Missing text fields in PDF

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Missing text fields in PDF

Post by jmk_phd » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:54 am

Someone using my neuropsyc testing app -- created with Indy 7.1.3 -- has experienced a perplexing problem on a Mac laptop running macOS 10.12.3.

The problem is that none of the text fields appeared in the PDF generated by my app, although the text labels and graphic items did appear. She sent me a copy of the PDF, which indeed was missing the text-field information.

The app is designed to generate a PDF from a substack after (1) populating the text fields with text info stored in custom properties, and (2) inserting up to 208 PNG graphics into the display, based upon the results also stored in custom properties.

Here's the thing: At my end, the app works perfectly in generating the PDF in macOS 10.6.8 (my default OS). Moreover, I've just installed a copy of 10.12.4 (the current version of Sierra) on an external drive and found that the app generates the PDF just fine.

The Apple App Store doesn't permit us to download an older version of a macOS, so I have no way of testing whether this user's problem was specific to my customer's macOS 10.12.3.

We can rule out two possible problems:

(1) It's not a font-related problem, because the text labels (which employ the same font) are fine.
(2) It's not a problem of access to the custom properties, because the PNG graphics displayed in the PDF match those specified in the custom properties.

Was the user's experience a one-time (inexplicable) fluke, or related to a bug specific to creating a PDF either in LiveCode or in macOS 10.12.3?

Perhaps someone still running 10.12.3 can test whether there's a bug in creating PDF files.


jeff k

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Re: Missing text fields in PDF

Post by Klaus » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:10 am

Hi Jeff,

1. welcome to the forum! :D

2. Just made a test with LC 9 dp6 on my Mac with macOS 10.12.4 and
it prints nicely, no missing text fields or something...

Do the fields have their 3D property checked? Mine have, but no peroblem!?
There is a bug report and some discussion, maybe this also applies to your case:
http://forums.livecode.com/viewtopic.ph ... 20#p151220



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Re: Missing text fields in PDF

Post by dunbarx » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:20 pm

There is indeed a bug, and I reported this a while ago, working in v.6x. In my case, the fields printed, but were missing various sides of their borders. There is a discussion here:

http://forums.livecode.com/viewtopic.ph ... =pdf+print

This likely is what you are seeing. Reported fixed in v9.

Craig Newman

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Re: Missing text fields in PDF

Post by jmk_phd » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:04 am

Klaus and Craig --

Although I'd never posted before, I've been following these forums for nearly two years, which have helped me to solve a few problems. Thanks to all!

(BTW, I learned the basics of programming via Hypertalk ca. 1989, to which I switched to the superb, yet ill-fated Prograph IDE. LiveCode has been a godsend.)

I don't think that the bugs reported by Craig and by Klaus are relevant, inasmuch as the text fields in my PDF form include no borders.

As noted, at my end the app works fine in macOS 10.6.8, in the last version of 10.11.x, and in 10.12.4. Sans reports of PDF problems with LC 7.x and macOS 10.12.3, I'm at a loss.

Although the person who experienced the reported PDF problem had been provided a free copy of the app, she and other non-savvy computer users are not inclined to cooperate in trouble-shooting.

It's hard to find beta testers.

I'll just plunge ahead, assuming that my app will work under the most recent macOS with LiveCode 7.x.

jeff k

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Re: Missing text fields in PDF

Post by jameshale » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:43 pm

Ah Prograph.
Fascinating and still alive!
Just a new name - and maintainer.


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Re: Missing text fields in PDF

Post by jmk_phd » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:48 am

James and all --

I've communicated occasionally with the folks behind Marten -- admirably stalwart Prograph users -- since the mid-1990s, and I definitely encourage newer Mac programmers to check out this incarnation of Prograph. (I'm still a big fan of this visual/graphical approach, which could've revolutionized high-level programming.)

Still, once burned, twice shy: Given its large base, LiveCode seems more likely than Marten to survive long-term -- plus, of course, the advantage of developing cross-platform apps. If I'd published my testing app using Prograph in the late 1990s, it would've been orphaned with the advent of macOS X -- leaving users stranded (prior to LiveCode) and leaving me to learn and do a total rewrite in something like Objective C.

I'm still hoping that the user-reported problem of missing text fields in files saved as PDF was due merely a one-time glitch, but I don't regret adopting the long-familiar LiveCode language (and no longer messing with pointers as I'd done in the original Prograph version).

Still, if anyone has found that a LiveCode substack with borderless text fields does not display the text when saved as a PDF -- esp. prior to macOS 10.12.4 -- knowing this would be very helpful.


jeff k

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