Document formatting

Using structured HTML texts and text blocks, which are formatted by cascading style sheets (css) as documents and reports created with BIRT, enables designers to split the structure and contents of formatted output:

  1. <h1>Operating Costs</h1>
  2. <h2>Production Department</h2>
1. Operating Costs
1.1 Production Department

Text formatting routines are needed to do this in BIRT and depending on the knowledge and text complexity an associated text editor can be very helpful.

On the one hand it should be a web based editor however for structured HTML text, based on CSS definitions, it is much easier to work with a WYSIWYG editor. But at this point you can choose any normal text editor, if the simple HTML elements are no issue to understand and work with.  A tool for formatting structured HTML text with BIRT into PDF output format is part of the module.

This helps report developers react to customer and marketing requirements very efficiently and fast. By using dedicated CSS definitions and by replacing or changing them without changing the text or text blocks in the report layout itself.

Simple definitions are used to edit the text format, independently of the context in which such text blocks are used. It is not necessary to think about numberings or nestings.

A CSS definition with settings for colour and size are provided. That standard can be adopted very easily throughout a range of reports.

The formatted output of text blocks contains a lot of advantages in comparison with normal BIRT features:

  • The edited simple HTML structures, text and text blocks, can be used with a new style (CSS) without any modification.
  • Definition of numbered headings (H1..H3), automatically providing hierarchical numbers 1, 1.1, 1.1.1 into the output document.
  • Definition of not numbered headings (H4..H6).
  • Definition of lists (LI) as enumeration (UL), numeration (OL) and definition (DL, DT, DD) and nesting on several levels.
  • Text formatting for bold (B), underlined (U), italic (I)
  • Text formatted as superscripts (SUP) and subscripts (SUB)
  • Output of source code using an equidistant font
  • Representation of reference-links
  • Integration of pictures
  • Optimization of page breaks.

For questions regarding the FORMAT module please email


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