I've had trouble with (mostly Mac weirdnesses, dunno why).

 

I wish everyone had Palatino and New Century Schoolbook and Monaco and Optima.

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pete

For screen use I strongly recommend Verdana. Arial does not render very well on a Mac Screen, especially if you want clear differentiation between Plain and Bold at smaller sizes.

 

Verdana is very clear and legible even at 9pt on notebook screens [100ppi or more].

 

For output (report) screens Arial / Times works well as a cross platform solution.

 

Any other combinations put the likelihood of the font being installed at less than 90%. See , a very good resource base point for font use. [note: requires a subscription for some summaries / reports]

 

Misc Font Trivia.

Norma Shnockers wrote:"...needs to be pointed out that the plain Arial font is installed by the MS Office suite. I don't believe it is a standard OS X font..."

 

This is correct up to a point, that point being the release of Mac OS X Tiger [10.4.x]

 

Prior to Tiger, Arial was not a default install font for Mac OS X, and neither was Verdana. Although if you installed Internet Explorer you would get both of these as well as few others (12 in total [inc 4 variations of Arial])

 

From 10.4.0 on, one of the 'selling points' of Tiger was / is "...More than one hundred professional-quality typefaces are included with Mac OS X Tiger, with an estimated market value of thousands..."

 

Although '...more than one hundred..' is a bit of marketing hype even a minimal Tiger base font selection install will install 63 fonts (32 system and 35 additional).

 

This compares with a Panther (10.3.9) base install installing 47 fonts (28 system and 19 additional)

 

AHunter3 wrote: "...I wish everyone had Palatino and New Century Schoolbook and Monaco and Optima..."

 

Both Monaco and Optima are standard installs in Mac OS X since Panther [at least]. Palatino and New Century SchoolBook were included in MacOS Classic but alas have been dropped from OS X [at least since Panther, I have a feeling I remember them in an earlier OS X release but...]

 

Microsoft Office (2004) will add 77 fonts [includes some already installed in Tiger which it will (I think) overwrite, because of course, 'their' version is better!!].

 

AppleWorks has a base install of 22 with the additional option of another 28.

 

iWork'05 adds 17 [including Palatino], not sure about iWork'06

 

Have a Great day!

* *pete.

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jhtmd49

I'd love to have New Century Schoolbook too. I'm resigned to Ariel for now.

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kirkrr
Hooray for FontBook

 

For Mac users, the free Linotype FontExplorer X is an absolutely amazing and versatile font management program, and even more amazing in that it is free! Version 1.23 - the older, no-longer-supported version that is. They now have a PRO version, but I find no problems with the freebie.

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