Close the Properties
sheet for the new Text control.
On the Controls
Toolbox, click the Line button, shown in Illustration 36.
Illustration 36: The Line Button
in the Controls ToolBox
mouse cursor within the OrderDate footer.
saw with the Text control in the immediately preceding steps, the cursor
becomes a "+" sign, to assist us in placing our control.
Click at the
point of insertion, this time at the top left corner of the recently placed Text
control (our summary control).
Place the Line
control above the new summary Text control field, by dragging the line
to a length approximately the size of the NetOrder field.
approximate desired effect is depicted in Illustration 37.
Illustration 37: Line Placement
above the new Summary Text Control
Click the Line
control to select it.
Hold the SHIFT
Click the new
summary Text control to select it simultaneously with the Line control.
Use the "up,"
and other arrow keys, as shown in Illustration 38, to adjust the
positioning of the controls to align them with the NetOrder column to
which they relate.
Illustration 38: The Directional
Keys Act as Excellent Placement Tools for Selected Controls
visits to the report Preview might be in order to allow us to perfect the
alignment of the manually placed controls to the NetOrder controls. (If you accidentally
push the control pair into the section above, "back out" with the UNDO
(CTRL + Z) key combination.)
footer borders as necessary to maintain the "tight fit" we had
report, using 16-Oct-1996 as the "as of" date
again, to review the outcome.
now ready to insert a summary control in the CustomerID footer. Let's
take a "shortcut" similar to one we took with titles in this footer
above. This time, we will leverage the operation to demonstrate another
feature about our summary control.
the line and the summary control we created in the OrderDate footer
above. (Hint: Use the SHIFT key).
Press the CTRL
+ C key combination to copy the selection.
cursor in the CustomerID footer.
Press the CTRL
+ V key combination to paste the selection.
pasted control pair will typically not appear conveniently below the last
summary control we created. It will appear "pre-selected,"
however, wherever it "lands," meaning that we can easily align it
with the precision of the directional keys we used above.
new control pair within the NetOrder "column" (underneath the
last summary control we created).
Select the new
summary control alone.
the control, to display the context menu.
from the context menu.
sheet appears, defaulted to the Format tab.
In the Font
Weight field, select Bold.
Close the Properties
returned to the Design View.
preview the report again (same "as of" date at the prompt, for
consistency's sake), to observe the behavior of the new control.
Click the Print
following into the AsOfDate box that appears:
to apply the date.
report executes, returning data that appears similar to that partially shown in
The Report Preview - Partial Sections
CustomerID BERGS as an example, as shown above, we note that the new
total appears (in bold, as we intended), but not only do we note it's
appearance; we notice that it is context sensitive to its position in the CustomerID
footer of the report. The identical expression that we input into the OrderDate
footer takes on a new meaning based upon its location in the CustomerID
footer. It is because of this fact that we can benefit by the use of the "shortcut"
we have illustrated.
Click the Close
button to close the Preview window.
Save your work
as desired, as a safety measure.
have all the control functionality in place to deliver the requirements of the
intended audience of the report. Moreover, the prompt feature of the report
means our totals are the totals for each customer "as of" the
date we plug into the mechanism at runtime. I typically prefer to get all data
elements of the report in general order before beginning formatting; to begin
earlier than that is almost certain to mean rework, if virtually any element or
elements change; data changes can ripple through the entire report, causing
the need to realign and myriad other such tweaks.
will not go further with formatting, as that could fill a lesson in itself.
Feel free to experiment with borders, colors and other formatting functionality
to make the report attractive and easy for the information consumers to read.
In addition to formatting, we would no doubt want to create page headers and
footers appropriate to the report. Particularly attractive features might
include display of the "as of" date in the header, as part of the
report title; page numbers and a host of other options can be added, as you can
see through experimentation on your own.
Access, when desired.
Review and Refine the Report Based Upon the Input of Its Intended Audience
At this stage in our report construction, we might present
our work to members of the intended audience to obtain their confirmation of its
meeting their expectations. We might also obtain feedback as to further
adjustments to make, based not only upon deficiencies, but, as is often the
case, upon ideas generated by the review process for further enhancements and
added functionality. Everyone wins in this environment of continuous
improvement, and we meet the challenges with ready confidence.
With this lesson, we continued a
two-part tutorial surrounding the creation of a transactional report that
groups and summarizes the information it presents at multiple levels. We resumed
where we left off in Part I, reviewing the
common steps for successful reporting efforts, as well as an illustrative business
requirement that we had been given by our information consumers in the previous
half of the lesson. We then focused initially on "pre-setting" the sorting
and grouping of data in the report. After establishing our grouping and
sorting criteria, we selected data from the query data source we created in Part I, for inclusion in our report. Moreover,
with the introduction of each data element, we focused upon the arrangement of
labels and text in the report, the establishment of settings based upon
grouping, and the handling of other attributes expected by the intended
audience. Finally, we briefly discussed the need for review and refinement of
the report, based upon feedback that we receive from information consumers, who
ideally scrutinize the report design at various evolutionary stages.
See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III