Chapter 10. Reports
Maybe you can't judge a book by its cover, but appearances do matter. Readers will reject even the most compelling information if they can't easily understand and digest it. In Access, you use reports to create attractive hard copy (usually meaning paper printouts) that can be quickly grasped and absorbed.
Most of the design tools you use in a report you can also use in a form. As graphical media for conveying information, the two have much in common. But whereas reports are usually used to create hard copy, the function of a form is primarily to enter or edit data. In addition, forms tend to center on individual records, whereas reports usually have a wider focus that captures a broader picture.
A report has many advantages over a datasheet. You can include extra blank space for notes and comments. A thoughtful design will organize raw data in ways that will make it far more meaningful. With a report, you can display images such as photos, maps, and diagrams. Notably, report tools make it extremely easy to generate summary statistics such as totals and averages that are of key importance to information users.