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Bar charts in RapidWeaver

Bar charts are a simple way to display statistical data. The new Bars stack from Weavium is a great way to make those boring bar charts pop and look really interesting.

Bars can display your statistics both vertically and horizontally, the stack is animated so your bars slide into view as the stack is within the viewport and the bars are able to increase in value, or decrease. Bars can be formatted globally, or each bar can have its own custom formatting.
Bars formatting options are almost endless, so there is only a short summary below.

Bars – Weavium
Stack settings
General – Chart Range, Fill Direction, Animation Speed, Sizing
Header – Sizing, Orientation
Bar Items – Global formatting – Sizing, Alignment, Font (15 Otions plus Google font)
Bar Titles – Sizes, Spacing, Alignment, Icon Position, Font
Colours & Backgrounds – Fonts, Bar Background (flat, or gradient) Bars (flat, or gradient), Background (off, flat, gradient, or image)
Show Rule – Size and Colours

Bars Item Stack
Bar Value
Icon Font – Ion Icons, Fontawesome, Material Icons, or Custom
Custom Colours

A lot of thought has gone into creating Bars and the result is a very attractive way of displaying otherwise boring statistics.
If you need to display statistics, grab Bars now!

Comments

Dynamic DataBase Made Easy in RapidWeaver

Stack-Its just announced EasyDB for RapidWeaver. Now I'm a designer and Database is way above my pay grade, so I was a little sceptical about the "easy" bit. Nevertheless, I downloaded the demo version (yes, there's a demo available) and had a play with it. After all, I owe it to my regular readers to write a review…

The first thing I noticed about EasyDB is that the set up – although simple – does take some patience.
First off, you'll need to set up a database on your hosting server.
Well, I'd guessed that already, but it's a painless process once you've accessed you control panel – and Bill has a video online to show you how just how to do it.
In my case, it's just two mouse clicks. Just make a note of the login details, you'll need them very soon.

Using the EasyDB Login stack, you should now add a login page to your site, so that you'll be able to access the data in your database once it's online.

So – it's time to get started! You'll need to add a database Credentials stack to your RapidWeaver page and publish it. The credentials stack contains the name and location of your database and the login details. The Credentials stack allows your page to access the database that you just created and that is necessary before we can continue.
Then, following the video tutorials on Bill's website, you need to load the page into your browser and confirm the setup messages, you then need to deactivate "setup credentials", republish and refresh the page in the browser.

The next step is to add a Database stack to your page. We have a database on the server, but it doesn't contain any data. The database stack adds the data rows and columns to the database. As such, you'll need to give the database a name and define the fields that you require in the setup panels, e.g. firstname, lastname, email, address, etc, etc. Once that's done, you can publish the page, and check online that the action was successful.
Because "setup database" is still active in the settings panel, you'll need to deactivate that, republish the page and refresh your browser.

If you check the database on your host's servers, it should now contain all of the filed names that you just added – just waiting impatiently for your data.

But we're not quite ready yet, we don't have anywhere to display the data.
We need a TextGrid stack to get us started.
This is the exciting part: publishing your first data list to your page. Your database can actually contain more information than you want to display on this page, so you need to inform the page which fields to display. So in the TextGrid stack, you need to add the names of the dbase fields that you want your visitors see and supply a display-name for each of these fields. Once you've done this, you're almost there: repeat the publishing process as before and you should now see a database awaiting content!
Log in and add some content. If you already have your content in a spreadsheet, you can import it into EasyDB as a CSV file.

So what can your database contain? Well this will make a lot of people happy – the TextGrid can contain Small Text, Large Text w/ carriage returns, Integers, Floating Numbers, Date, Time, Money, Email, Images, Links, Checkboxes, Color, Rating & Progress Bar
The FreeForm stack can contain Text, Integers, Floating Numbers, Date, Time, Money, Email, Images & Links.
And all of this information is grabbed by some magic PHP code that Bill has hidden somewhere behind the curtains and displayed dynamically on your page. The second that an entry in the database is altered, it changes on the page – live.

