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Characteristics of a Report

 

The Page Setup of a Report

 

Introduction

Page setup consists of customizing some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of a piece of paper resulting from printing. These include the size of a report and the orientation, etc. You have various options. After displaying a report, you can click File, click Print, and click Print. On the Print dialog box, click the Setup... button. You can then make modifications on the dialog box and click OK. If you don't want to print, click Cancel on the Print dialog box but the changes you would have made on the Page Setup dialog box would be kept.

When a report is displaying in the Design View, the Ribbon is equipped with a section named Page Setup:

Page Setup

When the report is displayed in Print Preview, the Ribbon is equipped with a section labeled Page Layout:

Page Layout

The Page Layout section is equipped with a button labeled Page Setup. When clicked, this button would open the Page Setup dialog box that provides the same options of the Page Layout section and more.

Practical Learning: Introducing Page Setup

  1. Start Microsoft Access
  2. Open the College Park Auto Repair1 database you started in Lesson 15 and continued in Lesson 23
  3. In the Navigation Pane, under Reports, right-click RepairOrders and click Print Preview
  4. To print the report, on the Ribbon, click File, then click Print and click Print
  5. Click OK to print the report
  6. Close the report

The Page Size of a Report

As seen previously, by default, a report is meant to print on a piece of paper whose size is 8.5 by 11 inches. If you want to change that size, while a report is displaying in Design View, you can click the Page Setup tab of the Ribbon and click the Size button:

To see the sizes you might be familiar with already, while a report is displaying in Design View, you can click the Page Setup tab of the Ribbon and click the Size button

From the list of sizes, you can click the one you want. Alternatively, when a report is displaying in Design View, click the Page Setup tab and click the Page Setup button Page Setup. Then, in the Page Setup dialog box, click Page. In the Paper section, you can click the arrow of the Size combo box:

The Page Tab of the Page Setup Dialog Box

You can then click the desired size and click OK.

The Layout of a Report: Portrait or Landscape

Although you can change the size of a report to almost any measures of your choice, in reality, the printing of a report is subject to external influences related to the operating system. In this particular case, these have to do with the printing process followed by the device used to print. The layout of a paper specifies whether the printed result would be considered vertically or horizontally. This is referred to as the report layout or the paper orientation. There are two main options: portrait and landscape.

When a report is displayed in Design View, to check its orientation, on the Ribbon, you can click Page Setup. By default, a report is meant to print in portrait and you can see this if the Portrait button is clicked Portrait. To configure it for landscape, you have various options. While a report is showing in Design View, in the Page Setup section of the Ribbon, you can click the Landscape button. Also, when a report is displaying in Design View, click Page Setup and click the Page Setup button Page Setup. Then, in the Page Setup dialog box, click Page and click the Landscape radio button:

The Page Tab of the Page Setup Dialog Box

And click OK.

If you enlarge the report too much but keep the orientation to portrait, you would receive a warning message box.

The Margins of a Report

When a report prints, the printer keeps some sections in the left, the top, the right, and the bottom sides empty. These sections are referred to as the margins. The printer is configured to follow some default options for the margins. If you want, you can exercise some control on them. You have two options.

To use some preset options, while a report is displaying in Print Preview, in the Page Size section, click Margins:

Margins

If you see the type of margins you want, click it. As another option, when the report is displaying in either the Design View or in print preview, on the Ribbon, click the Page Setup button. In the Print Options tab, use the text boxes in the Margins section:

Page Setup

In the Print Options tab, you can change the values of the desired section(s) as you see fit.

Practical Learning: Setting the Margins of a Report

  1. Open the Red Oak High School database you created in Lesson 5
  2. On the Ribbon, click Create
  3. To create a report, in the Report section, click Report Design
  4. Double-click the button at the intersection of the Rulers.
    In the Property Sheet, click Data and set the Record Source to Students
  5. Save the report as Students List
  6. In the Controls section of the Ribbon, click Label and click the left section under the Page Header bar
  7. Type Full Name and press Enter
  8. In the Controls section of the Ribbon, click the Text Box and click under the Detail bar
  9. Click the accompanying label and press Delete
  10. On the Ribbon, click the text box
  11. In the Property Sheet, click the Other tab, click Name and type txtFullName
  12. Click the Data tab, click Control Source and type =LastName & ", " & FirstName
  13. On the report, move the label and the text box to the left
  14. Use the Line object Line to add a line under the label
  15. Shrink the Detail section enough to fit the text box
  16. Narrow the report to the 3 mark of the horizontal ruler
  17. Set a serif font to both the label and the text box
     
