From version 1.11, administrators can export reports either on the whole formulary or on the drugs in a chosen chapter of the BNF or BNFC.
Web file formats
PDF and HTML output formats are offered as alternatives to tab-delimited text.
It is envisaged that these pre-styled formats will be used primarily for outputting individual chapters. The generation of a PDF of an entire, well annotated formulary may overstretch locally available processing power. A set of chapter files is likely to be found more manageable for publication purposes than a single file, especially if HTML is used. The PDF files can be saved directly on generation; to save an HTML file to a local computer, use "Save as" under your browser's File menu.
Minor edits to the PDF files can be made with Adobe Acrobat Professional, and if you have Internet Explorer, similar small adjustments to the HTML files can be made after export with Microsoft Word.
The basic reports are generated as plain text files with the columns of data delimited by tabs. If you can see the file extension at the end of the filename on your computer, it will be .tab.
The reports can be opened, read and edited with any plain text file reader (including Word), but are particularly easy to display in Microsoft Excel. If you have Excel on your computer, you can find it in Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office if you do not use the application regularly. It will appear on the Start menu itself or the taskbar if you use it often. If you cannot find Excel, we suggest you contact your local IT support team before proceeding further.
The easiest way to open a formulary report file with Excel is to associate the TAB (or .tab) file type with the application once and for all, and from then on use the right-click menu to open any such file. Navigate to the folder where you put the report and right-click on the file. If you see the option “Open with” and the options offered include Excel, this type of file is already associated with Excel on your computer and so just selecting the Excel option will open the file for you. If you see “Open”, but not “Open with”, then when you click “Open” you can choose to select the application from the list of those installed on your machine. Click OK. You can now either pick Excel from the shortlist of icons at the top of the next dialog box or else browse to it in the Microsoft Office programs directory. Checking “Always use the selected program ...” before clicking OK means that Excel will be offered by “Open with” on the right-click menu the next time you want to open such a report.
The plain text format is the best starting-point for organizations that want to set up a process for applying a distinctive style to the reports before publication. For example, a .tab file is ideal for importing into a database application, many of which allow exporting as XML. In this scenario you could write an XSL transformation stylesheet to convert the XML output into HTML, which you could then reuse to generate HTML pages in the same style after each database export.