• Who: Anyone who uses the “Save as PDF” feature.
  • What: How to fix the issue where a PDF created by “Save as PDF” prints slowly.
  • With: FileMaker 13+
  • Why: No need to wait for these PDFs to flatten.



We use the “Save as PDF” feature in FileMaker extensively to save reports for long term archiving. Recently, one of the new reports I created got great accolades for being “beautiful”, but when someone tried to print the report, it took around 5 minutes…just to print! The problem was that in order to print, the file was first going through the processing of “flattening”.


Long story short, it turns out that the gradients and shading I was using in the layout were causing the “flattening” process which precedes printing to take a really long time. After some research online, the solutions seem to be to either use a “Classic” theme for your Print layouts (if your FMP file was converted from an earlier file format), or to remove any “transparency” in your layout (gradients and shadows use transparency to create their effects).

Hope that helps!