When viewing email attachments, there is no way back to the program

In the Emails tab, when an email is viewed and the attachment (of the transaction sent) is viewed, there is no way to navigate back to the program. For example, from the Brilliant Industries test business, Quote 122 was emailed:

When the record of that email is viewed, the attachment shows at the bottom:

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 12.18.14 PM

Clicking on the attachment button displays the transaction that was emailed:

But there is no way back to the main program window. If the attachment window is closed, no other Manager window is present, although the application remains open. The only way to recover is to quit Manager and relaunch.

i had reported the same a few months back.

The above “when viewing email attachments there is no way back to the program” does not appear as an issue in Linux server version 21.1.11. The issue of no email count on the email tab and the issue raised previously linked below.

In windows if you right-click and use the back option it works fine.

The application should not force the user to do the right click thing.

Maybe so, but the topic says “there is no way back to program” when actually there is.

That does not work on a Mac.

Is it not a browser feature though?
Works for me on Edge, Chrome and Firefox.

I am referring to the desktop edition.

Even on desktop

I’m not able to reproduce this issue however I consider this to be part of internal PDF generator functionality which is now obsolete.

In the latest version (21.11.64) I’m making this more obvious by creating new section under settings called Legacy Features where internal PDF generator can be turned on.

Which means Manager looses a key differentiating feature. Manager is no longer a functional accounting program without exposing the program to potential internet attacks. It can no longer be run on a private server with only out going internet access to send payslip and invoices. Instead now remote access must be enabled through which full administrator access to accounting records is exposed.

A dramatic step backwards.

@Patch there is unfortunately no PDF library which can handle properly all languages. Prince XML probably can but there is no royality free license.

So the other option would be to embed web-browser but that seems like a massive overkill just to make PDF button work when Print button can generate the same PDF documents using Save to PDF function.

So right now, in 2021, we are where we are.

The business requirement is to send out human readable payslips and invoices from a protected accounting system.

The invoices could be in pdf, rtf or html (or text format). The program download, memory and processing for a required library is trivial for a private business server. The functionality is a very significant differentiating factor for the accounting system.

Sending HTML email can be done but layout would need to be different from what Manager has now so it caters to the lowest common denominator (which is pretty low for email clients).

Eventually I will figure it out and until then, internal PDF generator will stay in the program as a legacy feature.

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@Patch and @lubos As an IT technician, I will add my two cents to the thoughts on this issue.

I allow pdf attachments in email, because while they are not 100% safe from malware etc, pdf is the de facto standard for sending any attachments nowadays. So pdf’s go through the mail server automatically, although there is the ability to disable activex and macro support within pdf’s on computers.

Both Html and rtf attachments however are blocked attachments by default because both can and often are compromised by malware or viruses to infect networks. So using html or rtf as an attachment in an email is a terrible idea. Text is safe, but a very poor format for sending invoices! I would be very suspicious of receiving an attachment in text, html or rtf.

So I would recommend sticking with pdf as the format to send attachments otherwise you will find over the years loads of problems with people having to whitelist your domain or allow those attachments etc. More trouble than it’s worth. Don’t use non standard formats to send invoices. People expect to see your invoice and payslips in pdf format so stick with that.

I appreciate that you are frustrated that with the deprecation of the internal pdf generator you are unable to send invoices and payslips without opening up your accounting program to the Internet.

I would suggest that the customer, and yet to be developed supplier and employee portal address these shortcomings as this is the direction I would go in if I was developing Manager. My expectation is that companies move away from sending attachments via email and move towards portals which is the direction a lot of people are moving in. I am not sure how other accounting programs “generate” the pdf’s from links but it seems to work.

I personally have no issues with removal of the internal pdf generator and in fact support it’s removal to legacy as I agree with the impracticality of the 3rd party addon. It has never generated pdf’s 100 accurately

Maybe in your case, I always had what I expected, guess it depends on the customizations one makes. The issue with Manager compared to some competitors in generating PDFs is that it allows code injections through custom fields, etc. that may mess up the PDF. Most restrict to some colour changes and let you choose from some default layouts that would render with their in built PDF generators.

Portals are not a good solution for customers nor suppliers. Assume your business as 100 suppliers and 2,000 customers. Each of these customers and suppliers are also a customer and supplier with 20 other businesses. Should a customer really need to login to so many portals and keep their credentials? For regular customers that may be useful but what about the once off ones? Hence, as you rightly state that when ordering something you get an invoice with an email PDF attachment and if you had the option to register for a portal where you can track orders you would also get the link with some policy stuff to such in a separate email.

I suggest that there should be a few default themes and layouts that can be chosen also in relation to left-right and right-left languages with only colour changes and that are programmed to render with an internal PDF generator. This will be at the cost of more complex customizations but when I see the development of localization and the expressed intent by @Lubos to eventually ditch custom themes this would happen in any case.

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I agree that portals are not practical in every environment. Xero for example sends an email with a link to the actual invoice. You click on that link and somehow the browser generates a pdf document. That would be the direction I would go down in for that. How that works, I have no idea.

My point is even Xero does not send attachments like Pdf anymore. They just send a link. So a link and/or a portal would both work.

The internal pdf generator doesn’t seem to like custom columns as it gets the widths completely wrong with the result that I have never been able to use custom columns on invoices using the internal pdf generator. I believe that there are also issues with right to left?

Bottom line is I would look to see how Xero etc solves these problems instead of trying to re-invent the wheel or go down arcane routes of using html, rtf or text to send attachments. Not a route I would recommend. If you must send attachments, it must be pdf format. As someone who runs a mail server I can guarantee delivery problems if you use any other format especially html.

In short, I don’t know the best way to resolve the problem facing patch, but I can state that using attachments other than pdf is a recipe for disaster. I only suggest the portals because they already exist and can be used by many businesses like mine who have regular client basis rather than one offs. For one off and huge customer base I would look to see how Xero solves this issue.

Yes that is fine. My argument is that Xero and others restrict invoice customization of the templates/themes (in case of Xero only branding such as logo and colour https://www.xero.com/us/accounting-software/all-features/) to ensure proper rendering of the PDFs. They would not allow you to add a custom column.

When the portals finally get support to view and download pdf’s, it is most likely that Manager will end up using a solution similar to Xero and if the price to be paid is lose some customisation of the templates, then that’s just the way it will have to be. If they allow logos and colour, then that’s doable.

The only reason I want a custom column (which has actually never been used because of the internal pdf generator display issue) is to have a warranty column. But if Manager could add a warranty column to the sales invoice, I would not need to create a custom column. A warranty column is sufficiently widely used that many businesses using Manager would benefit from it.

Anyway up to Lubos how he will introduce pdf view and download for the portals and how he wants to address sending invoices etc to recipients. I suspect the Xero approach will be the end result as it works. I can’t advise on that, all I can state is my opposition to sending html, rtf and text attachments for reasons stated above.