11. Designing Advanced Reports
In the previous chapter, you learned to create simple reportsnicely formatted printouts that arrange information inside a single table. Simple reports are a great way to create a hard copy that has more polish than a datasheet printout. As you learned in the previous chapter, simple reports give you the fine-grained formatting you need to highlight important columns and values, and they handle long text fields gracefully, without wasting space or chopping off part of the data.
Simple reports are a great Access tool, but they're still, well, simple . Their structure is their main limitation. No matter how you format or arrange your data in a simple report, Access always presents it as a table. In the real world, you may want your printed data to take other forms. You may want to transform your data into customer invoices, class attendance lists, or mailing labels. All these reports perform the same taskthey take the data in a table, and then arrange it on the printed pagebut none of them can be satisfied with a plain- vanilla report and its simple tabular structure.
In this chapter, you'll see how to create a variety of more specialized reports that take the concepts you learned in the last chapter, and extend them with a few new tricks. Along the way, you'll take a look at Design view, you'll learn how to add pictures and shapes , and you'll tell Access where it can break pages in long printouts. You'll also see how to use grouping to analyze data and calculate subtotals.