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Making report templates that link to JMP graphics

Customers often ask us whether it is possible to create report templates that will automatically open with the results of the most recent analyses performed in JMP. Not only is this possible, it is most likely easier than you think.

Briefly, here are the steps that must be taken to accomplish this:

  1. Create the JMP output you want.
  2. Save the desired portions of this output as graphics files.
  3. Insert links to these graphics files into your document(s) of choice (often Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.). Note: This part only has to be done once.
  4. This is all that is required — but we recommend that you also create a script to perform the first two steps; this way, updating the template on a moment’s notice will be a snap.

    Once created, the document will open with the most recent versions of the output files. Any time the data changes, perform the first two steps above (or simply run the script). This will output new files, overwriting the old ones. The next time you open your document, it will show the contents of the new files.

    Many of our customers love the sound of this, but need a little help getting started. I’ve placed a simple tutorial in the “Sample Data” section of the JMP File Exchange that will lead you through the process step by step. Take a look, and see what you’ve been missing! (Download of tutorial requires a free SAS profile.)

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    Ron Horne wrote:

    Thanks for the great contribution, I was actually looking for something like this for a while.

    Allow me a followup question in the same mind frame. Before updating my report i need to update my table. using Tables>>update does not do the job for me since it only updates existing observations and doesn't add new ones from the new data set.


    Brady Brady wrote:

    If you don't mind creating a new table, the easiest way to do this is with the "Join" platform. Be sure to select the "Update Main Table..." option, as well as both "Include non-matches" functions.

    If you must avoid creating a new table, you could do something like the following:

    1. update the old table with the information in the new table, using "Update"

    2. select the rows in the new table having IDs that are not present in the old table

    3. subset these rows out as an invisible table and concatenate them to the 'old' table


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    Charles Fields wrote:

    Great post! Very useful.

    To push it a bit further, I would like to have a PowerPoint presentation running in slideshow mode, that goes out to and grabs an updated jpeg or png file in a specific directory.

    We have some Control Charting routines that grab updated data every minute and outputs

    fresh control charts in jpeg format. We would like PPT to run continuously and update the

    jpegs automatically without having to reopen the PPT file each time.

    Is this possible?


    Charlie Fields


    Brady Brady wrote:

    Hi Charlie,

    I am unsure whether this is possible. It is my understanding that when Powerpoint opens, it looks at the links and loads the files that are in these locations at the time, and does not keep track of whether these files have changed. Perhaps there is a workaround for this, but unfortunately I am unaware of one. I did poke around on Google a bit but could not find anything to help with this. Sorry!




    Martin Kane wrote:

    I am quite sure that you could run a macro in ppt that updates the graphics every period (say minute). I have used this to idea to use R to run an analysis and update the graphics in ppt, all while running in presentation mode.


    Maira wrote:

    Hi Brady,

    Nice job, it's really help me as i still new on this subject. I managed to create an automation system for my team which is can automatically update the graphs in JMP to Power Point. I also provided a Power Point template name as "template.pptx", so that once the script run, the latest graph will be update automatically in this template. Then, my team just need to save as the "template.pptx" with specific name and store at specific folder. But the problem is when the script run, all the previous Power Point file are also updated with latest graph. How can I set only "template.pptx" are update with latest graph not the save as "template.pptx" that I save with different name. Is this possible? Thank you.


    Brady Brady wrote:

    This is happening because the graphics in all of the .pptx files are linked to the same set of .png files, which are overwritten each time you run the script in JMP.

    After you have saved the latest .pptx file with a different name than .pptx, you will need to break all the links to the files. There should be an option in Power Point to do this.

    Another idea that might work for you is to print the .pptx to a .pdf file.