Reports in a file

A report frame is a word processor with more capabilities. Most importantly, it can have calculations, which are covered in Calculations.

Reports are a type of top level frame in Blockpad, so they act a lot like sheets in a spreadsheet.

Multiple reports can be in one file, and you can reference values between them.

Insert a new report into a file:
  1. Click the insert button.
  2. Select Report.
  3. Click OK.

Most of the basic editing features of a word processor are here, like different fonts, bold, underlined, italic, strikethrough text, and more. Change these text properties by using the toolbar or the properties window.

Reference values from other reports in a file

You can also reference values from other report frames or spreadsheets in your calculations.

Reference a value from another report or spreadsheet:
  1. Start a dynamic equation.
  2. With the equation open, navigate to the value and click it.
  3. Finish the formula and press enter.

You can also use the copy reference tool.

Header and footer

With the Header & Footer tool, you can add either simple or custom headers to your documents.

Basic header and footer

The basic header and footer lets you add simple text in the left, right, and center of the header or footer. You can also insert fields like page number and page count.

Create a basic header or footer:
  1. In a document, select Write>Header & Footer.
  2. Type in the header and footer where you want it on the page (left, center, right).
    • Use the insert button for page number or page count.
  3. Click OK.

You can have multiple lines of text in the basic header, and if the lines of text go over the margin, Blockpad will shrink the lines to fit. To fit more lines of text, change the top margin for the report by selecting the report in the list of top level frames and changing the Margin property in the properties window.

The basic header also allows for a black border around the page.

Insert a page border:
  1. In a document, select Write>Header & Footer.
  2. Select the Show Border checkbox.
    • There are also options to show borders for the header and footer.
  3. Click OK.

Custom header and footer

With the custom header and footer, you can create a customized header with borders and your company logo.

Create a custom header:
  1. In a document, select Write>Header & Footer.
  2. In the dropdown menu, change Basic header and footer to Custom.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Edit the header template like editing a table in Blockpad.
  5. Double click outside the header area to exit header editor.

A few good things to know about the custom header editor:

  • Double click the header to enter the editor, and double click outside the editor to exit.
  • To remove a custom header, enter the editor, click Options in the left of the toolbar, change Custom to Basic header and footer, and click OK.
  • To reset the header template, enter the editor, click Options in the left of the toolbar, select Reset custome header and footer, and click OK.
Editing the custom header

The cells in the custom header act like regular table cells, so besides typing in normal text, you can also press the equals sign and run equations inside.

In addition to normal equations, formulas inside the header can show useful information like page number, page count, or the name of the file. Use the special insert buttons in the toolbar to create equations that reference that information.

Note that you can combine these fields as text inside of an equation using the Concat() function or the plus sign (+) to concatenate.

You also might want to change the Blockpad logo to your company logo.

Change the image in the custom header:
  1. Inside the custom header editor, double click the Blockpad logo.
  2. Click Select File in the window that appears.
  3. Choose the image file you wish to use and click Open.
  4. Crop the image as desired, and click OK.
  5. Now that the image is inserted, adjust the size and spacing using the Height, Width, and Spacing Before properties.

By default the custom header creates a solid line around the page. This can be removed through the Report properties.

Remove solid line around page:
  1. In the list of frames to the left of the window, right click the report you are working in.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. In the properties window, select Page Border.
  4. Change the Pattern drop down to "None".
  5. Click the Apply and preview button.
  6. Click OK.

Page layout properties

In addition to the basics in the toolbar, there are a number of tools to help you format your documents for better presentation or readability.

Line spacing

You can edit line spacing using the Line Height, Spacing After, or Spacing Before properties. To do so, select the lines, open the properties window, and change one of the properties mentioned.

Tab stops and indents

Like with conventional word processors, tab stops control where text goes after the tab key is pressed.

Blockpad also has left and right indent controls that specify how far a paragraph is from the left and right margins. The hanging indent controls the starting point of the first line of the paragraph, relative to the left indent.

All of these properties can be controlled with either the ruler or the properties window.

Using the ruler

First, to view the ruler select View>Show Rulers.

Second, select the paragraphs that you wish edit. Note that changing the ruler only affects the indents and tab stops for the paragraph(s) selected.

Finally, to set a tab stop, just click on the ruler where you'd like it to be.

To move the tab stops, drag them back and forth along the ruler. To remove or edit a tab stop, right click for options.

To adjust indents with the ruler, just drag the triangles that you see on the edges.

Using the properties window

Tab stops and indents can also be controlled either through the properties window or with style rules.

Set indents with the properties window:
  1. Select the paragraph(s) you wish to edit.
  2. Open the properties window.
  3. Edit the relevant property: Left Indent, Right Indent, or Hanging Indent.
    • These changes will appear on the ruler accordingly.
Set tab stops with the properties window:
  1. Select the paragraph(s) you wish to edit.
  2. Open the properties window.
  3. Select the Tab Stops property.
  4. In the tab stops window, add, remove, and edit stops.
  5. Click OK.
    • These changes will appear on the ruler accordingly.

To set indents or tab stops for the whole file, use style rules. When it's time to set the properties for a style, use Left Indent, Right Indent, Hanging Indent, and Tab Stops as described above.

Insert page breaks

Use the page break before or page break after properties to specify where you want page breaks in the document.

