The best way, IMHO, is to enter feet and inches into two separate number fields. Otherwise your users will need to take care and enter the data in a consistent way.
Formatting the output for a report is rather trivial - you could simply merge the two (or four) fields in a text object.
Saw that too - was hoping for a simpler solution. as Michael stated, separating the feet and inches might be the best, and only solution and fairly simple.
It's rather old - and wasn't very good to begin with.
Separate fields for feet and inches is not the only solution; it's just that entering two kinds of commas and/or paying strict attention to the separator between feet and inches places a burden on the users - instead of letting the computer do the work.
Try this as a calculated field with a result of "text" to show in your reports
Length Text = LengthFt & "'-" & LengthIn & "\"" It will look like 25'-7" or what ever you length is.
(Note: use a (double quote, single qoute, hyphen, double quote) after the feet and use (double quote, Backward slash, double quote, double quote) after the inches and don't forget the & signs)
I used two fields for Length: one for feet and a second for inches: As LengthFt & LengthIn
Works fine for reports. Just repeat for Width or Height
My formula for SQF is in number format
SFT = ((LenghtFt * 12) + LengthIn) * ((WidthFt * 12) + WidthIn) / 144