It should go without saying that the information you get out of your database is only as useful as the information you put into it. However, we’ve noticed that when people are planning a database, they often fail to budget adequate time for creating reports. While Access’s reporting features are powerful, complex issues lurk behind every decision—and it’s just plain difficult to make your reports look right, too. If your experience is anything like ours, you will spend more time designing reports (previewing and tweaking and previewing again) than you ever intended. And you will be annoyed.
This chapter starts by dissecting general report annoyances—problems that almost everyone will have encountered by the time they’ve created a few reports. Since most Access users turn first to the Report Wizard, we’ll start there—and once we’ve covered the basics, we’ll move on to parameters, memo fields, and other general annoyances. Then we’ll delve into more specialized issues, in the “Page Layout and Printing” and “Sorting, Grouping, and Subreports” sections. Finally, we’ll tackle the knotty problems people encounter in two particularly aggravating areas: mailing labels and charts.
THE ANNOYANCE: The Report Wizard asks me a lot of questions I don’t know how to answer. Worse, no matter what I do, I can’t get it to create the report I want.
THE FIX: The Report Wizard is a fairly flexible ...