How to Export Data for the Conference Proceedings

ConfTool provides several means to export data to different formats. However, please be aware that, whatever path you choose, creating the conference proceedings needs manual handling. This is due to the complex nature of composing such a publication and the varying demands of conference organizers for style and format of the proceedings. Thus ConfTool Pro can only provide semi-automated functionalities for this task.
With the following hints it should be straightforward to produce your individual conference proceedings suiting the requirements of your event.
The first criterion for method selection is the way the contributions were collected. If you have asked authors to enter the abstracts online in the WYSIWYG rich-text editor, you can copy or export the data directly from the ConfTool pages (please consult section 1) or use the export function (please consult section 2). If authors had to upload their papers and you want to use these files to create your conference proceedings, you need to download all files (please consult section 3).

Table of Contents
1    Abstract Only Export
1.1 Abstract Only - Temporal Order from Schedule
1.2 Abstract Only - Ordered by Title or Author
2    Abstract Only - Export plus Serial Letter
3    Export of Uploaded Files

1 Abstracts Only Export – ConfTool Export and Print Functions

This section describes how to export data when you want to use abstracts that were entered online (without file uploads) to be printed in the proceedings.

1.1 Abstracts Only Export – Using the Temporal Order of the Conference Schedule

This subsection explains how to export submission abstracts directly into a word processing program to be arranged in a way to represent the conference program order. Please choose this option only once you have finished editing sessions and assigned all presentations to sessions.

There are two different views that you can use for export:

  • The first view replicates the conference agenda and then lists the submissions in the order of the sessions, with a focus on the submissions. This export is usually best for creating the full conference proceedings.
  • The second view replicates the conference agenda and includes a timeline, embedding the presentations in this timeline. You can use this view for instance for schedule overview pages.

View 1 - Suited for Full Conference Proceedings

For view 1, please go to:
Overview => Conference Program Scheduling => Edit the Conference Schedule

  1. Select the day or session you want to export. If you have several tracks or submission types, filter them from the drop-down list “Track /Type of submission”, if needed.
  2. From the drop-down list “Related functions” choose the option “Save abstracts of current page to disk” to save all abstracts of the current selection.

3.  For a preview of the export or a direct printout, click on “Show Presentations” first. Now all presentations of the currently visible sessions will be displayed below the session list, and new options will appear. Click on “Show abstracts” to display the abstracts of the presentations.

View 2 - Suited for Schedule Overview Pages

For view 2, please go to:
Overview => Browse Conference Agenda

1.  Please click on “List View” first, to show all sessions and presentations in a linear order. (“Table view” displays sessions that take place at the same time in the same row; it provides a good overview, but is not suitable to export abstracts).

2.  If “Show Presentations” appears on the first page, click on it to display all presentations of the sessions. If your conference has numerous sessions with submissions, then the option "Show Presentations" will only appear if you select a day or room first. Please click on a date or a room name and a new page will appear, including the option to “Show Presentations”. Please enable this option.

3.  Click on "Show Abstracts", if necessary, to display the abstracts of all sessions.
Hint: If an abstract does not appear, the display of abstracts is disabled for the corresponding session(s).
Please go to:
Overview => Conference Program Scheduling => Create and Modify Sessions edit the corresponding session(s). Set “Are the abstracts visible?“ to “Yes” to show the abstracts of the presentations of the selected session.

4.   To save the current view, click on the download icon or choose the option “Save Page to Disk” from the drop-down list “More…”.
Hint: The option “Print View with Header” can be used to directly print the page. The Option “Page View for Export” is for exporting the agenda pages to CD, USB-Stick or your local website. Please consult: 
How to Create a Browsable Copy for CD or USB Flash Drive of the Session Overview.

  • You can use the search function in the right-hand side of the navigation bar to find specific authors or submissions, if needed. This search function is not limited to the current view.
  • This example uses the default settings of the “conference agenda” page. To change the settings, go to:
    Overview => Scheduling => Main Settings for Conference Session Overview
  • You can print the current page if you click on the printer icon in the navigation bar and use the print function of your browser.
  • You can use copy & paste with any view. Enable the “Print View” (in menu "More") and copy the passages you need by highlighting them using your mouse and then pressing Ctrl + C. Paste the passages into your word processing program (CTRL + V). Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word are recommended for best results, as Firefox and other browsers have problems copying the styles and formats.

1.2 Abstracts Only Export – Ordered by Title or Author

This subsection describes how to export submission abstracts to a word processing program when you prefer them to be arranged by type of submission, conference track, in alphabetical order or by the last name of the submitting author.

