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Text vs. PDF output

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  • Hallman, Chuck (NIH/NIEHS)
    I have produced 40 different reports using FO that look beautiful when output as PDF. However if I take these same reports and let FOP output as text they are
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 8, 2004
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      I have produced 40 different reports using FO that look beautiful when
      output as PDF. However if I take these same reports and let FOP output as
      text they are a complete mess. You can read them but they look really bad.
      The alignment of tables is off, lots of whitespace where there shouldn't be,
      etc; ).

      Will I be forced to write a separate stylesheet for the text version of
      these reports or is there something ( some setting, etc; ) that will help me
      render a text version that closely resembles the PDF version?

      Any help appreciated. I sure hate to think about creating new stylesheets
      just for text output ...


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Chris Bowditch
      ... I explained the reason for this in an earlier post this morning. Basically XSL-FO formatters are geared up for Print output, which requires pint point
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 8, 2004
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        Hallman, Chuck (NIH/NIEHS) wrote:

        > I have produced 40 different reports using FO that look beautiful when
        > output as PDF. However if I take these same reports and let FOP output as
        > text they are a complete mess. You can read them but they look really bad.
        > The alignment of tables is off, lots of whitespace where there shouldn't be,
        > etc; ).

        I explained the reason for this in an earlier post this morning.
        Basically XSL-FO formatters are geared up for Print output, which
        requires pint point precision to be used during layout. The Text
        renderer in FOP must then takes these coordinates and round them to the
        nearest character position.

        > Will I be forced to write a separate stylesheet for the text version of
        > these reports or is there something ( some setting, etc; ) that will help me
        > render a text version that closely resembles the PDF version?

        This is the most elegant solution to the problem. In general XSL-FO
        formatters are the wrong tool for generating Text.

        >
        > Any help appreciated. I sure hate to think about creating new stylesheets
        > just for text output ...

        You can work around the whitespaces problems in text output to some
        extent by using a fixed width font, and fixed line height.

        Chris
      • J.Pietschmann
        ... Try fiddling with the line-per-page and characters-per-line settings to match your expected output. Images and such must be perfect multiples of the line
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 8, 2004
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          Hallman, Chuck (NIH/NIEHS) wrote:
          > I have produced 40 different reports using FO that look beautiful when
          > output as PDF. However if I take these same reports and let FOP output as
          > text they are a complete mess. You can read them but they look really bad.
          > The alignment of tables is off, lots of whitespace where there shouldn't be,
          > etc; ).

          Try fiddling with the line-per-page and characters-per-line settings to
          match your expected output. Images and such must be perfect multiples
          of the line heigth, unaligned images, different font sizes, display space,
          table borders and many other things will probably screw the output.

          J.Pietschmann
        • Victor Vishnyakov
          Why using FOP to generate text? Make a XSL Transform to generate text-like reports directly from your XML without render. Thus you can manually create any text
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 9, 2004
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            Why using FOP to generate text?
            Make a XSL Transform to generate text-like reports directly from your
            XML without render. Thus you can manually create any text layout you
            wish.

            Regards,
            Victor Vishnyakov



            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Hallman, Chuck (NIH/NIEHS) [mailto:hallman1@...]
            > Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 3:19 PM
            > To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [XSL-FO] Text vs. PDF output
            >
            >
            > I have produced 40 different reports using FO that look
            > beautiful when output as PDF. However if I take these same
            > reports and let FOP output as text they are a complete mess.
            > You can read them but they look really bad. The alignment of
            > tables is off, lots of whitespace where there shouldn't be, etc; ).
            >
            > Will I be forced to write a separate stylesheet for the text
            > version of these reports or is there something ( some
            > setting, etc; ) that will help me render a text version that
            > closely resembles the PDF version?
            >
            > Any help appreciated. I sure hate to think about creating new
            > stylesheets just for text output ...
          • christian brugeron
            Our concern is to output formatted tables. I’m sure this has already be done. The FOP approach doens’t work at all for that. Is there any XSL around that
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 9, 2004
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              Our concern is to output formatted tables. I’m sure this has already be
              done. The FOP approach doens’t work at all for that.

              Is there any XSL around that may output spanned tables, formatted text,
              and the like ?

