PLC Reports User Manual

10. Report Template Files

To create reports, PLC Reports works according to the following principle:

First, a report template, the so-called “Report Definition File” is created. Then, the definitions in that template are read and interpreted. According to the scheduling definitions in the template, PLC Reports automatically reads and calculates values, fills the template with the desired data and stores the reports in the specified output directory.

Report templates are created in Microsoft Excel. It is possible to prepare templates on a computer without PLC Reports being installed. This way, the design of a report can be defined by an end-user, whereas the technical aspects can be added later by a controls expert.

Finally, the completed template is imported and validated by PLC Reports and used in production operation. Using this approach, the final reports will look exactly as previously defined in the template. Reports can be created in Excel and/or in PDF format. If needed, they can also be sent directly to a printer.

10.1. Opening a Report Template for Editing and Validation

To open a report template for editing, select section “2. Report File” and click the button “Open Report File”Open Report File. Select the desired Excel report file dialog opened.

By clicking the button Pin on the window frame, the application window of PLC Reports can be kept on top. This can help working simultaneously with the PLC Reports and the Excel application window.

10.2. Validating a Report Template and the Worksheet Names

When opening a report template PLC Reports checks if the necessary worksheets are defined. While the report file is opened, the test can be repeated at any time by clicking the button “Check Sheets”. Check Sheets

The following worksheets need to be defined in all report files:

  • Settings (Definition of report settings)
  • Variables (Definition of variables)
  • Archives (Definition of archives)
  • Instructions (Definition of instructions)
  • Scheduling (Definition of when reports are created)

In addition, named worksheets (e.g. “Report” or “Trend”) can be created for defining the report design and layout.

Excel Worksheets

10.2.1. Walk-Through: How to Open and Check a Report Template

  1. Navigate to section “2. Report File”.
  2. Click the button “Open Report File”.
  3. A dialog to select a report file opens.
  4. Select the desired report file.
  5. The report file will be opened in Excel and checked automatically. If errors occur, they will be displayed in section “Messages”.
  6. By double-clicking an error message, you can directly jump to the error-prone cell in the Excel sheet.
  7. Any error can now be corrected.
  8. To repeat the testing of the report sheet names, click the button “Check Sheets”.Check Sheets
  9. To repeat the testing of the report definitions, click the button “Load All Sheets”.Load All Sheets

10.2.2. Displaying Test-Results

After opening, loading and testing the report file all status displays in section “Sheets” change their state according to the test results.


10.3. Saving and Closing the Report File

After editing the report, save and close the workbook by using the corresponding commands in the Excel file menu.