Multi-page documents in fmSpark?

Support, Tips and Tricks for Proof Group's fmSpark "merge anything" utility for FileMaker Pro.
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:02 pm
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:17 pm
Hi

I can't find a clear answer to whether or not fmSpark can generate multi-page documents (agreements, 4-5 page documents etc).

I hope so as it looks like a great product, but without this capability, it has limited use for me.
SeedCode Staff
SeedCode Staff
Posts: 2759
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:01 am
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:30 am
Hi Greg.

Yes, fmSpark will support documents as long as FileMaker's layouts will allow (about 12 pages per recipient), though with some custom programming you can get things longer than that.

In order to get into mutli-page layouts you'll need to either extend the length of the letter layout built into fmSpark, or duplicate that as the basis for a new, longer layout. You can associate individual templates, and even individual mailings, with different layouts to suit your needs.

Hope that helps.
John Sindelar
SeedCode
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:02 pm
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:33 pm
Thanks for your reply. So, if I understand correctly ...

1) Document length is dependant upon the length of the layout in the template. So I can have a template 7 pages long

2) I can have multi-page letters pulling content from template A into page 1, from template B into page 2 etc

3) All these will be editable for the user after they have been "merged"

Another question regarding page breaks and formatting ....

How does fmSpark handle page breaks once the multi-page documents are merged and presented to the user. If the user adds a paragraph etc is there some way for them to manage the formatting etcs in browse mode ? Do they see the page break in layout mode (can they preview it ??)

Thanks for your help
SeedCode Staff
SeedCode Staff
Posts: 2759
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:01 am
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:29 am
GregW wrote:1) Document length is dependant upon the length of the layout in the template. So I can have a template 7 pages long


Yep. You can do about 11 pages for letters as that is the longest layout FileMaker can accommodate. Emails aren't layout based so they can be larger.

GregW wrote:2) I can have multi-page letters pulling content from template A into page 1, from template B into page 2 etc


Kind of. Each letter is based on a single template. So you wouldn't have part of the letter based on template A and another part based on B. You'd create one template that brought A and B together and use that one template for your letter.

Your templates can have multiple regions or contact areas, however. If you'd like to position some of your content in different places in your letter. Though regions are most often used in html emails-- see the regions to the left side of this screen shot...

http://www.seedcode.com/screenshots/fms ... k.htm#five

...they work great in letters as well.

GregW wrote:3) All these will be editable for the user after they have been "merged"


Right. After merging your data into a template you can further edit or personalize the content of individual letters.

GregW wrote:Another question regarding page breaks and formatting ....

How does fmSpark handle page breaks once the multi-page documents are merged and presented to the user. If the user adds a paragraph etc is there some way for them to manage the formatting etcs in browse mode ? Do they see the page break in layout mode (can they preview it ??)


Yes, users can preview their content after merging, and once a user merges their content with a template they can add some additional text and personalize that content for individual recipients and then preview that content before printing.

If they want to manipulate the page breaks of the new content, they'll do it the old fashioned way, by adding or removing carriage returns in the letters they've personalized so that the pages break the way they want.

Aside from that, fmSpark doesn't have a user-modifiable page break setting. Page breaks are controlled in FileMaker layouts, and pretty roughly at that. Though if you really need to have some specific page breaking for a given layout, the folks at Proof can make some custom changes to add multiple page breaks within a single template if needed.

Hope that helps.
John Sindelar
SeedCode

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