              Thanks

              Christian

              -----Message d'origine-----
              De : Victor Vishnyakov [mailto:tch_@...]
              Envoyé : vendredi 9 janvier 2004 13:52
              À : XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
              Cc : hallman1@...
              Objet : RE: [XSL-FO] Text vs. PDF output

              Why using FOP to generate text?
              Make a XSL Transform to generate text-like reports directly from your
              XML without render. Thus you can manually create any text layout you
              wish.

              Regards,
              Victor Vishnyakov



              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Hallman, Chuck (NIH/NIEHS) [mailto:hallman1@...]
              > Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 3:19 PM
              > To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [XSL-FO] Text vs. PDF output
              >
              >
              > I have produced 40 different reports using FO that look
              > beautiful when output as PDF. However if I take these same
              > reports and let FOP output as text they are a complete mess.
              > You can read them but they look really bad. The alignment of
              > tables is off, lots of whitespace where there shouldn't be, etc; ).
              >
              > Will I be forced to write a separate stylesheet for the text
              > version of these reports or is there something ( some
              > setting, etc; ) that will help me render a text version that
              > closely resembles the PDF version?
              >
              > Any help appreciated. I sure hate to think about creating new
              > stylesheets just for text output ...


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            • Dave Pawson
              ... No. If you want html. Write your own stylesheet. If you want pdf, write an xsl-fo stylesheet. If you want text, write a text stylesheet. Sorry, you ll
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 9, 2004
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                At 13:38 09/01/2004, christian brugeron wrote:
                >Our concern is to output formatted tables. I'm sure this has already be
                >done. The FOP approach doens't work at all for that.
                >
                >Is there any XSL around that may output spanned tables, formatted text,
                >and the like ?

                No.

                If you want html. Write your own stylesheet.
                If you want pdf, write an xsl-fo stylesheet.
                If you want text, write a text stylesheet.

                Sorry, you'll have to do some work.

                regards DaveP
              • christian brugeron
                Hehe, quiet there ! I understand that we need to write html and pdf stylesheets as they are very specific of the publication we want to output. But, frankly,
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 9, 2004
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                  Hehe, quiet there !

                  I understand that we need to write html and pdf stylesheets as they are
                  very specific of the publication we want to output.

                  But, frankly, text output will be always the same, or very close.

                  That’s why I was asking.

                  I like to do some, or more, works, but here….

                  You can have a look at what can be done using pdf and html on this site:

                  <http://balo.journal-officiel.gouv.fr/ListeResultBalo.asp?data=1>

                  If you read French, look at any “publication périodiques” to get an idea
                  of the tables.

                  Christian


                  -----Message d'origine-----
                  De : Dave Pawson [mailto:dpawson@...]
                  Envoyé : vendredi 9 janvier 2004 17:54
                  À : XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
                  Objet : RE : [XSL-FO] Text vs. PDF output

                  At 13:38 09/01/2004, christian brugeron wrote:
                  >Our concern is to output formatted tables. I'm sure this has already be
                  >done. The FOP approach doens't work at all for that.
                  >
                  >Is there any XSL around that may output spanned tables, formatted text,
                  >and the like ?

                  No.

                  If you want html. Write your own stylesheet.
                  If you want pdf, write an xsl-fo stylesheet.
                  If you want text, write a text stylesheet.

                  Sorry, you'll have to do some work.

                  regards DaveP



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                • Dave Pawson
                  ... But not close enough? How about writing a java extension to do the word wrapping, call that from your stylesheet? Or better, lose the tables and present it
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 9, 2004
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                    At 18:41 09/01/2004, you wrote:
                    >Hehe, quiet there !
                    >
                    >I understand that we need to write html and pdf stylesheets as they are
                    >very specific of the publication we want to output.
                    >
                    >But, frankly, text output will be always the same, or very close.

                    But not close enough?
                    How about writing a java extension to do the word wrapping,
                    call that from your stylesheet?
                    Or better, lose the tables and present it in paragraphs
                    for the plain text version?





                    >You can have a look at what can be done using pdf and html on this site:
                    >
                    ><http://balo.journal-officiel.gouv.fr/ListeResultBalo.asp?data=1>
                    >
                    >If you read French, look at any "publication périodiques"


                    Je n'peu pas trouver "publication périodiques" ?

                    regards DaveP
                  • christian brugeron
                    By contract, I can output a sentence like « see the table in the printed version ». But, an other contractor was able to output tables, and I think the
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 9, 2004
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                      By contract, I can output a sentence like « see the table in the printed
                      version ».
                      But, an other contractor was able to output tables, and I think the
                      customer may want them sometime.

