How To

This page explains how you can make your own collation model using the VisColl 1.0 SIMS Collation Modeler, and then create an HTML+SVG package using the SIMS Collation Visualizer.

The creation of a visualization using the SIMS implementation of VisColl involves three separate steps

  1. Create a Collation Model using the SIMS Collation Modeler
  2. Create an Image List
  3. Generate a Collation Visualization using the SIMS Collation Visualizer

Step one: Create a Collation Model

SIMS Collation Modeler Tutorial

To create a collation model, use the Collation Modeler form (currently at and described at

Export the Leaves XML from the Collation Modeler.

Step Two: Create an Image List

Tutorial for creating an Image List for the SIMS Collation Visualizer

This step is only necessary if you want to link your collation diagrams to image files, creating virtual bifolia. If you only need the diagrams, you can skip to the third step.

In addition to the Leaves XML file, you will also need to have a file listing URLs to images, matched with the folio or page number for those images.

The simplest way to create this file is using Excel. First, create a spreadsheet with folio or page numbers in the first column, and the corresponding image URL in the second column (do not include column headings). For example (urls are false and will not show you images):





If you are using manuscripts from OPenn, you can use the template spreadsheet here to build your image list using Excel: Follow the instructions on the first tab.

Then save this file as an XML file in Excel (Save As -> Excel 2004 XML Spreadsheet).

An earlier version of the SIMS Collation Visualizer required that the image list file be given the same name as the collation model file, but this is no longer a requirement.

The video above is a tutorial showing how to create an image list using Excel.

SIMS Collation Visualizer Tutorial

To generate a Collation Visualization, go to this site:

(please email Dot at if the Collation Visualizer is not working)

Load the Collation Model and the Image List where indicated.

Click “Submit”. In a few moments, you will be asked to download a .zip file containing the full Collation Visualization (in HTML). There will be one HTML file for each quire, plus a folder of supporting materials. You will need to keep everything together in order for it to work.

NOTE: Some computers are downloading the .zip file in which the file name is surrounded by single quotes (i.e., literally, ‘’). Your computer will not recognize the .zip’ file extension and will be unable to open this file. You will need to edit the file name and remove the single quotes. Once you do this, your computer will recognize the file type and will be able to open it. So, if your computer can’t open the file after downloading, check to see if it has single quotes around it.

The Collation Visualization online tool uses XProc-Z, developed by Conal Tuohy and available at his github:

Many thanks to Conal for incorporating the XSLT files found in this repository into the XProc pipeline that runs as Collation Visualization.

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