Tab Spacing in Text Web Part

Copper Contributor

Hi,

 

I have a what seems a very simple question that I just can not find a solution.

 

I am populating a large SharePoint site with the need for lots of 'Tab Spacing', for example:

 

1.5l   General Arrangement - Deck 10

1.5m   General Arrangement - Deck 11

1.5n   General Arrangement - Deck 12

 

As you can see the alignment is dictated by the font width in this case, I have tried monospaced fonts and populating the content in tables, but both are not suitable for the project I am working on.

 

Am I missing an obvious way to add a simple Tab Spacing?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

9 Replies
Unfortunately, this is a limit with the Text web part. Including what you are trying to accomplish (high-level) might be a good idea since other solutions might be more suitable than the text web part, i.e., is there a particular use case for using lots of tabs requirement?

Hi @Tristan999 , thank you for your reply.

Thanks for clearing this up for me. We are performing a feasibility test to see if SharePoint is a viable option to host online versions of our Technical Manuals. These manuals make extensive use of tabbed data sets which we have historically provided to our users through PDF documents.

We intend to upload these PDF documents as well so that our users can download them as they are too large in file size to view conveniently online.

 

Is there another web part that is more suitible?

So, to make sure I understand what you wrote correctly:

Problem:

You have large PDF documents which contain tabbed data sets that you want to upload to SharePoint and want to use document previews to prevent unnecessary download of files. You found that large PDF files could not be previewed through SharePoint during your proof-of-concept. So, you decided to investigate whether web parts can be used in place of the preview. You looked at the web parts and identified a potential solution using the Text Web Part. Unfortunately, the Text Web Part has limited formatting capabilities.

Additional questions for your consideration:

1. What is the biggest PDF File that you have today? Do you see a foreseeable size increase in the future?
2. In the scenario where you want to copy the contents of PDF files to the text web part. Are you copying the entire content of a PDF to the Text Web Part?
3. What happens in a scenario when there are updates to a technical manual? Were you planning to manually update the text web part each time technical manuals are updated?

Something you may want to look at:

https://helpx.adobe.com/ca/document-cloud/help/office365-configuring-sharepoint-onedrive.html
Hi @Tristan999, Historically, we put our documents together using Adobe InDesign, print out hard copies and export PDF versions for convenience. The documents are full of technical drawings and images, are approximately 700-1000 pages and can be as large as 250mb.

So for, the uploading and document management of PDFs in SharePoint are not causing an issue, it seems straight forward to store them and provide download links for the end user's convenience to view them off-line. But the problem is when trying to view them through a web part such as "File and Media'. It works, but unfortunately not good enough as far as I can work out.


It is possible that the size of our PDF files will increase over time although we do try to keep them as small as possible. eg, instead of using bitmap images, our house style is mainly vector graphic and we have a large team who create these drawings. These vector drawing play a big part in keeping overall file size to a minimum.

We do have a system for updates in place. As it stands, there would not be much if any difference in our processing time to update a web part instead of the original InDesign files and republishing them. Our version control is managed separate to the documents themselves (for better or worse).

Thank you for the adobe document cloud link, I have not considered or seen how this can be incorporated into SharePoint. I've started the process, but need to wait for admin to approve part of the process (likely Monday morning), I am only SharePoint Admin.

Hi @nickf76 

why exactly are tables not suitable?

Are tables too complicated to create or do you have an example where a table does not work?

Alternatively, you could try the markdown webpart and enter your documentation as markdown

SvenSieverding_0-1696764361500.png

Best Regards,
Sven

PS:
Markdown contains all the formatting instructions in the text itself, so for example this

This is **bold** text

results in 
"This is bold text"
Perhaps there is an option in Adobe Indesign or somewhere else in your publishing process to export the whole documentation as markdown. Then you can just copy&paste it into this webpart.


 

@nickf76 

 

Gotcha.

 

My question regarding file size is in regards to opening the document in the browser, i.e., the file may not open in the browser if its X size. 

 

The Adobe Cloud allows you to open documents in the browser. For example, the preview option from the document library will not open but with the Adobe Cloud integration you will be able to open the document in the browser. Here is a 200 MB file that I opened directly from SharePoint, it is redirected to Adobe Cloud and the document can now be opened directly in the browser without having to download it:

 

Tristan999_0-1696786483666.png

 

Why is the "File and Media" web part not good enough? My assumption would be you just want to include your tabbed data sets and not images. If this is the case, why not create a text file and create a File and Media web part and link it to that document. Something like this (it even has the line numbers for each row data - IMO that's a bonus):

 

Tristan999_0-1696788692771.png

 

The caveat with this solution is that it allows you to enter text in the web part. However, it will not update the file. 

 

Tristan999_8-1696788901550.png

 

@SvenSieverding Thanks for pointing out markdown to me, I performed a test and found that when using tab spacing it converts the text style to look like a code snippet. Maybe I'm doing something wrong here, but researching markdown syntax, this seems to be the case.

 

Absolutely nothing wrong with the Table element and using them, I am actually persevering with them, but I believe they will not be the way to go in the end due to our authors heavy use of tabs and with them coming from a desktop publishing background, the guys will find working with these tables a bit inconvenient to populate compared to what they are use to.

 

Sorry for the delay, I've been on a well earned holiday :).

@Tristan999

I've heard back from our IT and we don't have Adobe Document Cloud at this time, surprises me really as we seem to be subscribed to most of what Adobe offers. I will still be looking at this option though.

I'll take a look at this idea using Files and Media with a text file too.

I've been trialing Adobe RoboHelp as it has the function to integrate with SharePoint. Aside from the terrible name, RoboHelp is actually very good at taking our type of technical documents and formatting it with nav, glossary and search functions. I also believe you can use search from the SharePoint collection itself which is a really handy feature. It's funny though, as RoboHelp essentially generates html, css etc, it suffers the same Tab spacing issue.

I get the feeling that our team is going to have to reimagine how they format their data as part of our transition from desktop publishing to the online world. We should have been working on this a decade ago, but better late than never. :)

@nickf76 

 

I believe the Adobe Integration does not require a license. I certainly do not have a license for it and I have had the integration service installed in my development tenant for 3 years now. You would need an Adobe Cloud license if you wanted to edit the document and use the other functionalities such as export. The fine print for using this service is that the contents of the file is copied to Adobe Cloud and the last time I checked (2 years ago), the data is stored in the US.

 

Tristan999_0-1697125822256.png

 

Good to know about RoboHelp! Maybe I will look at that in the future.