                      If I can avoid to redo some other work, not significant for me, I will
                      be more that pleased.

                      CB


                      -----Message d'origine-----
                      De : Dave Pawson [mailto:dpawson@...]
                      Envoyé : vendredi 9 janvier 2004 19:55
                      À : XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
                      Objet : RE : RE : [XSL-FO] Text vs. PDF output

                      At 18:41 09/01/2004, you wrote:
                      >Hehe, quiet there !
                      >
                      >I understand that we need to write html and pdf stylesheets as they are
                      >very specific of the publication we want to output.
                      >
                      >But, frankly, text output will be always the same, or very close.

                      But not close enough?
                      How about writing a java extension to do the word wrapping,
                      call that from your stylesheet?
                      Or better, lose the tables and present it in paragraphs
                      for the plain text version?





                      >You can have a look at what can be done using pdf and html on this
                      site:
                      >
                      ><http://balo.journal-officiel.gouv.fr/ListeResultBalo.asp?data=1>
                      >
                      >If you read French, look at any "publication périodiques"


                      Je n'peu pas trouver "publication périodiques" ?

                      regards DaveP






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                    • tokukobayashi2002
                      Hi! I may offer two methods, The first is to use text browser. Transform your XML to HTML, then use w3m. w3m is a text browser on Unix, it can save a HTML as a
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 9, 2004
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                        Hi!

                        I may offer two methods,

                        The first is to use text browser.
                        Transform your XML to HTML, then use w3m.
                        w3m is a text browser on Unix, it can save a HTML as a text file.
                        We tried it about a half year ago, and it seemed to work.
                        (We did not used it finally).

                        XSL Formatter V3.0 has a secret function to output text.

                        Try option -p @TEXT instead of @PDF or Printer name.
                        For example,

                        XSLcmd -d foo.fo -p @TEXT -o foo.txt

                        It will generate formatted table.
                        It generates only Shift-Jis encoded text file at now.
                        Shift-JIS is a superset of ASCII, then ASCII encoded text
                        file will be output correctly.

                        One note: you MUST specify fixed pitch fonts for a table.

                        I hope the information will help.

                        Best regards,

                        Tokushige Kobayashi
                        Antenna House, Inc.
                        E-mail koba@...
                        WWW http://www.antenna.co.jp/
                        WWW http://www.antennahouse.com/ (English)
                        TEL +81-3-3234-1361(direct call)
                        FAX +81-3-3221-9975

                        --- In XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com, Dave Pawson <dpawson@n...> wrote:
                        > At 13:38 09/01/2004, christian brugeron wrote:
                        > >Our concern is to output formatted tables. I'm sure this has
                        already be
                        > >done. The FOP approach doens't work at all for that.
                        > >
                        > >Is there any XSL around that may output spanned tables, formatted
                        text,
                        > >and the like ?
                        >
                        > No.
                        >
                        > If you want html. Write your own stylesheet.
                        > If you want pdf, write an xsl-fo stylesheet.
                        > If you want text, write a text stylesheet.
                        >
                        > Sorry, you'll have to do some work.
                        >
                        > regards DaveP
                      • Franz Schmid
                        Hi, I started using xsl-fo some weeks ago when trying to write own xml and xsl file for pdf-document creation via fop . What I would like to get is a title
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 12, 2004
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                          Hi,

                          I started using xsl-fo some weeks ago when trying to write own xml and xsl file for pdf-document creation via 'fop'.

                          What I would like to get is a title page plus the rest of a document. But I have problems to write an appropriate xsl file.
                          How can I get a title page, which contents comes from XML file in the block <titlepage> </titlepage>?
                          I don't know how to associate a 'simple-page-master' with a XML block like <titlepage> ..... </titlepage> or if it is really possible.

                          Maybe somebody of you know how the XSL semantic could be.
                          Here the the XSL-code I used so far.

                          Thanks in advance.

