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Let's talk images

Industry

First let's cover the simple case of an image that is in the template and will therefore be in the report. If we have an image that is 1" wide in the template, then it should be 1" wide in the report.

Please note that the picture here, which is a sample that comes with Windows XP, defaults to the full width of the page. But I resized it to be 1" across. The size of this picture is not set by the number of pixels in the image, it is set solely by the display width set by word. And the output will match this size.

The first difficulty comes when creating html output. There is no way in html to set the width of an image in inches. You can only set the width in pixels. So for an html report we need to set the width to the number of pixels that is 1" wide. To do this we need to know the number of Dots Per Inch (DPI) on the display device. For a monitor this is problematic because the Mac is 72 DPI, most Windows monitors are 96 or 105 DPI, and many new monitors are much higher. And then printers are anything from 300 – 2400 DPI.

We use 96 DPI but this can be overridden in the Windward properties file with "default.image.dpi=96" where you set the value you want to use. Whatever value you set, this is the width='96' value that will be used in html output for a 1" wide image.

And we now have the above image, regardless of the number of pixels that are actually in the image, taking the same space on the page in html output as it does in the template, assuming the DPI setting matches the screen it is displayed on.

The import & out tags

Now it gets a bit more complicated. When you are inserting a bitmap using a tag, we don't have a set size in Word. Well, actually optionally we do. On both tags, for a bitmap, you can set

<wr:out select='/root/logo' width='1440' height='1080'/>

When you explicitly set the width & height that is the same as setting it in Word. So in this case you will get a 1" wide image in all output except html and you will get a 96 pixel (or whatever override setting you selected) wide image in html.

Please note, the width & height are set in twips which are twentieths of a point. As there are 72 points in an inch, there are 72 * 20 = 1440 twips in an inch.

However, if you do not set the height & width, then Windward needs to determine the size of the image. Some bitmaps have a DPI setting for that bitmap as part of the file – but only some and for those, not always. For the common formats: BMP/DIB (can but usually don't), GIF (no), JPG (yes), & PNG (almost always). You can find this setting viewing the file in a paint program but… most paint programs, if there is no DPI setting, will display a setting of 72 or 96. So if you see a value of 72 or 96, it is probably a file with no DPI setting – but probably, not definitely. The high-end paint programs like PhotoShop can tell you if it is actually set.

If a bitmap has no DPI setting, we return to our good friend 96 DPI, or the value you changed this to with default.image.dpi. So inside the Windward engine every bitmap has a DPI. It's the value in the bitmap if set and 96 (or what you use) if not. But we have a DPI.

As an aside here, a bitmap has no "natural size" based on the number of pixels in it. The size of a bitmap is always the number of pixels times the DPI. A paint program will display an image using 1 pixel on the screen for each pixel in the image, but that is not it's "correct" size and depending on the DPI setting, may be much large or smaller than it's actual size.

So when we import an image via the import or out tag, we take the width of the image in pixels, divide it by the DPI, and that is the width of the image in the created report. So to list some examples:

What can trip people up is they see the bitmap in a paint program and say it should be that wide in the report. That approach doesn't work because that display in the paint program is totally dependent on the DPI of your monitor. So the width on your screen in the paint program can be quite different from the width on my computer system. This is why we must use the DPI setting with the pixel width.

We now come to the final point, html reports once again. After we go through the above process to determine the width of the image, we return to our friend 96 DPI (or default.image.dpi) and use that DPI to determine the width= setting for the image in the html, jast as we do for an image embedded in the template as we discussed at the start.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

Tag Tree

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

Generate Code

The Generate Code tool in the designer allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in an XLSX template are carried over to the XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will have pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it process the template handling each tag in order, and each tags can pull from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select in a tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one datasource, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. Additional details ...

David Thielen

President/CEO at Windward Studios

From his early years as a Senior Developer at Microsoft, to legendary designer of the popular Enemy Nations strategy game, to reporting and document generation guru, Dave has never lost his passion for building superb software and teams.

david@windward.nethttps://www.linkedin.com/in/davethielen/
This blog was written by:_
David Thielen

For over 10 years, Windward has lead the industry with our world-class document generation platform that creates visually stunning, data-powered documents designed exactly the way users want and are created in a fraction of the time and cost compared to existing solutions. Proudly located in Boulder, Colorado, Windward Studios is the premier solution for developers and business users adding reporting and document generation capabilities to their applications in over 70 countries around the world.

© 2019 Windward Studios Inc.

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