MS-Access / Getting Started

Editing Reports in Design View

You can modify your report in many ways, some of which work just as they do when modifying a form. Check out the following list for some of the way:

  • Creating, editing, moving, and deleting controls: Controls are the boxes on the Design grid that display labels, data from fields, and other information.

When you are in Design view, with most of the same buttons that are used when designing a form.

However, some things work differently for forms and reports. Reports don't have command buttons and drop-down lists (they wouldn't work on paper!). Reports also have to fit correctly on the printed page and need page headers, footers, and headings for subsections. The rest of this tutorial describes report-specific features.

Report Sections and How They Work

In Design view, your report is broken into parts called sections. The main part of the report is the Detail section - which shows information from fields in the table or query that is the record source for the report. The other sections come in pairs around the Detail section.

Sections provide headers and footers for your pages and allow you to group data using a particular field. If you have a number of reports with the same value in a field, you can display those records together in the report. For example, if your record source has a Date/Time field, you can create a section for that field and group records that have the same date, with subtotals by date. Table-2 lists the different sections that a report can include, with tips for how to use the section.

Table-2 Sections of Reports
Report SectionWhere It Appears and How to Use It
Report Header and FooterAppears at the beginning and end of the report. These sections are for summary information about the entire report. The Report Header can include a title page. The Report Footer can include totals for all the records in the report.
Page Header and FooterAppears at the top and bottom of each page, and usually includes the report name, the date, and the page number.
Section Header and FooterAppears at the top and bottom of each grouping (before the first record and after the last record) in a group that has the same value for a specific field. Your report may have more than one Section Header and Footer: You get one pair for each grouping. The Section Footer may include subtotals. Format Section Headers and Footers to make the hierarchy of the report obvious (for instance, larger fonts for first-level groups and smaller fonts for second-level groups).
DetailAppears after each Section Header or after the Report Header if your report has no additional sections. Displays values for each record and can contain calculated fields.

You can't delete the Detail section. You can leave it blank, though, if you want a summary report with subtotals and totals but no data for individual records. Drag its lower edge (the top of the next section divider) upward to shrink the section to nothing.

Setting report and section properties

As with most Access objects, each section and control in your report - as well as the entire report itself - has properties. You can display and change the properties on the Property sheet. To display the Property sheet for the whole report, double-click the report selector (the gray box in the top-left corner of the Design View window) or right-click the ruler at the top of the Design View window and choose Properties from the context menu. Click the tabs to see the different categories of properties (or click the All tab to see all of them). Click in a property to change it.

To see or change the properties of a particular section, double-click the section header or select the section header and click the Property Sheet button on the Tools chunk of the Design tab of the Ribbon. After the Property sheet is visible, you can click a section header or control to see its properties.

You can quickly display or hide the Property sheet by pressing Alt + Enter.

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