This section highlights some common operations performed while developing
Creating, deleting, importing and
In the File menu you can find all the operations to be performed
on projects, these are:
Create a new project. Use the „New..“ item. Select new FO
Report Project and follow the steps in the wizard.
Enter a project name and press finish
Deleting a project: press DEL on the project folder, make sure
you select the „Delete project contents on disk“ checkbox
Importing a report. Use this to import single report files. A new
project will be created using the file name.
Import a legacy report. These are .xrp files used in FO Designer 1.*.
Same as above but using legacy files instead.
Save reports to the file system
Export and import complete projects (including XML and schema files).
Select export and File system. If you select „Archive File“ the project
will be exported to a zip file.
Last, select the objects to be exported and press finish:
Objects in the areas can be selected in 3 ways:
Single object selection: clicking on the object (the properties of the
object will be shown automatically
Multiple object selection: click on several objects while holding the
SHIFT key pressed.
The selected object can then be resized or moved all together using the
Operations on files
You may use the context menu to delete, copy or rename files or whole
projects however make sure that:
If you copy a whole project make sure you rename the xre to the same
name as the project name.
Basically make sure the xre file has always the same name as the
You many have only one xre file per project. If you need to
copy the xre file, copy the whole project instead.
Operations on objects
There are other operations you can perform on the selected object by
using the context menu (mouse‘s right click)
The operations are not explained here in detail since they are self-explanatory
and quite standard in many windows programs. Additionally to the
operations listed the following operations can be performed by using the
copy: control key + C
cut: control key + X
paste: control key + V
delete: <del> key
Operations on areas
The areas item in the main menu allows the following
Both operations work using the Outline view.
Inserting an first level area: select the master on the outline
view. The new area will be added as first level area.
Inserting an area below an existing area: select the parent
area in the outline, for example „Detail“
the new area will be added below (as a subarea). In this example „Detail
area 3“ has been added below „Detail“
The preferences dialog
In the windows menu there are 3 items (4 if you install the SVN
the reset perspective will replace all the view in the original
position. This is useful if you have closed or moved some views by
mistake and want to return to the original window layout.
The Designer perspective will open the editor in case the Welcome or
SVN setup perspectives are open.
Preferences: in this dialog the settings described below are
The settings are:
Properties windows on left side: this is useful if you are
working with small screens (laptop). In this case the properties of
the object will be shown on the same position as the project explorer
(as a new tab), saving therefore display space.
Align to grid: align always new or moved object to the grid
Grid: normal or fine
XML namespace processing setup. remove namespaces from
test XML files before creating the PDF.
Escape invalid characters: this should always selected in
order to generate valid xsl-fo files.
Oracle APEX encoding setup: select this option if you are
working with Oracle APEX. Do not use however this option for the
Oracle APEX Listener (ORDS) as print server.
Activate digital signature. See section below.
Local history page, Limit history size: set a limit on the
number of past reports (history) to be kept.
Local history page, Days to keep files: older copies
will be deleted.
Local history page, Maximum entries per file: maximum
number of past reports to be kept.
Local history page, Maximum file size: larger reports
will not be kept.
Mail page, Smtp Host and port (In the Mail subpage): Setup
for sending the PDF reports from the designer (see cloud server
Mail page,From email: sender email
Mail page,User and password: smtp server login data
Server page, DB Server and DB Server port:(in the Server
subpage) this setup is required when working in teams and there is a
central J4L FOP Server together with a central database.
Server page, Printer server type:(in the Server subpage)
setup for remote PDF generation. Select one of the supported
Server page, Printer server URL: use
for Oracle Apex: http://host:port/ords/_/fop2pdf or http://host:port/apex/_/fop2pdf
for local J4L FOP Server user: http://host:port/J4LFOPServer/Apex
for J4L Could Server use: https://apex-reports/print/trial
Note: for Apex ORDS to work you need
to navigate to the /apex or /ords directory , locate the defaults.xml
file and add the following code:
Server page,Connection timeout (secs): timeout when
connecting to remote servers for FOP generation
Server page,Response timeout (secs): timeout for the
response from the remote FOP server.
Server page,Ask before using the cloud server for PDF:
Server page, Ask before using the cloud server for Excel:
The local history
The designer will keep a copy of the previous report each time your
click on the save button. The settings in the preferences dialog will
determine how many and how long the copies will be kept.
In order to recover a previous version of the report, first close the
report then select the „Show local history“ in the context
The local history window will open. You can use the context menu „Get
Contents“ to recover a previous version (make it the current
version) and replace the current one.
After getting a previous version you can open the report as usual, you
will be now working with a copy of a past version.
The report assistant
The report assistant is a report creation wizard that will take you
through the steps of creating the skeleton of the report. By
skeleton we mean:
You can set the basic style and layout of the areas
you can define some out-of-the-box master/detail relationships
you can define up to three areas
What you need to do after the skeleton has been created include (but
not only) items as below:
add report titles
move/resize the fields to the desired size or position
change the style of specific fields
add borders , lines, images or barcodes for example
Look at the 2 videos below for a quick introduction