< Back to Blog

Microsoft Word: 8 Practical Ways How it Turns Out to be an Awesome Report Template Tool


Microsoft Word: 8 Practical Ways How it Turns Out to be an Awesome Report Template Tool

Transform your MS Word knowledge and experience into reporting prowess!

You are already an expert at MS Word as it serves as a wonderful document platform. With intuitive commands, smart collaboration features, custom editing options,  and great reading views (and there’s more to it) make it an ubiquitous software in the digital world.

However, MS Word is far more beneficial than just for writing words and reading documents. When you opt for Windward, it turns MS Word as the base for a custom-featured, effective, hassle-free reporting template tool. In fact, it saves your funds and time considerably when you get Word based document generator or Word friendly document automation software.

When you install Windward in MS Word and feed data into report templates created and designed in Microsoft Word, you can benefit from all that it has to offer.

Here are five incredible reasons why MS Word is one of the best reporting template design interface:

#1. Shrinks Learning Curve

Learning Curve

Imagine learning how to work with a new, alien reporting template tool for your employees. Getting acquainted with the strange features and steps required to create a report can turn out to be a cumbersome and time squandering process.

Well, you can say adieu to all these issues --- let MS Word embrace Windward for all your reporting needs!

Windward can seamlessly integrate into MS Word and make it the foundation for creating reports and documents in a flexible way.

As your employees or reporting staff are greatly familiar with MS Word, it makes creating reports on this platform a cinch. No more time-consuming learning curve and the whole reporting project or process becomes a walk-in-the-park. In fact, you don’t have to rely on developers to create reports for you anymore.

#2. Impressionable Formatting


MS Word with all its ever-evolving, simplified features makes it a superb, straightforward software. By installing Windward in MS Word you can create and edit report templates without any IT involvement. In fact, MS Word offers pre-defined formats in the form of brochures, budgets, expense reports, and more. And, the Windward ribbon presents logical set of features and commands, and the drop-down galleries swiftly take you to the reporting tools you require. So you can layout elements as you intend and they will appear precisely where you want them in the MS Word document.

Furthermore, the output can be easily personalized as MS Word can quickly convert into PDF, HTML or other formats.

#3. Extensive Compatibility With a Range of Databases

Database Compatability

Windward’s MS Word based reporting software is compatible with an extensive range of data sources and databases. It can be seamlessly integrated to deal with a lot of programming languages. This eliminates the time you spend in converting source data into other new formats. So, you can say goodbye to developer training or new software.

#4. Collaborate, Comment & Edit in Real Time  


With MS Word at the helm, it becomes quite simple to collaborate & co-author your reports with other team members in real time. You can share your reports in just a few clicks and welcome them to edit or add comments in your reports. Hence, everyone can work together at the same time and do more by taking advantage of the MS Word interface (and don’t forget the check-your-spelling feature that ensures your reports are flawless).

#5. Mail Merge Makes Report Sharing Swift & Simple

Mail Merge

Yes, you can send your reports as bulk emails by taking advantage of the mail merge feature available right within the MS Word platform. Also, you can include unique elements and send it to a group or individuals right from the address book present in the Word.

#6. Watermarks, Header & Footer - Make Your Reports Look Professional

Header and Footer

Another cutting-edge aspect of MS Word is it makes adding watermarks to your reports and documents a quick task. This way, you can customize and add a watermark or brand logo to your reports and protect your content while making it looking professional.

In addition, the header & footer space helps save space in your report’s other areas (so take full advantage of it). You can also include page numbers to your reports and add images or text while maximum usage of space to ensure consistency in the document.

#7. Find & Replace - Edit Reports Like a Pro


Saving ample time while creating reports can seem like a dream come true for many report developers and MS Word makes it happen. With its effective Find & Replace feature you can instantly search for a specific set of characters or words and replace them if needed with an alternative. So, editing your reports in MS Word is simple and swift. Know more about MS Word shortcuts.

#8. Hyperlinking Makes Your Reports Highly Interactive


Adding links to the text or images in your MS Word reports is just a click away. By right clicking you can insert hyperlinks in your reports and make them more interactive. So, these links direct end users to another report or a website that has relevant information which ascertains, complements or highlights your report.

Windward Makes Creating Reports Duck Soup!

These are just a few incredible features you get to harness when you use MS Word for your reporting needs. And, the good news --- Windward seamlessly integrates into MS Word and makes reporting or creating documents a no-sweat task.

We reckon reporting must be simple yet impressive and informative. Our cutting edge engine draws data from a wide range of sources and merges it all into your documents and reports. We ensure report creation using MS Word a satisfying and unique experience. You can now take up the challenge of creating your monthly or weekly reports with a smile on your face as Windward is here to make generating reports a hassle-free experience.

-- Author: Genesis A.

Learn More About Microsoft Word Reports

If you've just discovered us, we're excited! Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

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

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

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 processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, 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. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

Learn More About Microsoft Word Reports

Written by:_
Windward © 2021 All Rights Reserved.


Got questions about reporting and document generation? We've got answers—let's connect!
Send a note
messaging, phone, or email contact optionsclose out button