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:
--> Page Setup from the main menu in MS Access.
Setup dialog appears, defaulted to the Margins tab.
settings for each of the margins to 0.5, as shown in Illustration 14.
Illustration 14: New
Margin Setpoints for our Report
Move to the Page
tab by clicking it.
the Portrait radio button is selected.
other setpoints at default.
tab of the Page Setup dialog should replicate that shown in Illustration
Illustration 15: Page
Setup--Page Tab Settings
Click OK on
the Page Setup dialog.
Setup dialog closes, and we are returned to the report Design View.
Click the Report
Properties button in the Report Design View toolbar.
Properties button is depicted in Illustration 16.
Illustration 16: The
Report Properties Button
Property Sheet appears.
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.
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
Illustration 17: Report
Property Sheet, Width Field with New Setting Circled
Close the Report
report appears as depicted in Illustration 18 in its current empty
Illustration 18: The
Blank Report, Design View
--> Save As.
As dialog appears.
Orders Report" in the Save ... To: box.
Leave the As
selector set to Report.
As dialog appears as depicted in Illustration 23.
Illustration 23: The
Completed Save As Dialog
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
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.
See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III