Question

Looker 6.6 PDF Visualization Errors

  • 20 February 2019
  • 44 replies
  • 971 views

Hi Looker,


We recently updated to 6.6 (Looker hosted instance) and we’re encountering some visualization issues when downloading to PDF. For example, this is what we see on the dashboard:


06%20PM


These are the same tiles downloaded as a PDF with “Fit Page to Dashboard” selected:



I’ve tried selecting “expand tables” and a few different paper size options, but am still seeing formatting errors. Any suggestions?


Thanks,


44 replies

Userlevel 7
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Are all dashboards doing this, or just the one? I tried in Single Column + normal, and didn’t get the same un-stacking. Any other oddities about the dashboard that I could try to replicate?

We’re seeing this on multiple dashboards. Tiles / visuals align nicely on the browser but become off kilter when downloaded to PDF.


Browser:



PDF:


Browser:



PDF:

Userlevel 7
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Hey @dgold, sorry for the slow reply. This is a bug with our rendering, we’ve identified it internally and are working on fixing it. I’ll give a status report here when I know more.

Hi there,


I’m piggybacking on this thread as I think we have a similar issue. Since we updated to 6.6 yesterday the PDFs produced by my dashboards look very different - text is tiny and images are now clipped. I just wanted to see if this was possibly the same issue or related.


I should say that a lot of the problem content is using field html: parameters so I may be able to resolve this with clever styling, but there are also normal Looker visualisation which now are too being clipped/not showing axis label.


@izzy can you give me more of an idea about this bug so I know whether to wait for a fix or continue fiddling with my styles?


Thanks!

Userlevel 6
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+1, we have spoken to support and have the bug number but would been interested to know if we should rollback or wait for a fix.

Thanks

Further to my message above, the font size issue was due to me using relative sizes and can be worked around. What’s more of a problem is that the tiles in the PDF seem to have about the top 40% as blank space which is pushing down the rest of the content. It looks like maybe that’s happening in Danny’s single value tiles too. I’m using tiles of the minimum height as this is a concise single page dashboard. It still looks great in the normal HTML dashboard view but the PDF is pretty much useless.

Userlevel 7
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We’re still looking at this and reproducing it internally, so I don’t have a clear timeline for everyone yet. I’ll let you know when I do!

I would like to piggyback onto this issue as well.


We have just started releasing Looker to our users and after 6.6 upgrade we have seen issues on both PDF and HTML rendering on email


Below is an example before upgrade:



And after upgrade:


It would be great to get some advice on whether we should roll-back the upgrade or not.

Userlevel 6
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So the upgrade created a 10% increase in daily reports!

On a serious note…if you rollback you will need to restore a backup and will lose any content changes you may have made since your upgrade. This is what we are weighing up at the moment.

so you can’t just drop the old version jar file and roll-back?

Userlevel 6
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I’m sure I have done in the past but it comes with a risk since there might be directory and database schema changes with the upgrade which will screw up when you fire up the old jar. I am tempted to try it though if no resolution is near.

Userlevel 7
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It’s definitely risky to do that, I don’t endorse just swapping the jar files.


I’m still actively working on getting more insight into this for you all, I haven’t forgotten about it— Thanks for your patience, I realize this is an issue facing the schedules you have that might go outside your organization so it’s a particularly tough one. Will report back as soon as I’ve got something for you!

Userlevel 7
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update for all the patient Lookers: We’ve prioritized these rendering issues highly and we’re already well in the thick of reproductions + fixes. There’s lots of clever eyes on this now, so I’m confident it will get taken care of soon! Definitely keep any questions coming on this thread and keep your eyes peeled for more good news.

Thanks for the update, do you, however, have an ETA?

Userlevel 7
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From the input of everyone in this thread, it looks like there are several different related but unique issues at play. We’re still working to piece apart which of these are connected and how, but we have actually already released a fix that will definitely address some, and potentially all of them.


The latest jar file contains the fixes, so if you download it and swap them out as you normally would for an update, you should see improvements. 🥳


Please drop back to let us know if that resolves all of the issues you’re seeing or if there’s still unexpected behavior— And thanks for all your patience along the way.

Userlevel 7
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Also, @dgold, I know you’re Looker hosted, and I’m looking into when that fix will hit your instance. Stay tuned!

Userlevel 6
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So we have upgraded from 6.6.13 to 6.6.15 and unfortunately still face the same issues of chart images getting cropped on the right edge.

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for updating us Ian, I’ve brought that back to the engineers working on it.

