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AutoTag User Experience Improvements

Posted on 06/24/2015

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autotag-sqOver the years AutoTag has matured as a product, and we have continued (and will continue) year after year to add features that enhance its functionality.  But there comes a point in every software product where your feature set is largely complete, and then you take a look at what you have and redesign the interface with everything in mind. So that’s what we’re doing now.

Making our interface more elegant and intuitive is our major focus for our upcoming version.

During this redesign you will see new features added and old features improved. The features below are those that we feel will have the biggest impact.

User Experience Improvements

Live OUT Preview Mode

Windward is adding the ability to view your template in a preview mode with all tags populated with data from your data source. Tables will render the first few rows and OUT tags will display full formatted text. This will assist with layout optimization preventing the iterative process of generating a report, noting the change and returning to the template to apply that change. The productivity benefits of this feature will be vast.

Advanced Tag Properties and Attributes Pane

forEachTagPropertiesFeedback both internal and external has expressed a desire to make the advanced properties of each of our tags available in the UI on a more consistent basis. We added the most prominent tag attributes to the ribbon but some tags (e.g., forEach, import, query) have more attributes than can be displayed.

With screen real estate at a premium in the ribbon, Windward has made the decision to implement a permanent sidebar pane with all the properties of each tag displayed. This will allow you to easily move from tag to tag and quickly see and adjust all properties within that tag. This feature will be installed in a disabled state by default, so be sure to look for it to enable this advanced functionality.

Merge Data Bin and Data Tree Add Search Box

You like the Data Bin for selecting your data. You love the Data Tree for finding and accessing your tags. Why not merge them both into a single side bar pane and add a search box to find items quickly and efficiently?

We know documents can contain many tags and data source structures can be quite large.  This feature will aim to reduce complexity by combining two previous features into one and adding the convenience of a search box to optimize the experience.

Addition of Core Microsoft Office Macros (IE Auto-Capitalization) Setting for Names

autotag macrosMicrosoft Office contains a large library of macros that can be applied to objects in its documents. Windward will add support for the use native macros to be applied to text returned from Windward tags. A commonly requested feature is to auto capitalize proper nouns in text returned from a Windward tag.

Driver Detection for Data Source Drivers

We have had this capability in our Windward Engine Catapult product already but thought it would benefit our AutoTag desktop users as well. Now AutoTag will detect which drivers are installed on your system and display which are not as well as provide an automatic link to install those that are missing. We continue to offer new data connectivity in every version and this will ensure that it is easy to get started with a new data connector that may not be currently available on your target system.

Support for Date Comparisons in the Macro Evaluator and Wizards with a Date Picker

Dates are some of the most used filters in our Macro Evaluator and Wizards however to be utilized they currently have to be written by hand. Windward is adding UX improvements when selecting a date comparison in both the macro evaluator as well as the wizard, making it easier by including a calendar based date picker to select your parameters.

Other AutoTag Improvements

We’re hard at work on other AutoTag improvements as well. Stay tuned for information on other interface enhancements, updated charting, improved features currently in progress and more.

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Author: Ryan Fligg

Ryan, Windward's Sales Engineer, has been with Windward since 2006 in many roles as a sales engineer, IT specialist and account executive. Ryan's background fuels his desire to guide Windward's product development. He now works on the future vision of Windward offerings through creating the product roadmap, responding to customer requests, and communicating what Windward is doing and where it’s headed.

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