XPP-related software packages

Coming soon! All the same features and flexibility as SpecTab but with even more features, more flexibility, and increased performance. tabOO has been completely rewritten whilst keeping backward compatibility with SpecTab and adding on-the-fly EPS generation of “impossible” table, row, column and cell boxes and border shapes (chevron or arrow borders, for instance). In addition, two major new features (not available in SpecTab) are a “template table” and a “ghost table”.

The template table enables the user to construct a table using normal tabular T-spec or inline macros to define formatting, column widths, gutters etc as well as any tabOO-generated elements. Once composed, all of the template table‘s values become available to other tables. e.g. the composed variable width of a particular column in the template table can be referenced in another table and become a fixed width in that table – allowing it to adjust automatically if and when the template table changes.

The ghost table works in a similar way as the template table in that the table is defined in exactly the same way as any regular or template table – T-specs, inline macros, tabOO macros – but when composed, it does not generate any output. Instead, the composed ghost table saves all the composed values for row depth, column width, table width and depth and any other tabular-based parameters are stored. Another table can then reference the ghost table and use any or all of the saved parameters.

One way this feature can be utilised is to enter the widest column data in a document for a particular column. A ghost table‘s column might be defined using a currency value of “$1,000”. The division is composed and any tables referencing the ghost table‘s column could use the column width, thereby tracking the ghost table‘s column width. Later it is discovered that new data contains a value of ‘$1,000,000’. By using tabOO’s ghost table, it is easy to update the ghost table column with the new, longest value and all tables referencing the ghost table would mimic the new composed width. Not only saving a lot of operator time editing numerous tables to match each other but allowing the style designer to keep particular tables synchronized, regardless of their data content.

More features to come – WATCH THIS SPACE!

Licensing: for per-server licenses, deduct US$2,500

Perl module and macro package (includes rbox2 and rbox3). Draw rules, boxes or text anywhere in, on or around tables, rows, columns cells – and even lines within a cell. No limit to the number of items that can be drawn! Check out the manual – click here for PDF

Macro and PostScript package for drawing jaw-dropping backgrounds and boxes. The same features as rbox2 but with many more capabilities, including on-the-fly EPS creation of the box. The EPS can also be generated in JPG format for inclusion in HTML pages or other uses.

Macro package for box drawing. Providing total control over radii for individual corners, color-to-color graduation tints; ability to turn individual border rules on or off.

This add-on to rbox2 (requires rbox2 package) provides the ability to set start and end points and have rbox2 draw between the two. Similar to XPP’s sfbox/efbox macros.