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Electronic Documents (Add-On)

Modified: 2016/08/30 11:06 by admin - Uncategorized
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Electronic Documents (Add-On)

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Introduction

Under most circumstances, it is entirely conceivable that the "built-in" mechanisms for getting information out of the system are enough; however, there are some circumstances where "more is needed". For these circumstances, we've created a special add-on to extend the capabilities of how you can get information out of the system.

Before discussing what is gained by this add-on, it is important to understand what is available without it.

  • Print
    • Directly to a "printer"
      • When printing directly to a printer, it is possible that this printer isn't actually a physical printer producing the result on physical paper. Many third party products exist that can produce varied results.
    • Microsoft Print to PDF (Windows 10)
      • Windows 10 includes (out of the box) a PDF "printer". With Windows 10 it is no longer necessary to find a solution if the desired result is PDF.
    • Microsoft XPS Document Writer (Windows Vista+)
      • Other versions of Windows supported XPS documents, which are very similar to PDF. For those that didn't have a viewer already installed, they could download the viewer for free. With the inclusion of PDF, this format is (IMHO) replaced by the Microsoft Print to PDF "printer".

Please note, various electronic documents are only available in particular areas "where it makes sense" (fit the type of information being exported).

In order to access this feature, there is a new menu item added to (typically) the File main menu or context menu labeled "Export...". Click on that and follow the on screen instructions to choose the document type you wish to create.

DISCLAIMER: All of the following information is subject to change without notice. All features discussed are available subject to your current product purchase agreement and are subject to availability based on the version of the products released since this document was last updated.

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PDF

Provides a "built in" mechanism to export to PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format); where the resulting electronic document is a picture perfect representation of what would have been printed.

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XLSX (Excel)

The resulting file is designed to be used/consumed by Microsoft Excel (specifically, Microsoft Excel Workbook). The key word in the previous sentence is consumed; meaning that, once the file is in Microsoft Excel, additional work, calculations, transformations and visualizations can be done. This export is "just the data"; allowing for this additional work to be done. In other words, the resulting electronic document is not a picture perfect representation of what would have been printed; it's just the data.

Additionally, this export is designed as to allow for integration with other third party products and/or companies (not just Microsoft Excel).

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XLS (Excel)

The resulting file is designed to be used/consumed by Microsoft Excel (specifically, Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Workbook). The key word in the previous sentence is consumed; meaning that, once the file is in Microsoft Excel, additional work, calculations, transformations and visualizations can be done. This export is "just the data"; allowing for this additional work to be done. In other words, the resulting electronic document is not a picture perfect representation of what would have been printed; it's just the data.

Additionally, this export is designed as to allow for integration with other third party products and/or companies (not just Microsoft Excel).

(Note: This version of the Excel export is included for those that might be using a significantly older version of Excel; this particular format is currently under consideration for removal.)

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RTF

Provides a "built in" mechanism to export to RTF (Microsoft Rich Text File Format); where the resulting electronic document is a picture perfect representation of what would have been printed.

This electronic document can then be opened with Microsoft Windows Write.

(Note: This particular export is currently under consideration for removal as it appears that Windows 10 no longer includes Write.)

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TXT

The resulting file is designed to be consumed by "other products"; where the actual format is raw text values separated by the tab character). The key word in the previous sentence is consumed; meaning that once the file is produced it will be used by "something else". This export is "just the data"; allowing for this additional work to be done. In other words, the resulting electronic document is not a picture perfect representation of what would have been printed; it's just the data.

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HTML

Although not utilized often, there may be circumstances where what you would have "printed" might be useful for presenting on the web (either internally or externally). In an effort to do this, we've made the HTML (Web Page) export available. Within the limitations of HTML, we will do our best to produce a result that matches as closely as possible to what would have been printed. Although not "picture-perfect", the result is "pretty close".

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