Visual Layout tool

Visual Layout Tool

Last modified: March 19, 2020

This is a Laboratory tool and is not for production use. It may have documented known issues, may not be feature complete, and is subject to change.

The Visual Layout tool brings together reporting elements so they can be arranged on a page and output in a report via the Render tool. The Visual Layout tool supports non-grouped elements only. To arrange grouped elements, see Layout tool

Use the Visual Layout tool to select a report type, arrange report elements on the page, and visualize how the report will look.  The Visual Layout tool accepts multiple inputs, provides a preview of report elements, offers multiple output types and page sizes, and allows for both a horizontal and vertical layout.

Add reporting tools to a workflow to create chart, image, legend, map, table, and text elements, and connect them to the Visual Layout tool. Place Header, Footer, Email, and Render tools after the Visual Layout tool in the workflow. Run the workflow before configuring the Visual Layout tool.

The Visual Layout tool does not support the Overlay tool and Layout tool elements.

Tool Configuration

  1. Run the workflow to create the reporting elements for the Visual Layout tool.
  2. Click Manage Layout to open the Visual Layout configuration window.
  3. Select Page Setup to modify the report type or page settings. The settings default to .pdf, 0.5 inch margins, and Portrait orientation. Changing the page settings visually adjusts the page to represent the final output. The Page Setup options display as the default output mode in a Render tool if it is automatically connected to the Visual Layout tool.

    Report Types
    • Composer (.pcxml)
      A Composer file provides the option for choosing any report type when the workflow is saved to the Gallery.
    • Email
    • Excel (.xlsx)
    • HTML (.html)
    • MHTML (.mht)
    • PDF (.pdf)
    • PNG (.png)
    • PowerPoint (.pptx)
    • RTF (.rtf)
    • Word (.docx)

      Render tool updates
      Updates made in the Visual Layout tool to the report type and page settings do not automatically update the Render tool. Make the changes directly in the Render tool, or delete the Render tool and add a new one.
  4. In the list of element types, click the drop-down arrows to view available elements. Hover over the element to see a preview. Since the name of an element includes the connection name, an element will display as missing if the connection name is modified or the connection is deleted.
  5. Drag an element from the list, and drop it on the report page.
  6. Drag another element from the list, move it close to an existing element on the page, and drop it in the drop zone. An element must be arranged in a position relative to another element.

    Formatting Options
    • To delete an element from the page, hover over the element and click the trash icon.
    • To relocate an element on the page, hover over the element > click the equals-sign icon and drag the element to a different drop zone. Select Show Element Boundaries to view all drop zones.
    • To move an element within its boundary, click the element and drag it. Elements cannot be moved on the page when Show Element Boundaries is selected.

      The spacing of moved elements does not display accurately when Excel and Email report types are rendered.
    • To resize an element, hover over the element > click the resize handle, and drag it to the left or right.

      A chart, image, or map element has a resize handle on the bottom right corner of its boundary to indicate the element can be resized while maintaining the aspect ratio. A table or text element has a resize handle on the right side of its boundary to indicate the element width can be changed.
  7. The layout of the report elements is automatically saved. Close the Visual Layout window to return to the workflow.
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