4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2009 3:10 PM by jrockstrom

    Flexible report



      Flexible report


      I require a report that will handle a 4 different text blocks of varying length, beneath a header for each, plus a portal with a varying number of rows, all based on the user's input for each report. I have tried using the Set Sliding/Printing tool but it is imprecise as the spaces don't always close up to make a professional looking report and I have strange page breaks as well. Is there a more sophisticated way I could manage this report? I'm using FM10 Pro Advanced.


      Many thanks



        • 1. Re: Flexible report

          It's hard to say without knowing more about your "large text blocks". Are they static layout text? a field? Layout text combined with merge fields?


          One option to use instead of portals is to base your layout on the portal's table and use sub summary parts to display data from the parent table. That is more flexible than portals.


          Posting a "mock up" of your report's overall structure might be also be helpful.

          • 2. Re: Flexible report

            Thanks, Phil, it's always hard to guess how much info' to include. The text starts out as open ended fields with the user typing in whatever they have to say. The portal could have from, say, two lines to 30 lines. Once all the data has been input then the user has to provide a written report.
            All the text and portal information is held in a number of tables that have a relationship with the main layout. I couldn't get sub summary parts to work for me as the comprised data comes from so many different tables. But, then again, I probably don't understand the sub summary function well enough! I have tried using merge fields as well, but because there can be such a variation in the content this didn't seem workable.

            I wanted to attach a PDF sample of a report of where I'm up to at the moment, but I couldn't work out how to add atachments in this forum?!


            I read your second line but I need more explanation to follow the point.


            Many thanks for helping!





            • 3. Re: Flexible report

              Unfortunately, you can't upload files to this forum. You can upload the files to a file sharing site and then post a link to the share site in your post. (Check out the "Chain" and "tree" icons in the reply to message screen to learn more.)


              It sounds like a combination of sliding fields and basing your subsummary report on your portal's table occurrence rather than the main table could be made to work for you. I'd set the large text fields to slide up and reduce the size of their enclosing part. You can add fields from related records  in other tables to your sub-summary layout as long as the relationships are correctly set up.


              You can use Sliding/Printing in the Format menu to set objects to "Slide up" and "reduce size of the enclosing part" to eliminate unused space in your report, but it can be a bit tricky to do so. Keep these points in mind when attempting to make fields "slide up":

              1. Sliding is only visible when the layout is printed/previewed. It's not visible in browse mode.
              2. When you set a field to slide up, all objects in the same layout part that are below it (even graphic objects like a horizontal line) must also be set to slide up.
              3. Container fields won't slide unless formatted to use "top, left" alignment in the Format Graphic dialog.
              4. Sliding fields and portals only shrink, they do not stretch. Therefore you must size a sliding field to be larger than the largest possible number of lines of text that might occurr. If you don't size the field large enough, some data may not appear in your report for this reason.
              • 4. Re: Flexible report

                Thanks, Phil, I really appreciated your tip on container fields. Lyndsay Howarth took me 'backchannel' :0 and walked me through my two problems. I had previously toyed with merge fields but hadn't taken them far enough, with Lyndsay's guidance I had the perfect answer for managing the report that I wanted. Mind you, she did show me how to setup a couple of extra calculation fields to manage my portal information that I would NEVER have worked out this century!


                Thanks to both of you for giving me assitance!


                Best regards