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Perils of PDF 3: Wide Tables and data loss

Fri 6 Sep 2019, 11:53 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
A couple of days ago, I started a series about certain constraints on exporting or archiving Notes data to PDF. There has been more chatter recently about exporting to PDF, a feature that may be supported natively in HCL Notes V11, and that is offered as an archiving solution by some consultants and vendors. 
The PDF format itself is great for certain use cases, but has certain limitations by its very nature. One of those is that It is page based, and pages are defined with set heights and widths that don't easily accommodate the different screen sizes and orientations of the modern world. Worse, pages have to cut off sometimes, which means large amounts of data may be lost completely.
This is the third of eight primary issues. Depending on what vendor or driver you use, a few of these may have at least a partial solution, but they are good items to check when validating your approach. The table of contents of all issues will be at the bottom of this post.
3) Wide tables or table cells may be cut off and all data to the right lost
Original Notes rich text field. This is based on a customer I am working with right now, but wide tables are quite frequent in large complex forms. This table is so wide, I had to take two screen shots, but in Notes, I could simply scroll horizontally to see it all.
Inline JPEG image
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PDF rendering. There is no horizontal scroll bar, and the data to the left of the page is simply cut off
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Rendered by the Midas LSX to HTML. The text flows down in the table because of how the margin was set. If it were set differently in Notes, this would render with a horizontal scroll bar. Either way, all data is preserved.
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If we view the same HTML file with a different screen size, it still flows and is readable on screen.
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Table of Contents (will be updated as the blog series continues)
Perils of PDF 1: Attachments
Perils of PDF 2: Doclinks
Perils of PDF 3: Wide Tables and data loss
Perils of PDF 4: Missing and obscured data
Perils of PDF 5: Data Confusion
Want to try out our Midas LSX export for yourself? Simply fill out the online evaluation request, and we'll get you started. There's no cost to seeing it for yourself.

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