DevCon WebDirect Series 3 of 4: Customize WebDirect Titles

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Users that have highly customized menu sets for their files were probably a little disappointed that they were locked into using FileMaker’s menu set for WebDirect. While there is no ability to override the actions associated with menu items, we’ve found a way to at least provide your own titles to the menu commands, and some of the other titles used by WebDirect!

Note: This technique is not supported by FileMaker natively and should be used with caution. Future updates of FileMaker may break this hack, and you should always keep backups of your original system files when taking this kind of action. For this example, we will be using a virtual machine, Windows Server 2012 Standard and the FileMaker server sample file.

Step 1: Locate the file

You will find a file called under the following Windows file path:

DRIVE:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Web Publishing\publishing-engine\jwpc-tomcat\fmi\VAADIN\themes\default\i18n\en

Or under this Mac file path:

DRIVE:/Library/FileMaker Server/Web Publishing/publishing-engine/jwpc-tomcat/fmi/VAADIN/themes/default/i18n

Back up this file!

Step 2: Modify!

The file gives you a ton of control, almost 600 titles are stored here. Titles like error messages, menu titles and dialog boxes are all there to customize, even a comment on line 396 with a reminder to Vin Addala that made it through. I use Notepad++ on Windows or TextWrangler on Mac for some nice color contrast while editing.

Special considerations
  • Updating FileMaker server at some point in time will probably overwrite your changes back to the system defaults, so backup your changed copy along with the original copy.
  • Do not make any changes to the left of the = on each line, this could potentially break part or all of your WebDirect files.
  • These changes are universal, meaning they will apply to all of your WebDirect files on that server.
  • Drastic changes in the length of the title could get cut off if the dialog is locked in place.
  • There is a wildcard %s that is used in the title strings for dynamic info, for example, on line 223,  the title for the delete all records confirmation record: Permanently delete ALL %s record(s) in the current found set?” In this case, %s is past the number of records in the found set. Keep these wildcards in place if you want to display that info in your customized titles!

Step 3: Soutenir d’autres langues!

Are your solutions bilingual? You’re in luck, as all of the languages supported by FileMaker have their own files as well! Just navigate up to the i18n folder in the file path and find the corresponding folder for what you need. En is for English, fr for French, de for German, etc.

Step 4: Test it all out

Since we just messed with something that was not meant to be touched, make sure to take the time to log in and review the dialog boxes, menu titles and other titles that you just changed for errors, cut off strings, and broken formatting!