Computer Software for Steel Professionals

Editing Structural Material Manager Reports in a Word Processor

INTRODUCTION: When a Structural Material Manager report is printed to the screen for previewing, the report can be saved as a text file. That text file can then be read into a text editor or word processor for editing. Final printing of the edited report - if necessary - is done from the text editor or word processor rather than from Structural Material Manager.

You have two format choices when saving Structural Material Manager reports: plain text and Rich Text. Plain text does not retain any of the report’s font characteristics such as size, color, underline, etc. whereas Rich Text does.

The NotePad and WordPad editors are bundled with all versions of Windows. NotePad is used strictly for the plain text format, but WordPad can recognize both plain text and Rich Text. All modern word processors can also work with plain text as well as Rich Text.

Text editors are a bit better suited to this task than word processors. This is because word processors tend to “wrap” Structural Material Manager’s reports at the right hand margin, thus causing the right side of a line to drop down to a new line. This behavior can be avoided through proper page formatting (directions are presented later in this document), but the bottom line is this:

  • UseNotePad with plain text files if you have no need for underlines or other font formatting.
  • Use WordPad with Rich Text files if you want to retain font formatting but don’t want to be bothered with page layouts.
  • Use your own word processor such as WordPerfect or Word with Rich Text files if you need some advanced function not provided in the relatively simple WordPad program.

Instructions on editing reports are now provided. Instructions specific to the different types of editors are presented in separate sections.


STEPS COMMON TO ALL EDITORS AND WORD PROCESSORS: Regardless of whether you’ll be using NotePad, WordPad or your own word processor, the following steps apply:

  1. Open the desired job.
  2. Select whatever type of report you wish to print. For instance, if you are interested in the Nested Report, click Nesting | Print Nested | Report.
  3. Click the Printer Setup button, and make sure Landscape is selected as the orientation.
  4. A box labeled “Printout Destination” contains three choices: Printer, Screen and Text File. Choose the Screen option.
  5. Click the Print button to print the report to the screen.
  6. Review the report on the screen. If you want to use it as is, simply click File | Print. No further steps are necessary in this case.
  7. Assuming you want to edit the report, click File | Save As. You must choose the Plain Text option if you’ll later be using NotePad to edit the report. Rich Text can be chosen if you’ll be using WordPad or your own word processor; choose it if you want underlining and other font embellishments to remain intact, but feel free to choose Plain Text if that is not important for the task at hand.
  8. Specify a filename under which the report will be saved, and pay careful attention to the directory in which it will be stored so you can later find the file. Don’t bother specifying an extension with the filename, as the desired “.Txt” or “.Rtf” extension will automatically be supplied by Structural Material Manager.


EDITING IN NOTEPAD: NotePad ships with all versions of Windows. Follow these steps if you’ll be using it to edit a report that was saved as plain text:

  1. Launch NotePad by clicking Programs | Accessories | NotePad.
  2. Use File | Open to bring up the report that you saved as plain text.
  3. Edit the report as necessary.
  4. Clicking File | Print causes NotePad to print the modified report.


EDITING IN WORDPAD: The WordPad utility is bundled with all versions of Windows. If you’ll be using it to edit reports, follow these steps:

  1. Invoke WordPad by clicking Programs | Accessories | WordPad.
  2. Click File | Open, and open the file corresponding to the Structural Material Manager report you saved. WordPad looks for .Rtf files by default, so you’ll have to change its “Files of type” option if you want plain text (.Txt) files listed here.
  3. Turn off the word wrap feature if necessary. Click View | Options | Rich Text, and select the No Wrap option.
  4. Edit the report as necessary.
  5. Click File | Print to have WordPad print the modified report.


EDITING IN YOUR WORD PROCESSOR: The steps in this section apply to users who are editing in a word processor. It is assumed that either WordPerfect or Microsoft Word will be used. Skip this section if you are using NotePad or WordPad, otherwise follow these directions:

  1. Launch your word processor.
  2. Use File | Open function to open the report that you saved as Rich Text. All modern word processors know how to work with .Txt and .Rtf documents, but you probably have to select a File Type option (found in the word processor“s "Open" dialog) to have such documents listed. Choose .Txt or .Rtf as needed.
  3. Click File | Page Setup. Change the layout to Landscape, and set all margins (top, bottom, right and left) to 0.25" or less.
  4. Click Edit | Select All to select the entire document. Change the font name to Courier, and the font size to 9 point. Since all text is selected, the change will apply to the entire document.
  5. Edit the report as you desire.
  6. Be careful when making changes to the report if your changes affect totals that are reported in the summary. As an example, consider the case of editing a Nested Report. Supposing you change any of the stock lengths, you need to make changes not only in the cutting pattern part of the report, but in the nested summary as well. Failure to heed this warning could cause the summaries to be out of synch with the report.
  7. Check that paging in the word processor is correct. You may have to add or remove some blank lines to get the page breaks (identified by page headers) to occur where Structural Material Manager would have placed them if it had printed the report directly. Remember that the Ctrl‑Enter key combination can be used to force a hard page break in both WordPerfect and Microsoft Word.
  8. Click File | Print to print the modified report from your word processor.