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Configuring a Report Generator component for Microsoft Word and PowerPoint

The Alt Text field provided in Microsoft Office is used to configure the Report Generator "components":

  • Report Generator will search within the Office document for text boxes, graphs and tables
  • When one of these items is located, it will read the Alt Text value that is used for declaring the component

The syntax for configuring a placeholder is as follows:

<COMPONENT_TYPE>;<COMPONENT_ID>;<PARAM1NAME>=<PARAM1_VALUE>,<PARAM2_NAME>=<PARAM2_VALUE>,...


  • No carriage return is accepted in this syntax, as this can cause errors
  • COMPONENT_TYPE : can be TEXT, GRAPH or TABLE
  • COMPONENT_ID : see the one you need in the

    components list


    Some parameters are mandatory others are not. Refer to the components list to see which parameters are expected for which component

How to access component definitions in Microsoft Word

You can copy/paste each object placeholder by selecting the full content, then you just have to modify Alt Text configuration to fit to your needs.

Text placeholders

Versions prior to Office 365

Select the text box and right click to access the contextual menu. Then select Format Shape. In the Format Shape menu: Shape Options > Layout & Properties > Alt Text: fill in the Description field with the component options.

Office 365 versions

Select the text box and right click to access the contextual menu. Then select Edit Alt Text. If you can't find this command, you can search for Display the Alt Text Pane after having selected the text box. This command can be added to the Quick Access toolbar in Word.

  

Graph placeholders

Versions prior to Office 365

Select the chart, and right click to access the contextual menu. Then select Format Chart Area. In the Format Chart Area menu: Chart Options > Layout & Properties > Alt Text: fill in the Description field with the component options.

Office 365 versions

Similar to text placeholders, select the chart and right click to access the contextual menu. Then select Edit Alt Text. If you can't find this command, you can search for Display the Alt Text Pane after having selected the chart.

Table placeholders

Select the table and right click to access the contextual menu. Then select Table Properties. In the Alt Text tab, fill in the Description field.

How to access component definitions in Microsoft PowerPoint

In Microsoft PowerPoint, Text, Graph and Tables are configured in the same way as in Microsoft Word.

Versions prior to Office 365

To see the alternative text property of all components, you should activate the Size and Position  button in PowerPoint properties:

Click to enlarge

A new button will now be available alongside the Save and Undo/Redo buttons as shown below. This button gives you the possibility to access to the alternative text property of all components:

Now you can select a Shape and edit the alternative text property value:

Office 365 versions

As with Microsoft Word, in Office 365, the Alt Text is no longer displayed in the Size and Positions pane. To access it, select the object and in the right-click contextual menu, select Edit Alt Text:

If you can't find the Edit Alt Text command in the contextual menu, you can search for Display the Alt Text Pane after having selected the object:

You can also customize the quick access toolbar with this command:

How to configure components in Microsoft Excel

The general syntax for placeholders in Microsoft Excel is:

"RepGen:" prefix + block type (TEXT or TABLE, GRAPH is not supported) + block name and parameters

For instance, the application name can be retrieved using:

"RepGen:TEXT;APPLICATION_NAME"

Components list

Text componentsCAST Report Generator - Text components available - 1.9.0
Graph componentsCAST Report Generator - Graph components - 1.9.0
Table componentsCAST Report Generator - Table components - 1.9.0
Generic components

CAST Report Generator - Generic components - 1.9.0

All the "fantastic" things you can do with generic components for graphs and tables (GENERIC_GRAPH and GENERIC_TABLE)

Where to find some examples in Word - Porwerpoint - Excel to create your own reports

All components are available in example "library" templates and sample reports delivered with the Report Generator. See CAST Report Generator - Templates and output options.

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