Insert a page break:
  1. Go to the paragraph where you want the page break.
  2. Open the properties window.
  3. Under Paragraph, select Page Break After or Page Break Before.
  4. In the dropdown list, select Break.
  5. Click OK.
Break for minimum space

The page break tools also have a Break For Minimum Space option where the page breaks only if the paragraph is far enough down the page (as a percentage).

Using this setting in combination with style rules and headings, you can make a document automatically insert a page break before any heading that's far enough down in a page.

Use style rules to make page breaks that update:
  1. Make sure headings have a Heading paragraph type.
  2. In the toolbar, select Style>Manage Styles.
  3. In the window that appears, click Add.
  4. In the Object Type dropdown, select Heading.
  5. Under Properties, select Page Break Before.
  6. In the dropdown, select Break for minimum space.
  7. Set the desired percentage.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Close the Styles Manager window.
Continuous page view

The Collapse Margins property can be set so that page breaks aren't displayed in the document. This is great for documents that will only be viewed on the computer.

Show document without page breaks:
  • While in a Report, select View>Collapse Margins in the toolbar.
Numbered list formatting

By default, nested numbered lists in Blockpad are set to follow the pattern 1, 1.1, 1.1.1, etc.

To change this, select the list you wish to adjust, then Right click>Format List, and a window will pop up.

In this window, you can set the style of numbering you want for each level in the list.


Just like in conventional spreadsheets and word processors, you can leave comments in Blockpad that will not affect how the rest of the document looks or calculates.

Comments can be put on spreadsheet cells, locations in text, and dynamic equations. This includes table cells and text in any kind of frame (e.g. multiline cells and text boxes).

Add a comment:
  1. Select a cell or text location.
  2. Right click and select Add Comment.
  3. Type in your comment.
  4. Click somewhere else on the page when done.
Edit a comment:
  1. Select the cell or text location to show the comment.
  2. Click inside the comment box.
  3. Make your changes, and click outside the box when done.
Delete a comment:
  1. Select the cell or text location.
  2. Right click and select Remove Comment.

Comments work like text everywhere else in Blockpad, so you can use things like equations, tables, and images inside of the comment box.

You can reference values from the document when inside the comment. However, any values made inside the comment cannot be referenced from anywhere else in the document.

Document navigation


You can insert hyperlinks that link to other places in the document or to websites, using the Insert Link button in the toolbar.

Insert hyperlink to another place in the document:
  1. Go to the desired hyperlink destination.
  2. In the toolbar, select Write>Copy Reference to Paragraph.
  3. Now, go to where you want the hyperlink.
  4. Click the Insert Link button in the toolbar.
  5. Paste in the address.
  6. Click OK.
Table of contents

Use the table of contents tool to automatically add a table of contents to your documents, based on the headings and paragraphs.

Insert a table of contents:
  1. Ensure headings have a heading paragragh type (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2, etc).
  2. In a document, select Write>Table of Contents.
  3. Specify the frame for the table of contents.
  4. Click OK.

The line items in the table of contents act as hyperlinks to their respective heading in the report. This is why the default formatting is to show them underlined and blue. To use the hyperlink, press ctrl and click.

You can make the line items appear as text by double clicking the table of contents and changing the Show Links as Text setting to "Yes". You can also add page numbers (this only works if the table of contents is inside the report it is for).

The table of contents feature is actually a very specific form of block, where the inputs are a special array that contains the headings in a report and their properties.

Because of this, you can use Blockpad functions to modify the block input, ultimately changing what is shown in the table of contents. The Drop() and Filter() functions are the most useful here. Below are some examples.

  • Use the Drop() function to remove an unnecessary listing from the top.
    • Drop(Library.Text.Headings(Report1), 1)
  • Use the Filter() function to remove blank headings.
    • Filter(Library.Text.Headings(Report1), head => Len(head.Content)>0)
  • Use the Filter() function to show only Heading 1 listings.
    • Filter(Library.Text.Headings(Report1), h=>h.Level==0)
    • (A Level of 0 corresponds to Heading 1, a Level of 1 corresponds to Heading 2, etc.)


Headings for easy document formatting

When you have headings in a document, it's often best to specify them as headings in the program, instead of formatting each line separately. This makes it possible to use tools like table of contents and style rules to format a document without as much manual work.

Create a heading:
  1. In a report, type in the heading.
  2. In the toolbar, use the dropdown to change the paragraph type from paragraph to heading 1.
    • You can also use any other heading option.
Style rules

You can use style rules to control the formatting of different types of content. This formatting can either be applied generally by object type or to individual objects.

Specifically for reports, you can change the formatting for all paragraphs or headers in a report or a file. You can also control formatting for groups of individual dynamic equations.

Apply a style by object type:
  1. Select Style>Manage Styles in the toolbar.
  2. Click the Add button in the window that appears.
  3. Click the dropdown labeled Objects of Type and choose an object type.
  4. Set property values.
  5. Close the Style Manager.
Apply a style to individual objects:
  1. Select Style>Manage Styles in the toolbar.
  2. Click the Add button in the window that appears.
  3. Click the bullet next to Apply individually.
  4. Under Name, type in a name for the style that you will recognize later.
  5. (Optional) Click the dropdown labeled Objects of Type and choose an object type.
  6. Set property values.
  7. Close the Style Manager.
  8. Select the object (or objects) that you wish to apply the style to.
  9. Open the properties window.
  10. Under the Style section click Style and choose the style name.
  • Note: you can apply multiple styles to one object by clicking More options for the Style property.

Learn more about style rules on the style rules page.


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