    Students
  18. click File, position the mouse on Print, and click Print
  19. On the Print dialog box, click Setup...
  20. On the Page Setup dialog box, click the Print Options tab if necessary.
    Change the value of the Left text box to 1
  21. Change the value of the Right text box to 1
     
    The Page Setup Dialog Box
  22. On the Page Setup dialog box, click OK
  23. On the Print dialog box, click Cancel
  24. Click the View button
     
    Students
  25. Close the report
  26. When asked whether you want to save, click Yes

Zooming a Report

In Print Preview, we mentioned already that a report shows how the printed paper would appear. To give you a better overview, Microsoft Access may "shrink" the view. Although this may make some characters unreadable, the intent is to give a preview of the resulting piece of paper, not necessarily read the contents of the report. If you still want to read the content of the report, you can enlarge its view. On the other hand, if you are not particularly interested in reading the content of the report but preview it, you can shrink the view more or enlarge it more. This is referred to as zooming the view and you can zoom in or zoom out.

Zooming is available and only relevant when previewing a report. Therefore, in order to use it, first display the report in Print Preview. To assist you with zooming, the Ribbon state for the Print Preview is equipped with a Zoom section:

Zoom

By default, the Print Preview shows only one page of the report and the One Page button of the Zoom section of the Ribbon is clicked. Also, usually in that view, the characters could be difficult to read. To zoom in or zoom out of the view, you can click inside the report itself or click the (top side of the) Zoom button. This would change the zooming ratio. If you want a more precise zoom ratio, you can click the arrow button below the Zoom button. This would present a list of zooming ratios and you can select the one you desire:

Zoom Ratios

As mentioned already, by default, the Print Preview presents one piece of paper. If your report contains more than one page and you want to preview a few or all of them, you can display more than one page. To display two pages, you can click the Two Pages button. To display 4, 8, or 12 pages, you can click the More Pages button and select the desired option.

Practical Learning: Zooming a Report

  1. Re-open the College Park Auto Repair1 database
  2. In the Navigation Pane, under Reports, right-click RepairOrders and click Print Preview.
    Notice that the report is hard to see
  3. In the Zoom section of the Ribbon, click the arrow of the Zoom button and click Zoom 100%
  4. After viewing the report, Click the Close Print Preview button Close Print Preview
 
   
 

Characteristics of Sections of a Report

 

The Background Color of a Section

By default, each section of a report appears white so its background would print as transparently as possible on a white piece of paper. If you want, you can change the background color of any section. To change the color of a section:

  • Right-click the section or its bar, position the mouse on Fill/Back Color, and select a color from the window
  • Click a section or its bar:
    • On the Ribbon, click Home. In the Text Formatting section, click the arrow of the Background Color button and click the desired color from the window or click More Colors to compose a color
    • On the Ribbon, click Format. In the Font section, click the arrow of the Background Color button and click a color or create one
  • Double-click the section or its bar to access its Property Sheet. Then, in the Format or the All tab of the Property Sheet, click Back Color and select the desired color

If you specify the background color other than white for a section, you should set the same background color for the controls in that section.

Practical Learning: Setting the Background Color of a Section

The Alternate Row Color of a Section

If you create repeating colors on a report, you can make the other occurrence of a section show a different color. This means that you can make every odd occurrence show a certain background color and every even occurrence to show a certain background color. This is referred to as alternating the colors. Not all sections can use an alternate color. For example, the Page Header and the Page Footer sections don't use an alternate color. The Detail section and custom sections (we will learn how to create them) do.

To apply the color alternating feature, first select a section and set its background color using the Background Color button. Then:

  • Right-click the section or its bar, position the mouse on Alternate Fill/Back Color and click the desired color or click More Colors to create a cusmtom color
  • Click the section. On the Ribbon, click Format. In the Background section, click the arrow of the Alternate Row Color button Alternate Fill/Back Color and click a color or click More Colors to create a custom color
  • Double-click the section. In the Format or the All tab of the Property Sheet, click Alternate Color, then click the arrow of its combo box and select the desired color or click the ellipsis button to compose a color

Here is an example of the type of result you could get:

Alternate Fill/Back Color

Practical Learning: Setting the Alternate Row Color of a Section

  1. To create a new report, on the Ribbon, click Create and, in the Report section, click Report Wizard
  2. In the Tables/Queries combo box, the Students table should be selected.
    In the Available Fields list, double-click StudentNumber, FirstName, LastName, and Gender
  3. Click Next
  4. Click Next
  5. Click Next
  6. Click Next
  7. Make sure the Tabular radio button is selected and click Next
  8. Change the title to Students by Gender
  9. Click Finish
  10. Right-click the title bar of the report and click Design View
  11. On the report, click Detail
  12. On the Ribbon, click Format
  13. In the Font section, click the arrow of the Alternate row Color button and select Tan, Background 2 (Theme Colors: 3rd column - 1st row)
  14. Right-click the title bar of the report and click Print Preview
     