FreeForm? Did someone mention FreeForm? Yes, EasyDB also supplies a FreeForm Setup stack and a FreeForm stack.
The FreeForm stack setup is a little more complicated, but it will allow you to dynamically grab individual data-rows from your data base and display them more, or less in a layout of your design. I've not gone through the process of setting up a FreeForm Stack because, to be quite honest, I just didn't have the time. However the process is similar to those mentioned above, it simply involves adding and defining multiple FreeForm Stacks.

The result… Each line of your database will now be displayed within a slideshow. Obviously cool, if you've added images.

EasyDB – Stack=-Its

If you've added a TextGrid to your page, it will display selection fields that will allow your data to be filtered by field name and content. You can set how many entries should be displayed per page and, of course, EasyDB adds a page navigation when there are further entries. Your data can also be exported to a CSV file

EasyDB, true to its name, makes setting up a complicated database relatively simple. It also has the added advantage of being able to grab data from a database for freeform display on any of your pages. The setup needs a little patience and, in my personal opinion, a centralised admin page could perhaps simplify matters, but – as I already stated database is way above my pay grade, so I'm not the expert to pass judgement on that…

If you need to publish a database online and need something that is more 'in-depth' than the simple CSV solutions that are available, EasyDB is the way to go.
Being a PHP/MySQL solution, depending on the content collected within your database, you can process and republish that data as required – dynamically.

Bill has placed a multitude of instruction videos on the product page to get you started. I wouldn't have known where to begin without them!

Comments

BFS3 – TaskList For RapidWeaver

A stack that adds a ToDo list to your page and can cross off the elements that you've already eliminated. Can RapidWeaver do this? Well yes, of course it can. It can now, at least. RWExtras just released TaskList and if you hurry, you can grab it as a Black Friday promotion.

Let's say you have recipes online and you'd like your visitors to be able to cross off the ingredients that they already have and have the browser remember them. Or on your very private homepage, you'd like a list of 'Things To Do' before you publish an RW project. TaskList is an ingenious little stack even supports subheadings so that you can divide your recipe into Meat Dish, Sauce and Trimmings.
The possibilities are almost endless…

TaskList – RWExtras


TaskList has extensive Style settings for the list itself and even includes options for the Checked Items such as Bold, Italic, Strikethrough, Opacity, Background Colour and Text Colour.

A ToDo List sounds so simple, yet it can be so configurable. Grab TaskList as part of RWExtra's Black Friday Promotion now!

Comments

Pricing Tables From RWtuts

Open your browser and go online and I can almost guarantee that within 30 minutes, you'll encounter an offer for a subscription or service that compares three or more variations: e.g. Beginner; Advanced; Pro. These comparison charts are easy enough to build within Stacks, but require a little thought and patience. RWtuts just released Pricing Tables, a simple stack that will relieve you of both.

Pricing Tables is so simple to set up that if you have your content prepared, your first comparison table will be complete within mere minutes – you just need to work your way down the stack settings! The example below took less than five minutes to set up.

When you drop a Pricing Tables stack onto your RapidWeaver page, all you'll see is a box with a logo inside it.
Oops! 'What did I do wrong?' Was my first thought.
However, when I switched to preview mode, I discovered the same Pricing Tables on my page, as demonstrated on the RWtuts website.
Huh? I didn't do anything yet!
So let's take a look at the settings:

Pricing Tables
Settings panel.
Columns Styling. Pricing Tables is set up to display the 'standard' three options that we see online on a daily basis. No amount of juggling will allow you to add just a single price table, or compare four options – it's "take it, or leave it". So after choosing a Font from a choice of ten options (the dreaded Comic Sans is also included), your next option is the column width, set in percentage of the container stack.
The next setting is Space (in px) and governs the spacing between the columns.Next up – Border width, BG Colour and Border Colour.

Header Styling. Set the Header Colour for Headers 1 through 3, the Font Colour and the Font Size.

Price Styling. Price Colour (actually the background colour which also formats the background behind the submit button) and Font Size.

Button Styling. Button Colour, Font Colour and Font Size.

Once you have your formatting set up, you can add your content. Moving down the settings panel you will find containers for the contents of each panel.
These include Title, Price, Descriptions 1 through 6, Button Link and Button Text.
Once you've added this content, you can go proceed to publish – your setup is complete already.

Pricing Tables is a minimalistic stack that takes the work out of building a flat comparison table. There are no bells, or whistles, with the exception of the fact that the column that your visitor hovers over grows a subtle shadow. The setup is simple and the results will suffice in many situations.


