Try the New PDF Creation Facility

For me, the current appsheet capability to generate report is not a deal breaker to let the user go to other no code platforms which are generally not providing much of features Appsheet can do. But it is users choice we wont disturb.

Unfortunately I have heard that headers, footers, and numbering are not in the new system!

Which is crazy stupid.

I suppose the appsheet dev team should take a step by step approach to change the PDF engine. Just initially change the service with existing features only to ensure it will work nicely wihtout disturbing the existing services we enjoy.

Once it is cleared, then next step to take to add new features. I m on that hope.If this is true, it is quite a resonable approach and tactics.

2 Likes

I agree we wish to have features to get proper header/footer, but i wont say in that way, as still appsheet is powerful enough.

2 Likes

Agreed. If we knew it was on the road map, we could plan accordingly

Yes p, Appsheet a fantastic development tool, just lacking in one major business feature.

1 Like

Hi Pocket Survey,

I agree it would be a fantastic to honor headers, footers, and page numbers.
Unfortunately, I have no idea how we can implement it.

To handle automatic page headers, page footers, and page numbering, we would need to implement a “page layout engine” that computes the page location of each element being displayed.
I have no idea how to do this that is not ridiculously difficult to implement.

4 Likes

I agree with Phil here. Creating a whole page layout engine is kind of really difficult. There are PDF conversion services that you can link to AppSheet that do this, but they are also require much more complicated templates to set up, and cost more money. I think the best AppSheet could do would be to replace their current PDF service with one that does do layouts, or add it as an additional option for more expensive business users.

I mean, unless, AppSheet can somehow access Google’s page layout engine for Docs. :man_shrugging:

2 Likes

AppSheet being part of Google, can the PDF processing in Google Docs be shared with Appsheet and sed as a starting point for headers & footers?

Typically, you need to do a TWO pass processing to gather page numbers.

QUESTION

I have a question, what template format can I use to produce plain HTML? At least then I can use our Javascript and CSS engine which when saved as PDF outputs headers and footers.

If I use a Google DOC template to create HTML output the HTML is too complex to read.

I need to embed or reference CSS and JS in the HTML to get our existing print engine t work with AppSheet.

1 Like

How will I know when I can beta test it?

@tsuji_koichi are you able to do watermarks with word documents, and then put text on the page? When I tried this before, since it was converted into HTML, the system separated the watermark as it’s own page, so it failed what I was trying to accomplish. (I made a image of a government form as the watermark, W2, and then tried to type over it so I didn’t disrupt the formatting of a government document).

I’m not programmer, and I definitely don’t understand google script, but for the header page numbering problem. Isn’t that part of just using Google Document header function? Have you tried using a Word document as your template instead, and then just put header and footer in there with page numbers?

Once again, I’m completely out of my element here, but if I create a document in google docs, I know I can download it as a PDF, is there a way to just activate this capability? Using the API it fills in the appsheet data, and then have some type of macro that saves the file as a PDF (using the ability already in google docs), and have it save to the appropriate file location?

And yes, if any of you were wondering my super power is to take a really difficult problem, act like I know anything about it, simplify it in a way that isn’t possible, and ask experts why they can’t do it that way. I’ve had many items thrown at me in meetings throughout my life.

5 Likes

@Phil

Perhaps one solution to the headers, footers, page numbering problems, would be to have an output type of a Google Doc?

Then from Google Docs, the end users could print to PDF, and have the added benefit of being able to modify the document before printing if they needed to.

And of course making ut a Google only feature would have the added benefit of driving people away from Microsoft! :smile:

1 Like

That sounds similar to just an auto mail merge system, but I think it would do the trick. I wonder if you could just create a macros to do this somehow.
I was sort of thinking about trying to build something for myself similar to this. Where you’d click a button that acted as a counter for a column. Use google script to detect the number being different, and if that is true it would activate a new method that would create a mail merge. Once again, I’m over simplifying a complex problem. Sorry @Phil, it’s a bad habit of mine.

When will I get access to the new feature, and how will I know if I have access?

Thanks for all your work, Appsheet is super cool.

Would we be able to make custom html templates instead of converting google docs to html? This would allow much greater flexibility in layout options.

2 Likes

Hi @Phil… How do we know if we’re using the new PDF engine…?

I’m currently early “early” testing this directly with them via DM. It’s literally a replacement in kind of a backend system, so I haven’t seen anything visually different. I’m sure they’ll let you know.

3 Likes

I want to test the PDF ID: 1841323

Thanks

1 Like

Sign us up, please: ID: 673764 :slight_smile: