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Microsoft Access 2013 Training: How to Use the Report Wizard

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Using the Report Wizard

You use reports to further calculate and then display the results from a query. You can also use them to calculate statistical results on tables or queries for summary reports. They are simply a more concise and certainly more “printer-friendly” way of presenting the data that you have calculated in your queries to anyone who needs to view this information. They use fields like forms do, and the report design view shares much in common with the form design view. However reports typically have a query as their data source, versus a table.

A simple way to create a basic report is to use the Report Wizard. You can start the Report Wizard by clicking “Report Wizard” button in the “Reports” group on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon. That will launch the “Report Wizard.” Once the Report Wizard is launched, it will lead you through a step-by-step program that prompts you to respond to the questions that it poses. You simply enter the answers and make your desired selections in each screen, and click the “Next >” button to proceed to the next screen. When you are done answering all of the questions on each screen in the wizard, click the “Finish” to create a basic report.

 

Creating Basic Reports

You can create a very basic report that simply shows the results from a table or query by first selecting the table or query that you want to use as the basis for the report from the listing shown in the Navigation Pane. Next, click the click “Report” button in the “Reports” group on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon. Access will automatically create a simple report that you can use to display the selected information. While it lacks style, its ease of use and simplicity of creation compensate for it. You can also modify the report’s content and layout in design view after it has been created, if needed.

 

Creating a Report in Design View

Once you have created a report, it will appear in the Navigation Pane. Here you can select it and then press “Ctrl” + “Enter” on your keyboard to open the report in design view. In design view you can edit the report to change the field placement, add or remove fields, or format the report objects.

In design view, you can change many of the same aspects of reports that you changed in your forms when using design view. You can also create a report from scratch in design view in much the same way that you created forms. To do this, click the “Report Design” button in the “Reports” group on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon. That will create a new, blank report and display it in design view.

One of the first things that you will notice about report design view that is different than the form design view is the number of “bands,” or sections, within the report. By default, the report design view shows a “Page Header,” a “Detail” section, and a “Page Footer.” What is important to note about reports is that in a report, the particular section that you place the fields into can impact what data displays in the field. Just as with form design view, you can start by clicking and dragging the fields from the “Field List” at the right side of the design view, and then dropping them into the desired section of the report design window. However, since reports often use queries as their basis versus using a table, you may want to know how you can select a query to use as the report’s data source, since queries are not shown by default in the “Field List.” In this case, which happens frequently when designing reports, you should set the “Data Source” property of the report. To do this, click the “Property Sheet” button in the “Tools” group on the “Design” tab of the “Report Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon. Use the drop-down at the top of the “Property Sheet” window to select “Report,” if needed. Then click the “Data” tab. Use the drop-down in the

“Record Source” property field to select the name of the query to use as the data source for the report. Then click the “Add Existing Fields” button in the “Tools” group to show the available fields in the selected query within the “Field List” pane.

Fields that are placed into the “Detail” section display their field information once for each record in the associated data source. Items placed into the “Page Header” or “Page Footer” areas repeat once per page. That makes those areas suitable for report labels and date/time stamps, but not calculations.

You can also add two more useful sections to the report: the “Report Header” and “Report Footer.” In Access 2013 and 2010 you can right-click on the header of any displayed section in the report design view and then select the “Report Header/Footer” button from the pop-up menu that appears to enable their display. In Access 2007, you can enable both these sections by clicking the “Report Header/Footer” button in the “Show/Hide” group on the “Arrange” tab of the “Report Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon.

Fields placed into either the “Report Header” or the “Report Footer” sections will display their field information once at the very top and once at the very bottom of a report. Oftentimes you will find report titles placed into the “Report Header” section. The “Report Footer” section is often where you will place fields that calculate the “Grand Total” of other report fields. You can also create many additional header/footer combinations for the various groupings in your report, which you will examine in a later lesson.

In addition to the “Field List,” you also have many of the same controls that you used in forms available for use in report design view, as well. They are shown in the “Controls” group on the “Design” tab of the “Report Design Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon. You can use the buttons in this group to add labels, images, or custom calculated fields.

Once you have designed the report, you can view the report results in “Print Preview” to view how the report would look if you actually printed it. When you are viewing a report in “Print Preview,” you can view multiple or single pages of the report and also print the report using the buttons that are available to you on the “Print Preview” tab. When you are finished previewing your report, you can click the “Close Print Preview” button to close the preview and return to report design view.

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