As mentioned in previous lessons, a report shares many characteristics with a form. In the Navigation Pane, a report is represented by a green icon that you can use to open the report. Like a form, once opened, a report is represented by a tab or a title bar (for an overlapped database) that displays its name. By its definition, a report mimics a piece of paper and therefore it uses a white background.
Like a form, a report can be displayed in different views but the report has more varieties.
As we saw in Lesson 3, to quickly create a report, in the Navigation Pane, click a table to select it. Then, on the Ribbon, click Create and, in the Reports section, click Report. Another fast way is by using the Report Wizard. To start it, in the Reports section of the Create tab of the Ribbon, you can click the Report Wizard button. This would launch a wizard that you can simply follow (we saw how to use the Report Wizard in Lesson 3).
When it comes to report design, the rules to add and manipulate the controls are the same we reviewed for the form. We studied the techniques of control design in the Lessons 6 and 7. In Lesson 12, we reviewed the common characteristics of database fields. Everything in that lesson is valid for controls positioned on a report. In Lesson 16, we mentioned that, for all of the expressions we learned to create, the techniques and rules were valid for both the forms and the reports.
Data on fields of forms and reports fall in three main categories: fields that directly originate from a table (or a query), fields created as a combination of existing fields, and fields independent of any other fields. The techniques used to create these fields are different but a field created using one technique can be changed into another category as necessary.
If you want to use a field that is already part of a table (or a query), before or when creating a report, you must specify the list that holds the fields. There are various ways you can do this:
To add a field to a report, you can either click a control from the Ribbon and click the report, or drag a field from the Field List to the report.
One of the ways you can display a report is called the Design View. As seen in previous lessons, to display a report in Design View
As done for a form, in the Design View of a report, you can add, position, format, configure, and manipulate the necessary controls. The Design View is equipped with one or more sections. The primary sections are the Page Header, the Detail, and the Page Footer:
As mentioned when studying form and report design, when a report is in Design View, the Ribbon is equipped with a Controls section in its Design tab. You can use those controls to populate your report. You can also select objects from the Field List and add them to the report.
To have an idea of what a report would look like on a printed piece of paper, you can display it in what is referred to as Print Preview. To do this:
When a report appears in Print Preview, the Ribbon is made of only one tab.
To appear realistic, a report in print preview appears as a piece of paper with margins. Its body is filled with the data that would be printed. Here is an example:
The right side and the bottom-right side display a scroll bar each. Like a form in Form View, the Print Preview of a report may be equipped with navigation buttons. The functionality of these navigation buttons is as we described for a table.
After using the Print Preview, to close it, in the Close Preview section of the Ribbon, you can click the Close Print Preview button . This would display the report in the view it previously had.
The Report View shows a report with its controls and the items in its sections but it does not show the margins:
Unlike the Print Preview, the Report View does not distinguish where a section starts and where it ends.
The Layout View of a report appears as a drawing board. It shows its title bar and its system buttons. In its body, it displays three dotted lines that represent the top section and the margins:
Like a Design View, you can use the Layout View to add and manipulate controls on a report.
When a piece of paper prints, it is made of a top section, a body, and a bottom section. To support this, a report can be equipped with a Page Header that represents the top part, a Detail section that represents the body of the report, and a Page Footer section that represents the bottom part.
If you create a report using either the Blank Report or the Report Design options of the Reports section of the Ribbon, the report would be equipped with a Page Header and a Page Footer sections:
If you have a report that doesn't have these sections and you want to add them, right-click the report and click Page Header/Footer
As mentioned previously, the Page Header represents the top section of the printed paper. Therefore, when designing a report, put in the Page Header the objects you want to display on each top part of the printed paper. For example, you can put the common title or the page number in that section. That section is also typically used to display the title of a brochure or book.
Because the Page Footer represents the bottom part of each printed page, you can put on it the object(s) that would display on each page. For example, you can use it to display the date the report is being printed.
Like a form, to show the sections of a report, it must be opened in Design View. Like a form, the most fundamental part of a report is the Detail section, which holds the most controls of a report. In fact, a report can have only that section. If you create a report using one of the options from the Reports section of the Create tab of the Ribbon, the report would come equipped with various sections. To have only the Detail section, you can right-click the report and click the option of those sections to remove them. You may end up with only the Detail section:
You can then equip it with the desired controls.
Like a form, a report has a size, which is the combination of its width and its height. When it comes to the height, each section has and controls its own vertical measure. As done for a form, to specify the height of a section:
As seen for a form, the height that a report displays in Design View is the total height of its sections.
When it comes to the width of a report, all sections use the same measure. The width that a report shows in Design View is the common width of its sections. Therefore, to specify the width of a report:
To change both the height and the width of the report:
As mentioned already, the report is the primary object used to print the data of a database. You may have created a database that represents many objects sold in a store or you could have created a database for a list of people such as the students of a high school. In these cases, you may want to create a report that shows the list. To print a realistic book, a magazine, or a brochure, you would want to have a front cover and a back page.
To support the cover and the back page, the report can be equipped with two other sections: The Report Header and the Report Footer sections:
If you create a report using either the Report or the Report Wizard options of the Reports section of the Ribbon, the report would be equipped with a Report Header and a Report Footer sections. If you have a report that doesn't have these sections and you want to add them, right-click the report and click Report Header/Footer .
As seen in the above screenshot, you can have a report that has a Report Header and a Report Footer sections without the Page Header and the Page Footer sections. If you have a Page Header and the Page Footer sections but don't want to show them on a printed paper, you can completely reduce their heights:
Otherwise, if you are creating a book or brochure that would represent a list of various items, you should equip it with all these five sections.
By default, after adding a section to a report, the section would show in Design View and its contents would appear in the other views. If you want, you can hide the section in either the Design View or the other views. This characteristic is controlled by the Display When enumerated property. To apply it, display the report in Design View and access the Property Sheet of the section on which you want to control this characteristic. Click either the Format or the All tab.
The Display When property has three options:
After creating a report, you have many options to print it. The fastest option consists of sending the report directly to the printer. To do this:
To send the document directly to the printer, click Quick Print.
The Print dialog box is the most regular object used to send a document to the printer. To display it:
If a report contains many records:
In a transaction-based application, a user usually wants to print the record he or she is viewing from a form. You can easily do this using a macro. When creating the macro, you have to specify the condition by which the record would be selected.
To proceed, start a normal macro:
You must specify the name of the report in the Report Name combo box. To create the condition that specifies how to locate the record to print, you can manually write an expession or use the Expression Builder to create it.