pdf report generator labview

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Creating Professional Reports with the LabVIEW Report Generation Toolkit for Microsoft Office

Publish Date: мая 17, 2007

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Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Choosing Your Report Format
  3. Basic Report Generation Operations
  4. Advanced Report Generation Operations
  5. Advanced Formatting
  6. Templates
  7. Microsoft Graph
  8. Designing Your Own Functions

1. Overview

Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel are powerful standard software packages for creating reports. Because of their popularity, some LabVIEW users programmed LabVIEW ActiveX applications to dynamically control these document packages for generating reports from LabVIEW. The complexity of the ActiveX interface of those packages, however, makes the development of custom applications difficult. With the LabVIEW Report Generation Toolkit, you no longer have to learn the complex object models of Microsoft Word and Excel to generate a report. The toolkit offers a set of flexible and easy-to-use functions (VIs) to control these software packages. In addition, the toolkit integrates the new Word and Excel report formats into the existing LabVIEW Report Generation VIs. If you’ve used those VIs before, you already know how to use the new functionality.

We integrated the LabVIEW Report Generation Toolkit into the LabVIEW Functions»Report Generation palette. When you install the toolkit, the installer replaces LabVIEW Report Generation VIs with a new version that works with Microsoft Word and Excel formats as well as the standard and HTML formats. The toolkit also includes two new subpalettes that give you access to lower-level Word and Excel-specific functionality.

The high-level VIs from the report generation palette have the same names and connector panes as the existing LabVIEW 6i report generation VIs, which means that if you have developed applications with the LabVIEW 6i report generation VIs, you can load and run them with the report generation toolkit for Microsoft Office with no or little modifications and take advantage of the Word and Excel report types without rewriting your application.

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2. Choosing Your Report Format

With four reports types from which to choose, how do you know which report type to use?

First, you have to use a format that is compatible with the method you plan to use to publish your reports. If you want to print your reports, you can choose between standard, Word, and Excel types. If you want to send your reports programmatically via e-mail, you must use Word or Excel. The following table summarizes the relationship between the report types and the distribution methods.

Also, make sure that the computer you use to read the reports you generated can do so with the appropriate software installed. In addition, if you plan to distribute your report generation application, you need to take into account the applications installed on the target machine. If the target computer does not have Internet Explorer or Microsoft Office, then you can only use the standard report type in your distributed application.

Finally, you need to check the level of formatting that you want to apply to your report. The Standard and HTML report types do not provide nearly as many formatting options as the Word and Excel report types do.

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3. Basic Report Generation Operations

You can use all four report types to perform the following operations:
· Insert text
· Insert tables
· Insert front panel images, control images, pictures from files
· Insert hyperlink
· Specify various layout parameters (margin, orientation, font, headers, footer)

Every report generation program is based on the same model. New Report.vi must be called to specify the report type (standard, HTML, Word, or Excel), and you can then populate the report with data using the VIs from the report generation function palette. Once you have completed the report, you can print, save, or e-mail it. You must close all the references at the end of the program with the Dispose Report VI. The following VI, for example, creates a new Word document with the New Report.vi, inserts a title, a table, a picture from a file with Append Text to Report.vi, Append Table to Report.vi and Append Image to Report.vi, and prints the resulting report with Print Report.vi. All the references are then discarded with Dispose Report.vi.

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4. Advanced Report Generation Operations

The Word/Excel report format is much more advanced than standard and HTML. With it, you can also insert text, table, pictures, and links, but it offers much more formatting functionalities.

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5. Advanced Formatting

With Word and Excel types, you can set a large variety of formatting attributes, such as font, paragraph indentation (Word), shading, and borders. You can also format tables, merge cells of tables together, and control the row and column dimensions of tables. In other words, use these two types to format your report exactly the way you want and help you produce professional looking reports.

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6. Templates

Generating complex and highly formatted reports is a time-consuming process. The best way to increase productivity is to create a report template containing components that are common to all reports and placeholders for the data. After you save this template, you can generate reports by opening the report template, inserting data into the placeholders, and displaying, printing, or saving the resulting report.

Both Word and Excel provide ways to insert placeholders into documents and worksheets and save reusable templates. In Word, the easiest way to define placeholders is to use bookmarks. In Excel, the easiest way to define placeholders is to use named ranges.

The VIs that can perform insertion tasks all include the Microsoft Office parameters cluster, with which you specify the bookmark or named range from which the insertion must be performed.

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7. Microsoft Graph

The Word and Excel-specific VIs palettes contain subpalettes giving access to functions to insert and format Microsoft Graphs into Word and Excel reports. You need to make sure the Microsoft Graph application is installed before you can use these functions (Microsoft Graph is on the Microsoft Office CD).

The Microsoft Graph application handles a large variety of graph types — Bar, Column, XY, Line — and each type is available in numerous styles.

Microsoft Graph is useful if you want to plot a relatively small amount of data. You have to be aware that when you insert a Microsoft Graph into the document, the data becomes part of the report (each graph has a data sheet associated with it which contains the data plotted on the graph). Do not use Microsoft Graph to plot a waveform with one million sample points. If you want to plot a large amount of data, use a LabVIEW graph to display the data on a front panel, and the Append Control Image to Report.vi to insert the graph picture into your report.

