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Add a serious report printing tool to CVI!

At present CVI is missing a serious report printing facility that permits to create flexible, professional and good looking reports.

A quick search in CVI forum shows that periodically somebody posts questions about reporting but available instruments at the moment are not satisfactory in my experience.

 

As far as I can tell, a good reporting instrument:

 

  1. Should integrate easily with CVI
  2. Should be fully documented, with some example for the more typical types of reports (text + table, text + graph, text + image...)
  3. Should not rely on external programs (some customers have rigid constraints on the software installed on equipment machines; additionally, asking them to have full Word or Excel or Diadem installed only for reporting is just not serious)
  4. Should not rely on ActiveX controls to be licensed separately (same as above)
  5. Should permit to include text and graphics (images, graphs...) and define headers, footers, page numbering and other common features normally present in reports
  6. Should output data directly to the printer or in PDF format
  7. Should have a preview facility both for development and for the user (something that NIReports hasn't and will never have)


Proud to use LW/CVI from 3.1 on.

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10 Comments
Trusted Enthusiast

My focus would be on file generation for documentation and not so much on printing. Therefore I would also ask for a comparatively small file size. And it would be also nice if this would be a standard file format allowing for external postprocessing

Proven Zealot

@wolfgang

Are you referring to file generation for reports or for test data? In the first case, I have mentioned PDF format as it is well known and universally readable: are there other standards that can apply?

 

If you are referring to data or test results, I'm afraid there isn't a universal standard for them. As you know NI proposes its TMD file format with the possibility to open files in Diadem, Excel or OPenOffice, but you are surely aware that almost each industry or technological sector follows its own standard.



Proud to use LW/CVI from 3.1 on.

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If I have helped you, why not giving me a kudos?
Trusted Enthusiast

Roberto,

 

sorry for not being precise enough: I'd like to have a report generation tool (I don't care so much about report printing) allowing for automated measurement documentation. Hence a CVI tool only allowing printouts would not be useful for me, while pdf is fine, of course. For shorter reports not exceeding one page also png could be an option due to its small footprint.

 

Right now I generate a graph and use PlotText to add the most important parameter values, and save the graph as a png file. In the evening (for example), I can browse through these figures using Window's picture viewer to check if everything went fine. Of course, PlotText is only a workaround, better formatting options would be most welcome.

Proven Zealot

Of course you're right, that "printing" in idea title is misleading: I am interested too in report generation facility (as you see I have put save in PDF as one of required characteristics). Unfortunately I can't modify the title anymore.

 

Coming to your other observations, for one page printing I normally have a hidden panel with all necessary elements for the report in which I copy all data (text, graph and so on) and take a copy with GetPanelDisplayBitmap, but this fast and easy method is not usable for multipage reports, hence the request for a more sophisticated facility.



Proud to use LW/CVI from 3.1 on.

My contributions to the Developer Community
________________________________________
If I have helped you, why not giving me a kudos?
Member JGC
Member

I'd like to add my support for this feature.

 

PDF has some additional benifits that would be useful for me;

  • It handles paper size changes well (letter / A4). So good for organisations with European and USA bases.
  • PDFs can be indexed which makes document navigation easy.
  • PDFs can have hyperlinks which simplyfies jumping to other documents, web-pages or files.
  • The Adobe PDF reader can be controlled by Active X if additional control is required after the document is created.
  • PDF's can be encyphered.
  • No special application is needed to read or print the reports because PDF Readers are freely available.

PDF reader applications handle printing (to paper) better than PrinetPanel() which leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to rendering bitmaps.

 

John

John C
Active Participant

I second the motion. Right now, I have to format my report once in text, for a quick-look and then, if the user approves, redo it in Word. Being able to dump it in pdf would be very nice.

Member

A year later (I haven't been on this site much) but I still agree that this would be great.  We are currently building html files for reports, display and optionally printing them.  We are still looking for a tool to automatically make PDF files without the user having to send to a PDF 'printer'.

 

Active Participant
Status changed to: Under Review
 
Jonathan N.
National Instruments
Member

I agree, that a tool to export to .pdf would be a great improvement. The normal reporting tools of CVI do not meet modern standards of how to present information in a user friendly layout.

In many cases I make software for customers, that has to show for example measurement data or an overview of the  selected settings. At the moment I have to generate a canvas or a hidden panel to generate the printout, but if you have to generate more than one page, this is no comfortable way. And the only option to save it as a file is to generate some picture format like .bmp or .png. But then it is not possible for example to extract text from there into other applications via cut and paste or scale the size in good quality to different printout formats. An exporting with the Word reporting tool is not ideal, because customers don´t have Word on each PC used for measurement purposes or service. So I think .pdf would be an ideal format to export.

Community Team
Status changed to: Under Consideration

We are removing the "Under Review" status from the Idea Exchange. Therefore, we are moving this idea to the "Under Consideration" status.

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