Chapter 20. Advanced Access Report Techniques


  • Organizing reports to present the data in a logical manner

  • Producing more attractive reports

  • Providing additional information about the report

  • Learning other approaches to enhance your presentation

Back in the bad old days, most computer-generated reports were printed on pulpy, green-bar paper in strict tabular (row-and-column) format. The user was expected to further process the data to suit his particular needs — often, a time-consuming process that involved manually summarizing or graphing the data.

Things have changed. Visually oriented businesspeople want useful, informative reports produced directly from their databases. No one wants to spend time graphing data printed in simple tabular format anymore. Today, users want the software to do much of the work for them. This means that reporting tools such as Microsoft Access must be able to produce the high-quality, highly readable reports that users demand.

Because Access is a Windows application, you have all the super-duper Windows facilities at your disposal: TrueType fonts, graphics, and a graphical interface for report design and preview. In addition, Access reports feature properties and an event model (although with fewer events than you saw on forms) for customizing report behavior. You can use the Visual Basic language to add refinement and automation to the reports you build in Access.

In this chapter, I provide some general principles and design techniques to keep ...

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