FHUG Family Historian User Group

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Reference 581
Title DOCX and/or ODT Report Generation Capability
Category Reports
Description

Summary of Proposal

To facilitate the import and post-processing of Family Historian reports, the current output-format selection should be augmented to include DOCX and/or ODT.

Background

The final format and general appearance of a report is as much an artistic endeavour as it is a scholarly one. Individual expectations of what it can contain and how it is formatted is very much a personal preference. This may be as simple as including images or as complex as major structural changes and typesetting. Some programs supply extensive configuration parameters in an effort to meet user expectations. However; no autogenerated report can meet the needs of everyone and some form of post-processing by other applications is typically required.

Issue

As noted; end-users may need to post-process reports. To date, Family Historian has a limited set of standard output formats available; “PDF”, “Web Page (HTML)”, “Word-Processor Document (RTF)” and “Text File”. Of these; only the latter two are formats that are intended to be edited. Text documents can be edited, but provide very limited formatting capability and cannot handle graphics or tables. Standard RTF supports formatting in a limited sense, but lacks sufficient information content to accurately lay out and format graphics and text. DOCX and ODT, on the other hand, were designed with word-processing and desktop publishing in mind and have no such limitation. So; DOCX and/or ODT are able to transfer a more “true” representation of the original report to a 3rd party program for further editing.

Proposal

It is suggested that FH7 be augmented to provide the ability to export reports in standard DOCX and/or ODT format.

Constraints

  • To ensure reliability and compatibility with the largest number of word-processors and desktop publishers, the DOCX and/or ODT file must adhere to the respective published standards for the file format/content.
  • The implementation must use the standard MS default parameters, especially with respect to format tag-names.
  • Any optional customization and deprecated capabilities must be avoided in order to ensure the highest level of compatibility with third-party post-processors.

Scope of Changes

While, on the surface, the requirement is simply to produce reports in standard DOCX and/or ODT format, the necessary programming changes are likely to go well beyond the code responsible for generating reports. The target formats will likely require changes to other areas of the FH code to provide the required content to the report generator code.

This request has consistently used the phrase, “DOCX and/or ODT”, but it is hoped that both can be offered. While many post-processing applications accept both formats, some like Scrivener, seem to work best with ODT. However; if only one format is possible, then external converters between DOCX and ODT do exist.

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Web Link https://www.fhug.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=14424
Votes 30
Rating 4.4
Added Friday 23rd July 2021
Last Vote Sunday 11th February 2024

 

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