Adding download feature to LoklakWordCloud app on Loklak apps site

Adding download feature to LoklakWordCloud app on Loklak apps site

One of the most important and useful feature that has recently been added to LoklakWordCloud app is enabling the user to download the generated word cloud as a png/jpeg image. This feature will allow the user to actually use this app as a tool to generate a word cloud using twitter data and save it on their disks for future use.

All that the user needs to do is generate the word cloud, choose an image type (png or jpeg) and click on export as image, a preview of the image to be downloaded will be displayed. Just hit enter and the word cloud will be saved on your disk. Thus users will not have to use any alternative process like taking a screenshot of the word cloud generated, etc.

Presently the complete app is hosted on Loklak apps site.

How does it work?

What we are doing is, we are exporting a part of the page (a div) as image and saving it. Apparently it might seem that we are taking a screenshot of a particular portion of a page and generating a download link. But actually it is not like that. The word cloud that is being generated by this app via Jqcloud is actually a collection of HTML nodes. Each node contains a word (part of the cloud) as a text content with some CSS styles to specify the size and color of that word. As user clicks on export to image option, the app traverses the div containing the cloud. It collects information about all the HTML nodes present under that div and creates a canvas representation of the entire div. So rather than taking a screenshot of the div, the app recreates the entire div and presents it to us. This entire process is accomplished by a lightweight JS library called html2canvas.

Let us have a look into the code that implements the download feature. At first we need to create the UI for the export and download option. User should be able to choose between png and jpeg before exporting to image. For this we have provided a dropdown containing the two options.

<div class="dropdown type" ng-if="download">
                <div class="dropdown-toggle select-type" data-toggle="dropdown">
                  {{imageType}}
                <span class="caret"></span></div>
                <ul class="dropdown-menu">
                  <li ng-click="changeType('png', 'png')"><a href="">png</a></li>
                  <li ng-click="changeType('jpeg', 'jpg')"><a href="">jpeg</a></li>
                </ul>
              </div>
              <a class="export" ng-click="export()" ng-if="download">Export as image</a>

In the above code snippet, firstly we create a dropdown menu with two list items, png and jpeg. With each each list item we attach a ng-click event which calls changeType function and passes two parameters, image type and extension.

The changeType function simply updates the current image type and extension with the selected ones.

$scope.changeType = function(type, ext) {
        $scope.imageType = type;
        $scope.imageExt = ext;
    }

The ‘export as image’ on clicking calls the export function. The export function uses html2canvas library’s interface to generate the canvas representation of the word cloud and also generates the download link and attaches it to the modal’s save button (described below). After everything is done it finally opens a modal with preview image and save option.

$scope.export = function() {
        html2canvas($(".wordcloud"), {
          onrendered: function(canvas) {
            var imgageData = canvas.toDataURL("image/" + $scope.imageType);
            var regex = /^data:image\/jpeg/;
            if ($scope.imageType === "png") {
                regex = /^data:image\/png/;
            }
            var newData = imgageData.replace(regex, "data:application/octet-stream");
            canvas.style.width = "80%";
            $(".wordcloud-canvas").html(canvas);
            $(".save-btn").attr("download", "Wordcloud." + $scope.imageExt).attr("href", newData);
            $("#preview").modal('show');
          },
          background: "#ffffff"
        });
    }

At the very beginning of this function, a call is made to html2canvas module and the div containing the word cloud is passed as a parameter. An object is also passed which contains a callback function defined for onrendered key. Inside the callback function we check the current image type and generate the corresponding url from the canvas. We display this canvas in the modal and set this download url as the href value of the modal’s save button.

Finally we display the modal.

The modal simply contains the preview image and a button to save the image on disk.

A sample image produced by the app is shown below.

Important resources

  • Know more about html2canvas here.
  • Know more about Jqcloud here.
  • View the app source here.
  • View loklak apps site source here.
  • View Loklak API documentation here
  • Learn more about AngularJS here.

Deepjyoti Mondal

A web and mobile application developer and an enthusiastic learner. I like trying out new technologies. JavaScript and Python are my favorites
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