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Anyone understand the basics of adjusting the main parameters of the standard template?
There are two ways to format your PDF - using the built-in generic layout, along with the formatting options available on the print attributes or using custom XSL-FO report layouts. The generic layout option does not provide a way to adjust the margins, so you would need to use a custom layout. The easiest way to do this would be to create a Generic Columns (XSL-FO) layout (See Shared Components -> Report Layouts). This type of layout matches the built-in generic layout, but allows you to manually customize anything you like, while still keeping the substitution strings in place for the attributes exposed on the print attributes page. You can use this technique for Classic Reports and Report Queries. For Interactive Reports though, we currently only support the built-in generic layout.
Thanks. That was enough to get me to the template. Changing some of the obvious parameters, I was able to get the idea. Next steps will be to find a formal syntax guide (any pointers?) and then see about customizing for individual reports.
The customer-oriented problem is the inability to do this with Interactive Reports. IRs are what users like. They can't get from their tailored IR reports on screen to PDF output, including control breaks, highlights, etc., which is what they are used to and which creates a permanent record. (I work with auditors.) And they don't want to license BI Publisher.
Setting margins is a tactical step, and you have helped. Can you also point me in the direction of a solution to the strategic goal, to get PDF output of what we see on IR pages?
For the template customization, any documentation on XSL-FO should help with some of the basics, like for example:
Regarding the Interactive Reports requirement, we're aware that many customers are looking to have PDFs generated from IRRs that reflect their customizations and formatting choices, including break columns, and a looking into addressing this in APEX 5.0. Until then, your best option might be to create a separate Report Query (using the same query as your IRR), and create a custom XSL-FO Report Layout for that. And then add a PDF Export button to your IRR page that calls that Report Query. This would still not reflect 100% all the customizations a user might have done to the IRR, but at least you would have more control over the output.