Microsoft graphs have a very large number of attributes. The toolkit does not expose all of them. If you need to format the graph in a very specific way, you can create a template, insert an empty Microsoft Graph in the template and format the graph as needed. You can then call Word Update Graph.vi or Excel Update Graph.vi to send data into the template during the report generation process.

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8. Designing Your Own Functions

The report generation toolkit also contains functions that you can use to execute Visual Basic Applications (VBA) macros from LabVIEW. You can use this feature to customize the toolkit. If you need to implement a functionality that is not part of the toolkit, you can write it as VBA macro and call the VBA macro from LabVIEW. You can import the code containing the macro manually in your template, or import it dynamically into the document or spreadsheet.
Related Links:
LabVIEW Report Generation Toolkit for Microsoft Office
Creating a Report in Microsoft Excel Using the LabVIEW Report Generation Toolkit: Introduction

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Customer Reviews
1 Review
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– 30.04.2012

How about having something for OpenOffice
as well? We cannot afford to put Microsoft
Office on every system we need to use.

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pdf report generation in labview?

pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-13-2007

10:38 PM

I’m trying to generate a pdf test report that will contain plots of data and other information input by the user (their name, serial numbers, etc.). The built in html report generation functionality seems to be more trouble than it’s worth – I’m not looking to make a simple test report (I’m trying to format it in a rather complex way). I know I can easily convert the html file to a pdf file after the fact but it would be incredibly useful if there was a way to generate (and format) the pdf file directly in labview. Does anyone know anything about this?

 

Despite these limitations, I currently have it set up to generate an html file and I’ve found that it’s easier to insert strings of html syntax (using the append text to report icon) than use most of the built in icons. The report it’s generating is not what I’m looking for…

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

-Erik


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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-14-2007

12:36 AM

My users are creating their reports with DIAdem. There’s no way to generate a PDF directly from LabVIEW, that I’m aware of.



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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-14-2007

03:27 AM

Carya has a PDF toolkit for LabVIEW, a free and proffesional version is available

Ton

Free Code Capture Tool! Version 2.1.3 with comments, web-upload, back-save and snippets!
Nederlandse LabVIEW user groep www.lvug.nl
My LabVIEW Ideas

LabVIEW, programming like it should be!


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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-14-2007

07:04 AM


Two good
alternatives are PDFCreator and CutePDF Writer. They are both free, ad-free, work seamlessly (and as far as I can tell, flawlessly) , and emulate printers so they require no code modifications. In fact I typicaly keep PDFCreator set as the default printer on my laptop.

Mike..


Certified Professional Instructor
Certified LabVIEW Architect
LabVIEW Champion

“… after all, He’s not a tame lion…”


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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-14-2007

02:34 PM

Mike and TonP,
These are simply tools to print to a file in PDF format, correct? Sounded like Erik was interested in generating a PDF report from within LabVIEW itself. Can these tools be leveraged in such a way? If so, I’d be interested in that myself.


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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-14-2007

04:45 PM

The link I posted is truly PDF generation in LabVIEW, truly no other decoder/printer driver!

Ton

Free Code Capture Tool! Version 2.1.3 with comments, web-upload, back-save and snippets!
Nederlandse LabVIEW user groep www.lvug.nl
My LabVIEW Ideas

LabVIEW, programming like it should be!


0


Kudos


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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-14-2007

08:43 PM

All you have to go is when the standard report generator prints, send it to the PDF generator rather than your standard printer. What could be easier than that? No special code required.

Mike…


Certified Professional Instructor
Certified LabVIEW Architect
LabVIEW Champion

“… after all, He’s not a tame lion…”


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Kudos


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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-15-2007

04:56 PM

– edited

‎07-15-2007

04:56 PM



I actually was referring to pdf generation within labview – not post processing.


The Carya toolkit looks interesting doesnt appear to be any easier to use than built in html report generation toolkit – so it’s probably easier to convert to pdf after the fact (like Mike suggested).


Thanks for the help guys.


 


-Erik

Message Edited by Erik_1 on 07-15-2007 02:59 PM


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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-16-2007

05:10 AM



“TonP” <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]

The link I posted is truly PDF generation in LabVIEW, truly no other decoder/printer driver! Ton





Thanks Ton,





Our PDF toolkit is indeed a stand allown LabVIEW PDF generator, just like the report generation toolkit. One difference is that it doesn’t use ActiveX, and no 3rd party software is needed. It does use a zlib dll (available for Linux, Windows, and a few other platforms, and open source I think) for flate compression. If you don’t need compression we could remove this, and it will be 100% pure LabVIEW. So in potential (we didn’t test this) it should even run on RT platforms.





A few extra benefits are you can add links to other locations in the document (or internet), very convenient for an index or table of contents. And you can add a document map with as many sub chapters and paragraphs as you like. These options are not in the free version though.





Regards,





Wiebe.


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Re: pdf report generation in labview?


‎07-16-2007

06:29 AM

I have looked at the information on your solution and I still don’t see the point of obtaining and learning to use a completely different report generation package when all you need is a way to output to a PDF file. You see the bottom line is that to use your commercial solution, you have to rewrite your code. With the solutions I have proposed you simply point your existing report generation code to a different output device. And what sort of solution do you have for generating a PDF from Excel or other Windows applications? Oh yeah I forgot, this only works for LabVIEW…

By the way, are the block diagrams of your software unlocked?

Mike…


Certified Professional Instructor
Certified LabVIEW Architect
LabVIEW Champion

“… after all, He’s not a tame lion…”

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