At this point, you’ve created a subsummary report using the Report wizard. The next step is to consider how the report can be customized to meet your users’ needs. When we examined the report in the example solution, we determined the following:
- The sales manager only wanted the counts and found the details about each record distracting.
- The report would be easier to scan if the summary fields were brought closer to the “Salesperson” and “Status” fields, establishing a stronger visual relationship between the two.
- Various other layout and formatting changes could unify the look of the report, making it easier to take in the information at a glance.
In this section, you’ll apply these changes to your report as well, creating a body-less subsummary report that shows only the counts without the individual details.
NOTE: You’ll work on a copy of your current report so that you can decide which you prefer. This allows you to go back to the original version if you make a mistake or don’t like the final result.
Here are images of the example solution layout before and after the changes:
Customize the subsummary report to meet your user's needs, using the example solution as a model.
Make sure that you are viewing your report layout in Layout mode.
- Choose the Layout menu > Duplicate Layout.
- Choose the Layout menu > Layout Setup…
- Change the Layout Name to: [Secondary Tablename] Report - Summary Only
The example solution uses “Activity Report - Summary Only”.
- Delete the body part by selecting the sideways Body button on the left of the part and then pressing the backspace or delete key.
- Delete the “Activity Date” field label as well, since this field doesn’t appear anywhere else except the body.
- Move the your second break field to the right.
Separating the break fields into their own columns makes them easier to scan. In the example solution, this is the “Status” field.
- Move your summary fields to the left.
This creates a stronger visual association between each break field and its summary field. In the example solution, these are the three “Count of Activity ID” fields (one of which doesn't have a break field).
- Bring the right margin close to the right edge of the summary fields.
- Right-justify the three summary fields.
Right-justifying numerical values makes it easier for the user to compare them.
- Format the summary field in the leading grand summary part as bold.
This makes the row stand out as special.
- Move the two field labels above their respective fields.
Precise alignment associates field labels with their fields in a clean column. In the example solution, these are the “Salesperson” and “Status” labels.
- Add a new, right justified "Count" label for the column of summary fields.
- Change the size of the three field labels to 12 points (or whatever looks good to you).
- Copy one of the field labels, change the text to Total, apply bold formatting, and place it in the leading grand summary part with its left edge aligned with the field in the part below it.
This removes any ambiguity about whether this row contains an overall count.
- Center the header text horizontally by resizing the text object to occupy the entire horizontal space and then center-justifying the text.
- Position the header text the same distance from the top as in your other layouts.
It’s reassuring to the user when you follow a consistent approach for placement and formatting of header text.
- Copy the “Contacts” button from your Main Detail layout and paste it into the upper-left of this layout.
- Change the font size of the button to 13 points, reduce the size of the button appropriately, and reposition it, aligning the left edge to the label below it and centering it vertically with the header text.
Because this report is more condensed than your Main Detail layout, only a smaller button will fit.
As this point, your layout should look something like this:
- Switch to Browse mode and evaluate the result.
- Continue to make adjustments until you’re happy with how the report looks.