Userlevel 7
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We believe we’ve got an updated fix near-completion, I’ll update when that rolls out early next week. @basahin did the upgrade to 6.6.15 solve your single value visualization issues? I believe it should have.

Hi @izzy , we still have not deployed it and holding it off until the updated fix is out.


Do you think we will see an update this week?

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+1 for the above

Userlevel 7
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I’m in contact with the engineers and PM working on this. I’m hopeful that we will see an updated fix this week, since progress is being made, but I can’t give any firm promises.


In the spirit of mostly-full-disclosure, we have not yet 100% identified a fix for all of these issues. We have a fix for most of them, but it causes problems of its own that we’re working on ironing out. So in lieu of a promise, here’s a roll call to make sure everyone’s informed of the current status to the best of my ability.


@IanT, it looks like you’re primarily concerned about wide tables being cut off on the right side of the exports, is that correct? If that’s correct, it’d be super helpful to hear what your desired functionality would be— A very small/scaled table that fits on the screen? A wrapped table? Any input would help guide our changes. If that’s not the issue, definitely let me know what is.


@dgold, the gaps in between tiles and subsequent mis-alignment of tiles that you were seeing is one of the issues we’ve identified as key to getting this all wrapped up— Our initial fix did not fully resolve the problem, but we have another in the works and are just making sure that it plays nicely with all of our other features before rolling it out.


@basahin, looks like the single value visualization comparison smushing is your poison. I actually haven’t been able to personally reproduce this one, but I’m reasonably certain it’s related to the gaps between tiles and the strange tile cutoffs, since all of those seem to relate almost exclusively to single value visualizations and their sizing. That means it’ll be wrapped up in the same fix for tile gaps, which, like I mentioned above, is prioritized + in progress. I’m making sure that it gets visibility by itself, though.


@simon_onfido, thanks for coming clean about those font sizes 😉. The issue you mentioned still existing is, as you guessed, related to/the same as Danny’s, and will be addressed by the same fix.


Thanks for all your patience, and I’m sorry that this is such a complicated one. Thanks also for giving us lots of useful feedback to pass along & help drive this. In the future, we’ll work on improving rendering tests before a release as we know exports have a much wider reach and want our customers to be rock solid in the field.


Definitely keep the questions coming, and I’ll do my best to keep the answers flowing as well.

Userlevel 6
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Yes that’s correct, wide tables are just getting cut off, whats weird is the image object is actually the correct width but the image from a certain point is just blank.

Before 6.6 these wide tables were still put in a email and the user had to scroll (or have a wide enough res to show the whole table).

That’s what we had before and wish to return to.

I suggested over chat about this subject last week to re-release the legacy rendering option which was remove for this version until this is fully fixed.

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for confirming that + clarifying the behavior, I’ll carry it onwards.

Hi Izzy


I’m a colleague of Ian’s. Short answer is “yes, probably”. Cropping is currently our main pain on the Looker schedule delivery side.


One of our delivery specific use cases, is single column layout via Email.

We trigger a lot of daily deliveries per schedule or via the API, and these enable us to push DWH/Looker content to people who need that data for one reason or the other.


Prior to the upgrade this was possible, even with wide tables, and content was easily readable on both small and big screen (mobile, laptops, ext monitors…). Ideally we would like to easily control mobile message-reformatting and styles, but the deliveries did the job.


After upgrade:

Looker now crops such single column layouts at a visible width of 800 pixels, which is way too narrow in my opinion. Why the need to fit a size in this layout type at all? Funny enough the image size is actually wider than the rendered area, and the righter “cropped” part is white (or whatever your dashboard bg color may be). So if we could just get last part filled.


To your suggestions, I don’t see why you’d have to scale or wrap the table, since we don’t have to fit a certain width in email single column layout. I’d suggest looking at how it worked for that layout type in previous release, and render the table data like that, with a “fixed” style/font size with the smallest column width possible, wrapping headers and string values if needed.


No scaling of the image to fit 800 px, and no cropping of content. Cropping is the worst of the two in my opinion though .


Other considerations:



  • Identical content is rendered very differently in terms of height between pdf and email, even when both have same option ticket: single column layout.

  • Choosing “Show title” = Off is not respected, and it will insert Title as text above the tile in the delivery.

  • Email SUBJECT is always repeated in top of email. While using API /scheduled_plans/run_once the “name”: “string” still applies to both subject and email intro. Any way to control this would be nice.

  • If a fixed width layout continues to be how it works, some kind of visible guidance in Looker would be nice


I’d be happy to provide more examples than already in the issue report if need.


Thanks for looking into this.


/Nicolai

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