Graph Formatting in AP2700 and ATS

Created on 2008-07-11 12:54:00

Engineers often have to create reports of test results for others. Graphs convey a lot of information very quickly and are a standard part of any test summary. “Export Graphics” and “Copy Panel to Clipboard” are the two ways AP2700 allows graphs to be exported. This article will detail how to use them.

Graph setup
No matter which method you use, the first step is to get the graph ready for export.

  1. Take the measurement you want.
  2. Click the Graph icon in the toolbar or select “Graph” from the Panels menu.
  3. Zoom the graph to the desired scale by clicking and dragging on the graph with your mouse.
  4. Adjust the graph’s length/ height proportion by clicking the bottom left corner of the graph’s panel with your mouse and dragging: What you see on the panel is what will be exported.
  5. In general bigger is better for vector images, but for raster, get as close as possible to the final desired size as shrinking and expanding will hurt image resolution.
  6. You are now ready to export.

Export Graphics command
This option gives more control over the file format and should be used if you want to edit the graph before adding it to your report, or save it as an independent file.

  1. Highlight the graph you want to export by clicking anywhere in its panel.
  2. Go to File, then Export, then Graphics.
  3. The file chooser dialog will ask for a filename and type. You can export as a vector graphic (.wmf or.emf ) or a raster image ( .bmp, .jpg,.GIF,.TIF, or.PNG). Vector graphics allow greater flexibility and scale much better, but you must have a vector program such as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape or AutoCAD, and ultimately must save the image as a raster for it to be used in a Word doc or HTML page.
  4. Once you’ve saved the image to a directory, it’s ready to be imported into a graphics editing program or dropped directly into your report. If you’re making an HTML document, remember the file needs to be saved as a .jpg,.GIF or.PNG.
  5. For most users, it’s best to save the graphic as a.PNG, make any edits you need in Photoshop or Microsoft Photo Editor then resave it. Vector should only be used when you need to send the file to a professional graphic designer.

Copy panel to clipboard command:
This option is much simpler, making use of Windows’ built-in Clipboard function to get the graphic from your AP software to the other application. The disadvantage is you don’t end up with an independent file, just a Clipboard image that’s lost as soon as you copy something else.

The Configuration menu controls how Copy panel to clipboard works. You should set your preference before you start using the clipboard. Go to Utilities, then Configuration, then Graphs and select which format you want to send to the Clipboard.

White “As metafile”
Sends both vector and bitmap data with a white background to the clipboard. Paste to vector editors, raster editors, or direct to Word. This is the best option for most users.

Black “As bitmap”
Sends only the bitmap data with a black background to the Clipboard. Includes the entire window, not just the graph data: title, window controls and border. Paste to a raster editor or direct to Word. Not recommended unless you are trying to show an example of the AP software panel rather than the actual data inside the graph.

Once your preference is set, just click on the graph you want to copy, then go to Edit and select “Copy panel to clipboard.” Then go to the other application to paste the image directly into an existing document.

Remember, in all cases, the size and shape of the graph panel as its displayed is what gets exported, so make sure this is right before you start your export process.