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Do's and don'ts for making HTML and PDF Layout Table reports look about the same?

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  • Do's and don'ts for making HTML and PDF Layout Table reports look about the same?

    What are the "Do's" and "Don'ts" for making printed output from a Layout Table report look at least approximately the same when printed via HTML and PDF? In other words, what properties and features of the AA Layout Table Report Writer are okay to use?

    The report builder has just so many different places where you can put in properties and stuff, I just want to know how can I make a report that is going to look pretty much the same regardless if the user prints via the HTML Print button or the PDF Print button.

    My report looks okay on-screen in HTML Preview, but when printed out here are the differences I see between the PDF and HTML printouts:
    1. HTML: no background colors
    2. HTML: Page scaled slightly smaller by ~ 1/4 all-around
    3. PDF: Extra vertical space from rows that are hidden.
    4. PDF: "right-padding" not honored.
    5. PDF: Smaller font size than HTML.
    6. PDF: Uses a non-serif font, while HTML uses a serif font.
    Last edited by RichCPT; 10-17-2016, 04:54 PM. Reason: Added font serif difference

  • #2
    Re: Do's and don'ts for making HTML and PDF Layout Table reports look about the same?

    After further investigation, I have embedded some notes below about these issues.
    1. HTML: no background colors
      >> might be an issue with certain builds
    2. HTML: Page scaled slightly smaller by ~ 1/4 inch, all-around
      >> Probably because it's so difficult to programmatically control the page margins of the browser from JS. Might also be related to the report options for dealing with data overflow: 1) Trim, 2) Shrink, 3) Print. I might have been using the "Shrink" option. Which I had to do because I was getting a blank page between each page because it thought there was overflow at the bottom of each page.
    3. PDF: Extra vertical space from rows that are hidden (based on a Row Condition).
      >> Sometimes the "Shrinkable" and/or "Suppress Blank Lines" property needs to be "True" in the "Layouts" properties for the offending rows. However, if you've included CSS in a static HTML cell and your report prints a bunch of xbasic code then make sure "Suppress Blank Lines" is set to "false".
    4. PDF: "right-padding" not honored.
      >> My mistake, I hadn't set that field for the problem control. Sometimes when setting a property in the designer, it isn't clear exactly which field the property is going to be applied to. One must be careful to make sure the correct field is really selected before setting properties.
    5. PDF: Smaller font size than HTML.
      >> make sure every row has been defined with an explicit font size in the designer. Maybe if the report was originally created by the quick report genie this isn't necessary. My report had been created from blank layout table report and there seems to be no way to set an overall font size that applies to the entire report.
    6. PDF: Uses a non-serif font, while HTML uses a serif font.
      >> (see above) make sure every row has been defined with a font name. Even with explicit font size and name the browser might give you noticeably different print results than the PDF.

    I'm going to let users see the HTML version first. If they want a hard copy or a digital file then they will have to use the PDF button. I am not going to give them the option / button to print the HTML version. I will have to go back through all my reports and remove the "Print HTML" buttons.


    • #3
      Re: Do's and don'ts for making HTML and PDF Layout Table reports look about the same?

      Okay, so the issue of not printing background colors in the HTML report is a Microsoft problem:
      - In IE there is a "Print Background Colors and Images" option on the Page Setup window that the user must turn on.
      - In Edge there seems to be no way for the user to turn on printing of background colors and images!