The Support Group Blog

Creating a Watermark for Multiple Page Reports

Hi, I’m Julien Lafleur, the director of development here at The Support Group.  I’ve been working with FileMaker for well over a decade (in fact I just passed my 10 year anniversary with TSG!), and I’m continually surprised by the many little challenges posed by our customers, and the many creative ways they can be solved.

For instance, I was recently working on a very small system that generated a report that had a narrative field that could (and frequently did) go on for many pages.  The simplest way to print these reports was to make a layout with a very large body, then stretch out the narrative field and set it to slide up to fit the contents.

Because these print-outs would become legal documents, the customer requested a watermark to indicate whether it was still in draft form or not.  This part was easy, I just added some layout text, made it a very light gray and sent it behind all the other objects.  Note that the other objects needed to be transparent for the watermark to be visible.

This worked great… for the first page.

How to make the watermark repeat for an unknown number of pages?  I thought for a moment of putting another watermark on each page, but discarded that idea because it was inelegant and it would interfere with the sliding.

I then remembered two things:

  1. The header repeats once for each page (unless you’re using a Title Header), and
  2. For an object to be considered part of the header it only needs to have the top pixel or so in the header.

Armed with these two facts, I set the text-alignment of my watermark to the bottom, then stretched out the object so that the top crossed into the header and the word “draft” was about half-way down the page.  I went into preview mode and voila!  The watermark printed once per page, and didn’t interfere with any sliding layout objects.

I often find printing problems that are caused by a text or field object accidentally being moved a pixel or two into the header.  In this case, it turned out to be the solution.

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