MS-Access / Getting Started

What are Forms and Reports

Reports and forms are used very differently, but you create them in similar ways. You can create both forms and reports by running wizards. You can create or modify both forms and reports in Design view, where you can create, move, and customize controls and their properties.

To see a list of the reports in your database - and, eventually, to open or modify a report - scroll down in the Navigation Pane until you get to the Reports section, where you'll see a nice list of all the reports in your database. If you don't see the Reports section in the Navigation Pane, click the title bar of the Navigation Pane and select All Access Objects.

You can look at a report in three views:

  • Design view: Here's where you can look behind the scenes at what fields the report displays where.
  • Print Preview: This view shows how the report will look when you print it.
  • Layout view: This view looks like Print Preview, but allows you to make changes to your report.

To see a report in Design view, click its name in the Navigation Pane and click the down arrow on the View button on the Home tab of the Ribbon. You'll see a drop-down list. To see the report in Print Preview, click its name in the list. If you already opened the report in Design view, switch to Print Preview by clicking the down arrow on the View button on the Home tab and selecting Print Preview. You can also cycle between Layout view and Print Preview by clicking the View button.

This tutorial describes how to make reports by running wizards, as well as how to customize reports in ways that don't work for forms. For information about how to create and customize reports in Design view, including adding controls and setting properties.

However, reports can include features that don't appear on forms, including these:

  • Grouping and sections: When you design a report, you frequently want to have information grouped together. For example, a monthly sales report may list sales by product, with subtotals for each product. A mailinglabel report may start a new page for each new ZIP code, and print the total number of labels that are in each ZIP code. You can have up to four grouping levels. You can add grouping levels by adding section headers to your report in Design view (see the section, "Adding sections that group your records," later in this tutorial).
  • Page headers, footers, and numbers: Most reports have page numbers and many need other information printed at the top or bottom of every page. See the section, "Adding page headers, footers, and numbers," later in this tutorial.
  • Margins, paper size, and paper orientation: Reports usually end up on paper, and you can configure your report to fit. See the section, "Creating Mailing Labels," later in this tutorial.

But first, we cover how to create some reports the easy way - by using the wizard.

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