Report Designer is a tool that can be used to visually
depict trends in tabular data. It is well suited to facilitate the
evaluation of data relating to stock status and in the communication of
information from noncommensurate quantities. The Visual
Report Designer translates the information in a numerical data range to
a set of color-coded symbols. Observations can be sorted and
grouped into quantiles, with each quantile assigned a color-coded
symbol. Comparison tables can be constructed using a 5-category
(quintile) color scheme in a two hues of varying lightness style
similar to "Consumer Reports" comparison tables, or into a 2- or
3-category color scheme similar to traffic light charts.
If desired, a measure of dispersion (Max-Min)/Mean can
be displayed next to the comparison table. This property can help focus
attention on quantities with a wide dynamic range and reduce attention
on quantities with little variation.
of a Visual
Report Designer chart.
symbol sets are available.
Data can be imported into a Visual Report Designer project are
stored in a master compilation called a "data collection." From this
master dataset you can construct up to 15 reports, each of which is
automatically saved with the project data . Reports can be edited at a
future date if necessary.
The current version of Visual Report Designer allows you to
import time series data directly from several NOAA
Fisheries Toolbox models: AGEPRO,
ASAP, ASPIC, CSA,
and VPA / ADAPT, as well as
SAGA length-weight files. This can be useful, for example, in comparing
and contrasting results from different Toolbox models. For more
information on the versions supported, and which types of data can be
imported, see the help manual (which you can download below).
You can also import time-series data stored in text files,
spreadsheets or other applications by copying the data to the Windows
clipboard and adding it to Visual Report Designer's data collection.
Any changes you make to the project are recorded into a log
file. Visual Report Designer automatically saves the project data and
reports as you make changes. To help prevent accidental loss of data,
Visual Report Designer also includes an automatic backup feature and
the ability to restore projects from a backup copy.
Visual Report Designer saves the report in an HTML file, a
format that web browsers and many applications can read. You can view
the report file from within the Visual Report Designer application or
you can select another application. You can also open the report with a
word processing program and make minor edits. If the report is viewed
from within Visual Report Designer, you can save an image of the report
as a Bitmap image file, or copy it to the Windows clipboard so that it
can be pasted into another application.
Other Uses of the Visual Report Designer
Report Designer automatically saves the imported time series data in a
comma delimited (CSV) file. It can also be saved in a database style
format. The data files can be a useful way to analyze the results of
many different Toolbox models outside of Visual Report Designer without
having to convert between data formats by hand.
note that Visual Report Designer uses a Microsoft Internet Explorer
component as a helper tool to view report files. For computer
safety reasons, the installation package doesn't contain this helper
component but most Windows computers will already have Microsoft
Internet Explorer installed. If you don't have Internet Explorer
installed you can go to Microsoft's web site to download it for free: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.mspx.
You can always use Visual Report Designer without the Internet Explorer
component if you wish, although some features may not be fully
Visual Report Designer now includes the ability to import
AIM Version 2.0 files and ASAP Version 2.0.x files.
Fixed a bug in the AIM import utility that prevented data
files with a blank model description from being imported.
Designer 1.6 (February 2008)
This version replaces version 1.5.1.
You have the option to print a dispersion statistic next
each line of data in the report.
Missing data in the Data Collection Grid are allowed.
You can select a missing data indicator (e.g., "N/A",
-9999, etc.). Any datum that exactly matches this value will be
excluded from the binning calculations.
You can globally replace values in the Data Collection
that represent your missing value indicator with a different missing
ASPIC files containing missing data can be imported with a
user-selected missing value indicator, or as missing values are
displayed in ASPIC (any negative number for input data; zeros in output
Better handling of Data Type and Item descriptors when
importing ASPIC data.
New Backup capabilities: Backups of your project are
created automatically when you open an existing project and before you
close the program. You can create a backup manually at any time. Up to
20 backups can be created before recycling the old backups. You can
restore a backed up project from the saved copies.
The set of symbols used in quintiles have been improved
Minor enhancements to the graphic interface.
Fixed a bug that incorrectly changed the project's start
and end years when adding user-supplied data which falls outside the
existing data's year range.
Fixed a bug that did not allow Toolbox models to be
imported using the Add Data button on the Data Collection form.
Fixed a bug that incorrectly re-loaded data into the Data
Collection Grid for an existing project in cases where commas were
present in any of the descriptive fields.
Fixed a bug that didn't automatically write out the Report
Layout file when the report's Page Preferences are changed, and so
modifications to the page preferences may not have been saved right
Fixed a bug that erroneously excluded the Starting Biomass
from imported ASPIC files.