                          Franz

                          .....
                          <fo:layout-master-set>
                          <fo:simple-page-master master-name="first"
                          page-height="297mm" page-width="210mm"
                          margin-top="20mm" margin-bottom="20mm"
                          margin-left="25mm" margin-right="25mm">
                          <fo:region-body margin-bottom="20mm"/>
                          <fo:region-after region-name="footer-first" extent="20mm"/>
                          </fo:simple-page-master>


                          <fo:simple-page-master master-name="rest"
                          page-height="297mm" page-width="210mm"
                          margin-top="20mm" margin-bottom="20mm"
                          margin-left="25mm" margin-right="25mm">
                          <fo:region-body margin-bottom="20mm"/>
                          <fo:region-after region-name="footer-rest" extent="20mm"/>
                          </fo:simple-page-master>

                          <fo:page-sequence-master master-name="document">
                          <fo:repeatable-page-master-alternatives>
                          <fo:conditional-page-master-reference page-position="first"
                          master-reference="first"/>
                          <fo:conditional-page-master-reference page-position="rest"
                          master-reference="rest"/>
                          </fo:repeatable-page-master-alternatives>
                          </fo:page-sequence-master>

                          </fo:layout-master-set>

                          <fo:page-sequence master-reference="document">
                          <fo:static-content flow-name="footer-first">
                          <fo:block text-align="center">First page.
                          </fo:block>
                          </fo:static-content>
                          <fo:static-content flow-name="footer-rest">
                          <fo:block>
                          <xsl:text>Page </xsl:text>
                          <fo:page-number/>
                          </fo:block>
                          </fo:static-content>
                          <fo:flow flow-name="xsl-region-body">
                          <fo:block/>
                          <fo:block break-before="page"/>
                          <!-- create the table of contents -->
                          <xsl:apply-templates select="chapter/title" mode="toc"/>
                          <!-- do the document -->
                          <xsl:apply-templates/>
                          <fo:block break-before="page"/>
                          </fo:flow>
                          </fo:page-sequence>
                          </fo:root>
                          </xsl:template>
                          ........
                          ----------------------------end of XSL file ------------------------------------------
                          --------------------- part of the XML file --------------------
                          ....
                          <titlepage>
                          <title>Spanish Review Handbook</title>
                          </titlepage>
                          ........
                          ----------------- end of XML file






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                        • G. Ken Holman
                          ... Looking at your stylesheet it would seem you are placing only an empty block on the first page before jumping to the second page. ... What I think you are
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jan 12, 2004
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                            At 2004-01-12 18:48 +0100, Franz Schmid wrote:
                            >What I would like to get is a title page plus the rest of a document. But
                            >I have problems to write an appropriate xsl file.
                            >How can I get a title page, which contents comes from XML file in the
                            >block <titlepage> </titlepage>?

                            Looking at your stylesheet it would seem you are placing only an empty
                            block on the first page before jumping to the second page.

                            >I don't know how to associate a 'simple-page-master' with a XML block like
                            ><titlepage> ..... </titlepage> or if it is really possible.
                            >
                            >Maybe somebody of you know how the XSL semantic could be.

                            What I think you are missing is that you are obliged in XSLT to build the
                            result tree in result parse order. This requires you to do the <titlepage>
                            processing *at the time the title page content belongs in the flow*.

                            Remember in XSLT there is no way to "go back" and add things to the result
                            tree ... template rules are construction rules and you must always
                            construct the result tree in a single pass, even if that requires you to
                            pass over your source file many times to do so.

                            >Here the the XSL-code I used so far.
                            >...
                            > <fo:flow flow-name="xsl-region-body">
                            > <fo:block/>

                            Replace the above with your processing of the title page so that at this
                            point where you are constructing your XSL-FO result tree, you include the
                            XSL-FO of the title page.

                            > <fo:block break-before="page"/>
                            > <!-- create the table of contents -->
                            >...

                            I hope this helps.

                            ................................ Ken

                            p.s. if you are interested in XSL training, we hope to announce in a few
                            days some upcoming training in either Bremen, Hannover or Hamburg ...
                            somewhere in the north of Germany ... please keep an eye on our home page
                            for details.


                            --
                            North America (Washington, DC): 3-day XSLT/2-day XSL-FO 2004-03-15
                            Instructor-led on-site corporate, government & user group training
                            for XSLT and XSL-FO world-wide: please contact us for the details

                            G. Ken Holman mailto:gkholman@...
                            Crane Softwrights Ltd. http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/f/
                            Box 266, Kars, Ontario CANADA K0A-2E0 +1(613)489-0999 (F:-0995)
                            ISBN 0-13-065196-6 Definitive XSLT and XPath
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                            ISBN 1-894049-08-X Practical Transformation Using XSLT and XPath
                            ISBN 1-894049-11-X Practical Formatting Using XSL-FO
                            Member of the XML Guild of Practitioners: http://XMLGuild.info
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