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MS Access

Posted Oct 6, 2003

MS Access for the Business Environment: Reporting in MS Access: Grouped Transactional Report Part II - Page 4

By William Pearson

Select Data and Include It in the Report

Recall that, in Part I, Create the New Report section, we bound our new report object to the source query via the Choose The Table or Query where the Object's Data comes from selector within the New Report dialog, Design View (our selection of the query initialized the Report Designer, from which we first saw the Header / Footer layout in its basic, default form.) Our objective, at this step in our general report-building procedure, is to select the desired data controls, objects that represent the fields of the data source, and to include them by dragging the selected controls into our report via the Report Design window.

Populating the Detail Section

First, let's summon the Field List that MS Access provides as a "control palette" (my metaphor, not Microsoft's), so that we can see the fields represented.

1.  Select View --> Field List from the main menu in the Report View.

2.  Select Field List from the menu that appears.

The Field List appears, as depicted in Illustration 8.

Illustration 8: The Field List Appears

We can now begin dragging controls, and thus the data fields they represent, into our report. We will populate the Detail section, which, in our report, represents the transactional level, first, and then handle the group headers and footers next. (Our focus in this lesson is the inclusion and presentation of the data. We will not spend a great deal of time on formatting, report titles, and other such cosmetics, so as to allow maximum coverage of actual reporting concepts.)

3.  In the Field List, click the ProductID field.

4.  Hold down the CTRL key, to allow the selections of non-contiguous fields.

5.  Click each of the following to select them simultaneously with the ProductID field.

  • ProductName
  • UnitPrice
  • Quantity
  • Discount
  • NetOrder

The Field List with selected fields appears as shown in Illustration 9.

Illustration 9: The Field List with Our Selections

6.  Click some point within the fields highlighted (left-mouse).

7.  Drag the fields to the Detail section.

8.  Drop the fields / controls at a point in the upper left corner of the Detail section, at approximately zero (0) inches on the horizontal (across the top of the Design View) ruler. Make the drop point as close to flush to the top of the Detail section as possible

The controls appear, still selected as a group, as shown in Illustration 10.

Illustration 10: Dropping the Data Fields / Controls

At this juncture, we will discuss working with the controls we have just put in place. Actually, a pair of controls appears for each field we dragged off the field list. The control to the left labels the control with which it is paired (hence we refer to the control on the left as a label control). The control to the right is known as a text control; it is the actual representative of the underlying data field to which it is attached, or "bound," in the data source.

To move a control pair (actually termed a compound control), we select the pair by clicking either control. Next, glide the mouse cursor over either of the controls, until the cursor becomes a hand, as shown in Illustration 11. Once the hand appears, simply click and drag to move the compound controls together.

Illustration 11: Preparing to Move the Compound Control

To move only one of the two controls within the pair, drag it by its Move handle, the large black box in the upper left corner of the control selected. A hand with a pointing finger appears when the cursor is in position to move the single control (as depicted in Illustration 12), at which point we simply click and drag, to move the single control as required.

Illustration 12: Preparing to Move the Single Control

The smaller squares are Sizing handles for the selected control. Selection itself is indicated by the appearance of Sizing handles: they are visible only for the selected control. A summary diagram appears in Illustration 13.

Illustration 13: Summary Diagram - Moving, Sizing and Selection for Controls

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