Please go to:
Overview => Manage Submissions and Reviews => List of Submissions

  1. Set the required filters, e.g., select the required acceptance status, choose a track / submission type and/or filter by topic, if needed.
  2. List the submissions by title or by submitting author by clicking on the corresponding header (“Title” or “Author(s)”).
  3. Set the number of displayed items per page to “All” to show all submissions on one page.
  4. For a preview of the export, choose from the drop-down list “Select Version” the option “List all abstracts (use print view for printout)”.
  5. a) Go to the drop-down list “Related functions” and choose the option “Save abstracts of current page to disk”.
    b) If you have chosen the “List all abstracts (use print view for printout)” view, you can alternatively simply click the download icon to download the current view into a word processing format.
  6. Save the .doc file and edit it in your word processing program at your discretion.
  7. Please note that you can use the “style sheets” of Word to change the formatting of the abstracts easily and to select certain elements at once.

Hint: You can also use cut & paste to copy selected abstracts to your word processing software. To do so, please proceed as described above: select “List all abstracts (use print view for printout)” for “Select Version” and enable the “Print View” now. Select a part of the page with the mouse or the whole page (press Ctrl + A) in your browser, copy it to the clipboard (press Ctrl + C), and paste it (Ctrl + V) to your word processing program to edit these submissions. Please use Microsoft Internet Explorer for best results, as Firefox and other browsers do not copy most text formats and styles.

2 Abstracts Only Export – Using the ConfTool Export Functions plus a Serial Letter (Using Mail Merge)

This section describes how to export submission abstracts first into a Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc spreadsheet file from which you can edit and sort the data and create a serial letter. You can arrange for example by alphabetical order, type of submission, conference track, or name of submitting author.

Please go to:
Overview => Data Import and Export => Export Data

Here you will find a number of export choices. Go to the section “Export Submission and Review Information” and choose the export settings that best suit your necessities. Tick the box "Include abstracts of submissions." You can further filter the export file by track / submission type and acceptance status by choosing the relevant options from the corresponding drop-down lists.

Choose the option “XLS” from the drop-down list “Export format” if you want to use Microsoft Excel to process your data or “CSV” if you prefer to use OpenOffice or other programs and click on “Create Export File”. Save the file to disk first, then open it in the spreadsheet program of your choice and save it again in the genuine format of the program (XLS, XLSX or ODS). This file will be your "data source". Use this date source to arrange the submissions by using the filtering and sorting functions of your spreadsheet software.

Create a serial letter (also called "mail merge" or "form letter") to format authors, organizations and abstracts the way required and to print them into one document.
Please refer to online manual Creating Name Badges and the List of Participants for more information on how to use mail merge and to create serial letters with ConfTool Pro.

Please find below two templates for both MS Office and OpenOffice.

Example template for an export based on the Session Export (including details of all presentations), provided by Oliver Steffen:

3 Export of Uploaded Files – Full Paper Proceedings

This section describes how to export submissions or abstracts that have been uploaded as a file. This part of the manual will also show you how to export the final uploads / camera-ready copies for the proceedings.

When you plan the conference submission and review process, think about the required file formats. We recommend asking authors to upload at least two files – a file format which you can edit, e. g. Microsoft Office Word or OpenOffice Writer, and a PDF version for the review process. With the PDF version, you can see how the submissions are supposed to look like, or you can publish them directly, for instance in your online proceedings.

Once the authors have uploaded their files, you can find them here:
Overview => Submissions & Reviews => List of Submissions

  • Set filters at your requirements, e. g. filter by submission type / track or acceptance status.
  • You can also filter for either abstract / full submission uploads or final versions:

a.       If you want to export uploaded abstracts or (the first versions of) full paper submissions, please choose the option “List of Submissions” from the drop-down list “Select Version”.

b.      If you want to export the final, camera-ready versions of the submissions, choose the option “Accepted Contributions with Final Versions” from the drop-down list “Select Version”.

  • For the option "Filename format for download links", we recommend using the setting "Generated filename". The format for generated filenames can be set on this page:
    Overview => Settings => Main Settings for Paper and Abstract Submission
    For more information, please see: How to Generate Filenames for the Downloads.
  • Open the menu "Related Functions".

a.   Click on the option "Save files of current page as ZIP" to save all files that are currently displayed on the page. Please also remember to use the “Per Page” function. It might limit the number of submissions displayed.

b.   Click on the option "Save all files as ZIP using current filter settings". All files will be downloaded for which the current filter settings are true, even those that are not displayed on the current page.

  • Depending on the browser you use and the browser settings you have chosen, the download process will be different. You might be able to directly open the file or choose a directory for the download. Otherwise, the download will be stored in the predefined directory for all downloads in your browser.

After the download process, you will find the downloaded files in the chosen local directory as a .ZIP file. Please unzip and, if necessary, choose a new storage location.

You can sort the single files by file name. Create your conference proceedings with these files using the word processing software of your choice.