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Developers and users alike are frustrated with the inability to view MS Office files in Claris FileMaker. Unlike images, videos, and PDF files, we cannot directly display Office files in container fields. The most common method is to export the file and run it automatically on the local machine. Of course, this requires Microsoft Office applications to be installed on the computer. When they are not installed, this process does not work.
In this article, we will show you how to view Excel, Word, and PowerPoint files within Claris FileMaker. We have several methods for displaying files. We will discuss them all.
So how do we view MS Office files in Claris FileMaker?
Microsoft Office applications are used by almost everyone around the world. Today, with Microsoft 365 services, we can keep our files in the cloud and view them with the help of an internet browser.
In addition, Microsoft's free online file viewing tool is here to help with Office file viewing. This tool processes and displays any Excel, Word, or PowerPoint file that is hosted online using an accessible URL.
Therefore, we can create a URL for our files with extensions such as xlsx, docx, or pptx and then easily open them using WebViewer and the MS 365 display tool.
How do we create URL links for files?
There are several ways to do this, as mentioned before:
- Using third-party applications (such as Amazon S3, file.io, etc.)
- Using your own web hosting server
- Using Claris FileMaker DataAPIs
You can create temporary links for your files using service APIs of systems like Amazon S3 and use these links in your Claris FileMaker project. The important thing to note here is the security aspect of the application you are using. Yes, Amazon S3 services are quite secure for important file archiving, but we do not recommend sharing your files containing important information with unreliable sites for single-use links ????
Web Hosting Server
Here, we can upload the file we want to view simply to the FTP server, get the download link and enable file viewing.
The file is uploaded to the FTP with this information and displayed with WebViewer using the download link.
The only problem here is that we are increasing the traffic by constantly sending files to FTP. Or, if there are too many files, they will occupy unnecessary space on FTP.
Using Claris FileMaker Data APIs
The most suitable method among these methods (for us) is to access the link of a file placed in a container field using FileMaker Data APIs for viewing. For this, the file must be published on the server.
To access the URL link of the data in the container field, we need to get a token first with DataAPI. Here are the URL details:
"--location --request POST " &
" --header " & Quote ( "Content-Type: application/json") &
" --header " & Quote ( "Authorization: Basic " & Base64EncodeRFC ( 3548 ; <<username>> & ":" & <<password>> ) ) & " " &
"--dump-header $$header " &
After obtaining this information, the "response.token" information is extracted from the JSON data returned using the JsonGetElement function and further processing is continued.
To obtain the URL address of the data in the container field, the following information is sent:
"--location -g --request GET " &
" --header " & Quote ( "Authorization: Bearer " & <<token>> ) & " " &
"--dump-header $$header "
Using the JsonGetElement function again, the "response.data.fieldData.Container" information (URL of the data in the container) is extracted from the returned JSON data and displayed using a WebViewer.
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