    Report: Rental Rates
  15. Save and close the report
  16. Open the College Park Auto Repair1 database from the previous lesson
  17. In the Navigation Pane, under Reports, right-click RepairOrders and click Design View
  18. On the report, click the Detail bar
  19. On the Ribbon, click Format
  20. In the Background section, click the arrow of the Alternate Row Color button and click White, Background 1 (Theme colors: 1st column - 1st row)
  21. Close the report
  22. When asked whether you want to save, click Yes
  23. Re-open the Red Oak High School database

Keeping a Section on its Own Page(s)

Consider the following design of a report:

Students

If you create a report and design it with the default settings, the first record displays. If its values do not cover the whole page, the values of the next record start displaying on the same page but, if the next record cannot completely fit on that first page, it does not print on that page. Instead, it prints on the next page. This means that more than one record can print on the same page if and only if all those records can fit each completely on that page.

In some cases, such as if you have a report that displays a type of magazine, brochure, or catalog, you may want the first record to print on the first page, when the first record finishes, print the next record on the same page. If both records have printed on the same page and there is still enough room, the next record could start. Once the first page is full, the values left from the previous record continue on the next page. As you may suspect, these two scenarios depend on the types of values that the report is asked to print and of course this highly depends on your intention.

The ability to keep each record on its own page is controlled by the Keep Together property of a section. To access it, display the report in Design View and double-click either the section or its bar. Keep Together is a Boolean property with a Yes and No options:

  • If you set Keep Together to Yes, which is the default value, the first record displays or prints its values on the first page:
    • If there is still room on that first page, Microsoft Access calculates how much room the next record needs. If the next record can completely fit on the remaining area of the first page, then that next record is put on that first page:
       
      Students
      Students
    • If the next record is too long to fit on that first page, it would not print on it but would be sent to the next page and the remaining area of the first page would be left empty:
       
      Students
      Students

      This evaluation is made for each subsequent record.

    • If the first record itself is too long to fit on the first page, it would print on the first page and would continue printing on the next page. Then, if the next record can fit on that second page (which is usually unlikely), it would be put on that page
  • If you set Keep Together to No, the first record displays on the first page, followed by the next record. If the record gets to the end of the page, it continues on the next page. This means that the records would simply continuously print one after the other:
     
    Students
    Students
    Students

A Report With Multiple Columns

All of the reports we have created so far display in one vertical list. Such a list is referred to as a column. If a report is made of a single list and the items of the list are not too wide, you can display the list in various columns.

To create the columns on a report, first make the list wide or narrow enough so it can fit more than once on the piece of paper. Then, display the Page Setup dialog box. In the Page Setup dialog box, set the Number of Columns text box to a value of your choice.

To display the items of the columns, you have two options. This option is set in the Column Layout section:

  • You can put the first item in the first column, the second item in the second column, the third item in the third column, and so on. When the list of columns is met, the items continue on the first column, followed by the subsequent columns. If you want this layout, select the Across, then Down radio button
  • You can put the first item in the first column, followed by the second item in the first column, followed by the third item in the first column, and so on. When the first column is filled, the list continues on the second column, then the subsequent columns. If you want to use this layout, select the Down, then Across radio button.

Practical Learning: Creating Multiple Columns on a Report

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Reports, double-click Students List
  2. After viewing the report, right-click its title bar and click Design View
     
    Students
  3. On the Ribbon, click File
  4. Click Print
  5. Click Print
  6. On the Print dialog box, click Setup...
  7. In the Page Setup dialog box, click the Columns tab
  8. In the Grid Settings section, set the Number of Columns to 2
  9. In the Column Layout section, click Down, Then Accross
     
    Page Setup
  10. On the Page Setup dialog box, click OK
  11. On the Print dialog box, click Cancel
  12. To preview the report, on the Ribbon, click the arrow under the View button and click Print Preview
     
    Students
  13. Close the report
  14. When asked whether you want to save, click Yes

Lesson Summary 

  

Exercises

 

Yugo National Bank

  1. Open the Yugo National Bank database
  2. Create a new report for the TransactionTypes table and make the detail section alternate colors between White and Light Blue 1

Watts A Loan

  1. Open the Watts A Loan database
  2. Create a new report for the Types of Loans table and make the detail sections alternate colors between White and Brown 2

World Statistics

  1. Open the World Statistics1 database
  2. Create a report catalogue for the Countries table

US Senate

  1. Open the US Senate1 database 
  2. Create a report catalogue of the senators, one senator per page
 
 
   
 

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