prettying up reports

SLOPE/W 2007 adds a simple reporting feature.  In Contour you can choose View – Report to generate a report that describes the project definition and summarizes the results.  The report is pretty basic and you don’t have much any control over what gets included or excluded at this point (though I certainly hope that will change over time).  But there is a lot you can do with the report after it’s generated to “pretty it up”.

Because the report is a .html file you can view it in any web browser.  But if you have Microsoft Word on your computer, then GeoStudio will actually open the file in Word to allow you to edit it.  (Outside of GeoStudio you can right-click the file and choose Edit to open it in Word.)

Adding or Removing Data

Of course the simplest thing you can do with the report is to remove data you don’t want or add additional data.  You can copy the list of points from a function (KeyIn – Functions) and paste them into a table in your report if you want that level of detail, or delete the list of lambda values if you don’t really care about them.  Since you’re editing this in Word, whatever Word can do, you can do.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words 

The first thing I do when creating a report is to add a couple of snapshots of my problem:  one of the definition, one of the critical slip surface.  Create the report by switching to Contour and choose View – Report.  Give it a name and click Save.  It opens in Word. 

Now switch to Define.  It’s probably a good idea to turn on the Region Labels and Point Labels in the View Preferences so you can visually connect the tables of point and region properties with their locations in the drawing.  Then choose Edit – Copy All to copy the problem definition to the clipboard.  Switch over to Word, move your cursor down below the File Information section, and paste in the picture.

Adding an image to a report

Then I switch to Contour and repeat the process, pasting the picture into the report just above the “Critical Slip Surfaces” section for a graphical view of the results.

Adjusting Styles

Another change you can make to reports to personalize them is to change how they look.  Everything in the report is styled using a style sheet, which makes it super easy to modify a style in one place and give the entire report a different look.

You’ll notice for example that most lines start with a black label followed by a blue value.  Lets change all the values to red italics just to show how you’d go about it.

In Word you can display a list of all styles used in a document by hitting Alt-O and then S.  (In Word 2003 and older that’s Tools – Styles, and in Word 2007 it’s the same as clicking the little “expand” button on the Home toolstrip at the bottom of the Styles section.)  One of the styles you’ll see is called “value.”  Right-click on it and choose Modify to edit the style.  Change the colour to red and click the “I” button for italics, then hit OK.  All the values will now be displayed in red italics.

Modifying a style

Obviously this is a rather simple and contrived example, but it introduces you to the power of styles.  You can link the report to an existing corporate stylesheet to get your corporate letterhead and colours in the report instantly, or just play with the styles to make them look good to you.

Give Us Feedback

The reporting feature is new in version 7, and we’re still fleshing it out, trying to understand how people are using it.  Like any feature, some people want it to do one thing, others want it to do something else.  So leave comments on this blog or email us.  Tell us how you use the report, what you find yourself always changing, whether you need reporting only for SLOPE/W or also in the other products.  We really do read every email or comment you send us and all of them get discussed.

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