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- View Offline
- Designing for the end user
- Organizing form elements
- Formatting a form
- Adding headers
- Linking to external content
- Entering and selecting data
- Adding charts
- Creating a main menu
- Creating a customer form
- Understanding report structure
- Building reports from wizards and queries
- Printing reports
Skill Level Intermediate
We've seen the Print Preview screen many times throughout this course, but we've never really stopped to take a look at the ribbon. Let's go ahead and open up our Lifetime Sales report in Print Preview by right clicking on it and saying Print Preview. Now most of these buttons are going to be pretty obvious in what they do. We can change the size of the paper or set its margins, I can change from Portrait to Landscape paper. These changes however would alter the layout on our report. For instance, if I switch to Landscape, Access will redraw the report on the new page but it doesn't actually take advantage of the space over here on the right. If I wanted to make this a landscape report; I'd want to go back in the Design View and reorient my page so that I can take advantage of the extra space.
Let's go ahead and switch it back to Portrait. I also have an option here for Columns, but again you would have to set up your report specifically for columns in order to best take advantage of this. Let's go ahead and take a look at one that I've already set up. I'm going to right-click on Lifetime Sales Columns and choose Print Preview. This report, I have set it to be only 4 inches wide, now I can go to the Columns setting here, select Columns, and choose the Number of Columns to 2. I am going to accept this layout here where it goes down and then across rather than across then down. So I will leave down then across, and say OK.
Access will redraw the report and now you can see that it starts with Alabama which ends here, then goes to Alaska data which goes down to the bottom, starts again at the top and then ends down here before starting Arizona. Now the multicolumn report might be confusing to some users because they might think that the data for Alabama for instance is the data over here in the left and this data over here on the right. So depending on your data I'll leave it to you to decide whether this is a good format for you or not. Let's go ahead and close this report, we will go back to the other one.
This Zoom section here allows us to view multiple pages at a time. I can choose this view a Two-Page spread or More Pages than that. I can zoom out to different zoom levels. And then over I have a Data section, the Data section allows me to export my report to different file formats. For instance an Excel file or PDF file, or I can attach it as an E-mail attachment and I have some more options here in the More section. Some of these file formats will strip out all of the formatting and coloring that we have. PDF file will keep out of it but it won't be editable, and finally on the far left we've got the Print button.
We can click that, choose a printer, and send it off. Technically you can also print forms too, but you're not going to find Print Preview in the View menu for a form, for instance if I close this Print dialog box, I'll go to one of my forms here, I'll go to the Employee Directory if I double-click on it to open. I don't have a Print option up here, but if I go File and then Print I can choose Print Preview from here. In some forms like this Employee Directory would actually work pretty well as a printed document, but that shouldn't really be the primary use for forms. Reports are made to be printed and exported.
We can use them as a screen-only presentation but that's really what forms are for. Reports like some of the features on screen that you would expect, such as being able to filter or page through records. On Screen and Report View reports become exceedingly long and endless scrolling list of records which really isn't that user friendly. So if you stick to the rule that forms are for the screen and reports are for paper it'd be a much happier database designer.