How to create a report with live "mailto" links?

Client wants to create a rate sheet. That rate sheet would show multiple rates on each row. An individual rate is just a decimal number like 1.22.

Modeling the data in FileMaker is straightforward: 1:M relationship where each row in the parent table would process all the rows in the child table for that row. Easy enough.

But, how can I end up with a PDF output where the mailto links work? That is, when you click one of the numbers (the 'mailto' link), it populates the email program?

A rate sheet might look like this:

Client graphic header

1.22 3.33 4.33
2.42 1.97 3.33

Client graphic footer

I can generate this functionality manually by building the HTML in code using nested JSON structure for the input, but I was wondering if there could be a less coding intensive approach.

Look forward to any suggestions on best approaches.


FM’s built-in pdf generator creates ‘flat’ pdf which have no functionality, such as form fields and links.
The MBS plug-in offers much more in conjunction with the DynaPDF library. For other plugins I don’t know, maybe other members can share their knowledge here.

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Thanks! I'll follow up with Christian.

If the PDF is generated by printing it, would it still be flat ?

That’s correct. PDFs can be ‘flattened’ by saving them in PDF format in the print dialog. This operation strips the PDF of its functional elements.

Then, if the option to flatten the PDF is not selected, that would solve the OP problem ?

I don’t think so. FM does not have native capability to generate pdf with interactive elements.

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It sounds like I'm just going to need to generate the HTML in code and then create the PDF using a utility. That approach works fine. The client can just send me a JSON file I can read for the rows of data.

There is something I am missing. If the PDF is generated by printing, then FileMaker is not involved in creating the PDF contents, Then having mailto:jim@jim.jim should result in a link. If not that would mean FileMaker is working hard to prevent links in PDF ?!?

No, it just does not have that capability built in. It can be achieved by either using a plug-in or using an external tool like html2pdf.

FileMaker doesn't really add anything here for this use-case.
I was hoping to (separately) get the client interested in FileMaker with possibly a slick solution for his problem. However, if the client has to then buy FileMaker, FileMaker Server, Plug-ins (local and server ($)), etc., then that time and money would cover a generic solution.

Thanks for all the great replies!!!

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