Comments

Iron Clad Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets aren't the most exciting things, but sometimes they are a necessary evil and occasionally you need to publish the data from Numbers or Excel online. Grid Iron from Chillidog is a stack that will capably assist you in this undertaking.

Greg has just updated Grid Iron to version 3 and it now processes not only Google Spreadsheets, but also CSV and Excel files. Not only that, but Grid Iron also understands Markdown so you can now add links, embed images, bold text, or other HTML styling directly into your spreadsheet.

gridiron

Your data is added to the RW resources, unless of course you are accessing a Google Spreadsheet, and you have many, many options to format the appearance of your tables.


Grid Iron is responsive – albeit in an unusual fashion: If your data can not be contained within the width of your page, the first column will display a plus button which, when clicked, opens a dropdown with the 'missing' data. This is, of course, a matter of preference and many might prefer a solution with a slider.

But let's take a look at the stack settings. First off, you need to set the format Type for the data that you wish to import. As already mentioned, you may choose between CSV (default), Excel or Google Spreadsheet.

You then need to Link Grid Iron to the data. Sadly, because your data is warehoused, you can't preview your finished table until it has been published online, instead the preview displays a dummy table filled with weather data. This is sufficient for general formatting, but you won't see if your Markdown formatting is correct until it has been published.

Grid Iron automatically formats the first line of data as a header. The stack settings allow you to duplicate the header as a Footer – useful for longer tables. The next option is Responsive Table. If this is deactivated, it doesn't mean that your table has a set width – it will still adapt to your viewport, but you will not be able to activate the dropdown to view any data from the overflow.
When set to Responsive, you can set the colours for the open and close state of the plus/minus button in the first column.

The next settings are for the Table Header Styling. They include Cell Padding; Border Width; Border Style; Enclose Header With Border; Bold and Italic Text; Horizontal and Vertical Alignment; Font Size; Top Spacing; Background Fill colour; Border Colour and Text Colour.

The same settings are repeated for the Cell Styling, but with the addition of alternating colours for the Rows and Omit First & Last Borders. There are two more settings which will allow both Hovered and Selected Rows to be highlighted with colours of your choice. Selected Rows also include formatting for the Focus Borders and Focus Text (see below).

The Table Controls settings let you choose which additional buttons and information are added to your table. The first setting, Controls Display, is a little cryptic at first glance, but allows a number of settings without needing a checkbox for each of them. B=buttons, L=length, S=search, R=processing, T=table, I=info, P=pagination.

One extremely useful feature of Grid Iron is the option to allow your visitor to export the table data in various formats. There are checkboxes for each of the Export Buttons: Copy; CSV; Excel; PDF and Print. But we're not done yet; the colour of the Button, the Button Text and the Button Border in passive and active states may be also be set and then follow settings for the Button Height; Button Padding Button Radius and Button Size. Next follow individual settings for the search box.

We now come to the Pagination Settings. A Grid Iron table does not have to be displayed as a whole, but can be reduced to a maximum number of lines. The default Page Size is 25 lines.Columns, both left and right, can be pinned within the table. This means that however narrow the viewport, the pinned columns will always be visible. It is also possible to hide columns from the table. Search settings will also allow you to exclude specific columns form the search function.

Grid Iron columns can be sorted, ascending or descending. Sorting Settings lets you Exclude Columns from the function while the colour of the Sort Column, Sort Text, the Icon Size and Colours may be set individually.

Fixed Column Settings (you thought we were done, didn't you?) allow columns to have a fixed width in px or % and once more, you can define which columns are affected by this setting.

And now, finally, follow some settings for Status Board for which, sadly, development has been discontinued. However, if you are a Status Board user, you may still take advantage of its functions.

Unlike other solutions, all Grid Iron content is embedded directly within the HTML of your page. This makes it compatible with all major search engines. A lightning fast networking and cache engine means that your sites load faster, and searches give instantaneous results.

When you publish your data, you'll be surprised at the number of files that need to be uploaded. My tip – go and make yourself a pot of tea while you're waiting.

A lot of thought has gone into Grid Iron 3 and if you are in the situation that you need to publish tabular data, you will find it to be a highly professional solution!

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