MS Access for the Business Environment: Reporting in MS Access: Grouped Transactional Report Part I - Page 5
September 2, 2003
Establish Report Characteristics
While we will not go into too much detail about report formatting and cosmetics in this lesson, we will take a moment at this stage to consider layout characteristics for the new report page. This is an advantageous time to accomplish this, before we begin pulling in data and so forth; specifying layout first can, to some extent, help us to minimize the time-consuming movement of data later that characterizes the "afterthought" approach to design.
Let's set up preliminary page layout with these steps:
1. Select File --> Page Setup from the main menu in MS Access.
The Page Setup dialog appears, defaulted to the Margins tab.
2. Change the settings for each of the margins to 0.5, as shown in Illustration 14.
3. Move to the Page tab by clicking it.
4. Ensure that the Portrait radio button is selected.
5. Leave all other setpoints at default.
The Page tab of the Page Setup dialog should replicate that shown in Illustration 15.
6. Click OK on the Page Setup dialog.
The Page Setup dialog closes, and we are returned to the report Design View.
7. Click the Report Properties button in the Report Design View toolbar.
The Report Properties button is depicted in Illustration 16.
The Report Property Sheet appears.
8. On the Format tab, in the Width field, type 7.5. (This is converted to inches (") when you click outside the field / close the dialog, or otherwise "apply" the setting to the field.
The Width field appears with the desired setting in Illustration 17. This is the setting for the width of the entire report, as it is set at the Report property level.
9. Close the Report Property Sheet.
The report appears as depicted in Illustration 18 in its current empty state.
10. Select File --> Save As.
The Save As dialog appears.
11. Type "Customer Orders Report" in the Save ... To: box.
12. Leave the As selector set to Report.
The Save As dialog appears as depicted in Illustration 23.
13. Click OK to save the report.
We have done the majority of the preparation for populating our report with the data that has been requested by our information consumers. Having accomplished the preliminary layout for our report, we will begin, in Part II of this tutorial, to bring in and arrange the data for presentation.
With this lesson, we began a two-part tutorial surrounding the creation of a transactional report that groups and summarizes the information it presents at multiple levels. We discussed the requirements that the report will need to address, then listed the general steps involved in professional report design and creation. We then began to proceed through the individual steps to design and create our illustrative report in a manner that closely mirrors that of a successful report writer in a collaborative business environment. Within each step, we discussed the details involved and the results that we seek to obtain within our design.
In Part II, we will pick up where we left off with the common steps for successful reporting efforts, focusing initially on the sorting and grouping of data in the report, then selecting data, from the data source we created in Part I, for inclusion. After entraining the data, we will focus upon the arrangements of labels and text in the report, as well as establishing settings based upon grouping and other attributes specified by the intended audience. Finally, at relevant points throughout the report creation cycle, we will review and refine the report based upon feedback that we receive from information consumers who review the report at various evolutionary stages.