Document Processing
for VFP
Document Processing for VFP

Visual Documents is a tool for building Rich Text documents with Visual FoxPro. It includes a document processing object, a printer object, and the optional TX Text Control® for displaying and printing.

Documents are built under program control, from templates created in a word processor. Formatted text, graphics, tables, bulleted items, multiple columns, and most other word processing features are easy to include. Visual Documents is especially useful for producing documents such as insurance policies, legal contracts, bids, deeds, job estimates, etc. that would be beyond the ability of standard report writers.

There are 3 basic steps to creating documents using the VisDocs Document Processing class:

  1. Create a template RTF document in any word processor
  2. Write program code to build the document contents. This typically includes one or more looping constructs to cycle through the data records used to build the document.
  3. Print, fax, email, or store the resulting document

There are a number of options available for printing, viewing, and editing the documents you create. Each option has some advantages and disadvantages.

Printing with MS Word

One way to print or view the generated RTF documents is by using a word processor like Microsoft Word, or other similar product that supports OLE automation.

Advantages of using MS Word

  • MS Word offers the most complete set of document formatting capabilities. Other RTF controls only offer varying subsets of the functionality available in MS Word.

Disadvantages of MS Word

  • It is slower than other methods, especially the first time an instance of Word needs to be started.
  • It requires that each client have MS Word licensed and installed. This can make your application very expensive to use if your users do not already have Word.
  • It is less reliable than other methods, especially if your users are using word for other purposes at the same time as they are running your applications.
  • You can run into compatibility problems when users change to different versions of the word processor.

Printing with MS RichTextBox Control

The Microsoft RichTextBox control is available free from Microsoft. It is included as part of Visual Studio, and other Microsoft products.

Advantages of RichTextBox

  • It allows you to View and Print directly from within VFP.
  • It supports character formatting and simple graphic images.
  • It is very fast and efficient, when compared to using an external word processor, such as MS Word.
  • Unlimited royalty-free distribution

Disadvantages of RichTextBox

  • The RichTextBox control only supports a single page. Although, you can simulate multiple pages by displaying and/or printing a series of 1-page documents.
  • No support for table layouts in your documents
  • No support for page headers or footers

Printing with TX Text Control ®

Probably the best, all around solution for printing RTF documents is the TX Text Control, made by The Imaging Source, GmBH. This control provides a complete Word Processor, packaged as an ActiveX control. You can use the control to print, preview, or edit the output from Visual Documents. Using the TX Text Control means your application will not have to rely on any outside word processor for printing.

VisDocs includes a number of enhancements for TX Text Control that enable it to work properly with VFP. TX Text Control is available from us at a discounted price when bundled with Visual Documents. For more detailed information on TX Text Control, and a full functioning demo version, visit www.textcontrol.com.

Advantages of TX Text Control

  • It allows you to View and Print directly from within VFP.
  • It is very fast and efficient, when compared to using an external word processor, such as MS Word.
  • It supports a much wider subset of the full document formatting capabilities of MS Word, including multiple pages, tables.
  • Regular version of TX lets you display and print page headers & footers, but not edit them. Professional version of TX also lets end users edit page header & footers.
  • You can use it to build a full Word Processor interface into your VFP applications.
  • Unlimited royalty-free distribution

Disadvantages of TX Text Control

  • It does not support certain MS Word extensions to the RTF standard. These include things like certain line formats, certain table cell fill patterns, certain style sheet properties, and some other minor formatting details. However, in most cases, there are alternative means for representing the desired effects.

Pricing

VisDocs Library for VFP Includes document processing object, and printer object for direct printing via MS RichTextEdit, TX Text Control, or other ActiveX controls.   $299 US (plus shipping)
TX Text Control Standard version. Adds full interactive word-processing capabilities to your VFP applications.   $439 US
TX Text Control Professional version. Professional version of TX Control includes ability to edit page headers, read/write native MS Word format documents, and DLL interface (low level API) .   $949 US
VisDocs with TX Text Control Standard version bundle   $638 US (save $100)
VisDocs with TX Text Control Professional version bundle   $1,148 US (save $100)

No Royalties when distributed as part of a compiled application.


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