dealing with variable data length

Posted by: rsamberg

dealing with variable data length - 07/31/09 04:04 PM

Hi, it's me again...
I've tried to figure this out on my own - and I'm certain there has to be a way to do it.

I have LPD data that I am trying to get into a new design doc. The data is a list of changes, with each change comprised of three lines:

Type of change
Change From
Change to

Each document may be different in how many times those three lines appear. There might only be one change (three lines), or there could be up to 12 changes (36 lines) on any given document. So my data selction area will start on line 14, but might end on line 16...or might end on line 47, or somewhere in between.

Immediately following the last change on the page is some legal verbiage. This can easily be omitted from the selection & manually created as a text object, so I'm not too concerned about that. There are also signature & date lines immediately following the legalese...these also shift up or down the page depending on how many changes there are.

Pronblem do I tell PP Design to dynamically size the data selection area, so it is essentially testing for the presence of text? There IS a blank line between the last "change" on the doc & the legalese that follows. Maybe that could be used somehow?

I tried a line condition, couldn't get it to work (unless I was doing something wrong, which is entirely possible). I hope this makes sense...and I look forward to your help - I like learning new things smile
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: dealing with variable data length - 08/04/09 09:10 AM

Good day Rsanberg,

Your intuition about line condition was spot on, as its the most efficient way of doing what you are trying to accomplish.
It is possible you just forgot a small detail that is crucial for it to work. I will bullet point the steps and should it not work, we will look further in from there.

- First, set your data selection range to the maximum amount of lines your list can possibly have (which should be 36 lines)

-Second, in your Data selection object options, you need to set 2 things
1- In the "Lines" options, in the "On empty lines" drop down menu, pick "Skip completely empty line" ( no need to change anything else there )
2- In the "Snapping Points" options, check the "Set snapping point" checkbox and then choose a point for your legal info textbox to latch on ( bottom left corner should be perfect )

-Thirdly, in your Legal textbox options, go to the "Snapping points" section and check " Snap to previous object" and choose the upper left corner. In those options, you will notice Horizontal offset and Vertical offset windows in which you can adjust the distance between the 2 objects once snapped together. *VERY IMPORTANT* in your tree view, the objects snapping together must be in order and next to each other. So if, for example, your data selection is first in the list, the second object has to be the legal textbox for them to latch onto each other, hence the name "Snap to previous object"

I also noticed that you said that there is also some signatures and date objects down there too. You can make a group out of all of them and set the snapping point to the group itself so that everything below the change list will dynamically change position depending on your data selection's length.

With this done, your textbox should follow your data selection's movement.

I sincerely hope my explaination was clear and that your issue will be solved : )

Have a nice day,

Matt : )
Posted by: rsamberg

Re: dealing with variable data length - 08/04/09 09:45 AM


Thanks so much for the detailed instructions! I will try this today & let you know what happens. I knew line conditions & snapping points would come into play, just wasn't sure how.
Posted by: rsamberg

Re: dealing with variable data length - 08/04/09 01:56 PM

OK, so I followed instructions, and with a sample data file containing the maximum number of data lines, it looks great. Snapping points working fine.

However, when I add another data file - one with only 3 lines of data (vs. 36), part of the legal verbiage as well as the signature lines fall within the main data selection area.

I'm wondering if I need to reverse this? Perhaps create my main data selction with a SMALL selection, and see if it will expand?

No, nevermind that won't work either.

The problem is...the legal stuff & the signature lines are never in the same place in the data stream...which means that data selection will not be consistent. Ugh these forms are SO ugly the way they come out right now. I so badly want to make them look better.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: dealing with variable data length - 08/05/09 06:22 PM

Hi rsamberg,

If your signature line is always at the same position relative to your legal text in the data, and if that legal text is always the same, then you could evaluate line by line where your legal text starts, then calculate the position of your signature line and show it at a static position on your form.

if you find the first line of legal text at line 42, and signature line is always 9 lines below, then do a data selection that will look at line 51 for the signature (variable composed of Legal text position +9...done through a for loop or custom data selection).

Please open a support call if you need help setting this up. Thanks.