TX Text Control Blog

Impressions from Philly Code Camp 2017

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on February 27, 2017 and tagged with reportingcloud, release, conference, mail merge.


This weekend, we exhibited at Philly Code Camp 2017 at the Microsoft campus in Malvern, PA. 550+ enthusiastic developers learned in 50+ sessions about current trends in our industry.

We gave demos of our latest TX Text Control versions and our Web API ReportingCloud. It is very good to see that the .NET community is still growing and it was a pleasure to talk to so many code campers. We are very proud to support so many .NET user groups in many countries.

One of our 6 missions and values is to help building a Thriving Developer Community. We are convinced that supporting .NET user groups is the best way to grow our community.

Find below some impressions of our booth area at Philly Code Camp 2017:

Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017Text Control at Philly Code Camp 2017

See you next year!

Impressions from BASTA! Spring 2017, Frankfurt

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on February 25, 2017 and tagged with reportingcloud, release, conference, mail merge.


This week, we exhibited at BASTA! Spring 2017 which took place at the Marriott Hotel Frankfurt, Germany. This growing event hosts 500+ attendees from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other European countries.

The conference provides workshops and sessions mainly about .NET, but also JavaScript, web technologies and other trends in our industry. On our demo counters, we presented the latest versions of Text Control products and particularly our reporting framework. We talked to many users of our products and presented some early ideas of our upcoming roadmap for 2017.

As always, please find below some impressions from our booth area at BASTA! Spring 2017:

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This weekend, we are traveling to Philadelphia to exhibit at the Philly Code Camp at the Microsoft Campus in Malvern. Impressions will follow - see you in Philly!

Web.TextControl: Adaptive merge field drop-down lists

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on February 15, 2017 and tagged with release, reporting, asp.net, reportingcloud.


A change you might not have noticed in Web.TextControl after X14 Service Pack 1, is the adaptive display of merge fields and available tables in the drop-down lists Insert Merge Field and Insert Merge Block. Before Service Pack 1, all available tables were listed to choose merge fields from.

This confused end-users as merge fields always must have a relation to the master table. And merge fields inside a merge block must be inserted relative to the merge block table.

Now, after Service Pack 1, when a master table is selected, all merge fields from this master table and all related child tables and their merge fields are available:

Web.TextControl: Adaptive merge field drop-down lists

The Insert Merge Block drop-down also only contains child tables of the currently selected master table:

Web.TextControl: Adaptive merge field drop-down lists

When inserting a merge block and the current input position is inside this merge block, only merge fields of this merge block and related child tables can be added. Therefore, the drop-down lists change accordingly:

Web.TextControl: Adaptive merge field drop-down lists

This new adaptive order of merge fields allows only valid fields to be inserted according to the currently selected data source.

Did you already upgrade to Service Pack 1? If not, please download the service pack now.

Creating conference badges with Text Control Reporting

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on February 14, 2017 and tagged with sample, reporting, conference.


Magdeburger Developer Days

On May 10-11 2017, the Magdeburger Developer Days are taking place the second time in Magdeburg, Germany. In 40+ sessions, top speakers talk about .NET, Java, web technologies, databases and ALM. Our MVP André Krämer is giving a talk about cross-platform app development.

As one of the main sponsors, we are also sponsoring the attendee badges. And of course, these badges are created with Text Control Reporting. In this article, we would like to explain how easy it is to create fully-featured conference badges with TX Text Control.

The badges should have two sides and will be folded in the middle to fit into the double-sided badge holders. Both sides should have a sponsor logo, the attendee name, the attendee vCard information encoded in a QR Code and a badge number. The QR Code allows attendees an easy exchange of contact information simply by scanning the code using their smartphones.

Magdeburger Developer Days

The template consists of a table with 2 columns with the exact required height for the badge. Each column represents a side of the badge and therefore contains data from the same data row. Additionally, it contains the merge fields for the name, ticket type and badge number. The QR Code contains the encoded vCard information.

Magdeburger Developer Days

This complete table will be converted into a merge block that gets repeated for all attendees in the data source.

Magdeburger Developer Days

The following is an excepert of the XML data source. The name of the repeating block is attendee that holds the data for each badge instance:

Merging this template results in perfectly sized, print-ready badges:

Magdeburger Developer Days

If you plan to attend this conference, the ticket sales open March 1st.

See you in Magdeburg!

Using Custom Document Properties to store additional document information

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on February 9, 2017 and tagged with sample, reportingcloud, windows forms, wpf, asp.net.


Custom properties can be used to store additional information about the document in the document itself. These properties remain with a document and can be viewed by all MS Word users that open the document. Several property management servers provide data tracking capabilities to search for, sort, and track documents based on document properties.

In our reference implementation ReportingCloud, a reporting template can be edited online using our HTML5-based Web.TextControl. Additionally, JSON objects can be uploaded to be used as data sources in the online editor. When opening a template, a JSON data source must be selected from which merge fields and blocks should be added to the template.

Using Custom Document Properties to store additional data

To prevent that the user needs to select this data source again and again every time the document is edited, the association between the template and the data source should be stored somewhere. To keep everything as simple as possible, we decided to store the connected data source in the document itself by creating a custom document property.

When the document is edited, the selected data source name is stored in the document in the Controller code:

A new UserDefinedPropertyDictionary is created and a new custom property with the unique name rc_datasource is created with the value of the selected data source. This dictionary can be added to the UserDefinedDocumentProperties of the SaveSettings class. Finally, the document is saved with the created SaveSettings object.

When the overview page is loaded the next time, the data source can be selected in the drop-down list by reading the custom property from the document:

The stored custom properties are available in the UserDefinedDocumentProperties of the LoadSettings class.

The custom document properties provide a very flexible way of storing additional data to documents without keeping them in a separate database. The data is directly stored where it belongs to - the document.

This feature is available in TX Text Control X14. Download a trial version to test this on your own.

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About Text Control

Founded in 1991, Text Control is an award-winning Visual Studio Industry Partner and leading vendor of word processing and reporting components for Microsoft development technologies. The products help thousands of developers add comprehensive word processing functionality to their applications. Text Control is 100% self-owned and independent of all investor decisions. Customers benefit from these years of experience, large user-base, and at the same time, appreciate developing with a mature, reliable product.

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