Report Writer Layout Tab - WebTMA 5

Path: Reports > Report Writer / Layout Tab

The final part of the report is the layout. Use this Tab to save your report and to specify how you want the fields displayed. You can go to this Tab and click the Save button as you add complex calculations to other Tabs before you are ready to make final layout decisions. This assures that your work is saved as you design your report.

WebTMA displays data in a Table style or a Detail style. Your style selection depends on the type of report you need. Think carefully about how you want to view your report, because each time you switch between Table and Detail, WebTMA deletes any format, styles, or other layout settings you have made.

The page orientation set on the Properties Tab shows here, but you can change it on the Layout Tab as well.

If you use the Table layout, an additional button named Equalize Colspan, is displayed. When you click this button, The Report Writer review the entire report and adjusts the cell column spans to ensure they add up. The feature does not require any special action on your part, i.e., no cells have to be checked, for the function to be performed. Clicking the button never breaks a report, but it does repair a report that has column span errors. If you want to make more adjustments, you can still adjust the cell column spans using the Styles button.

The Date/Times on reports reflect the current user's settings.

The Preview button functions the same way as the Quick View button on the first page of the Report Writer, that is, WebTMA displays the report in the default print format if one has been selected. Reports print in .pdf format, and page numbers are standardized in the format n/n, such as 1/3 indicating page one of three pages.

Since forms do not include every field for every module, you can add another report as a sub-report. This incorporates all the fields from the sub-report in your report. See About Sub-reports below for more information.

Table Style Reports

Path: Reports > Report Writer / Layout Tab

The Table style is similar to an Excel spreadsheet. The number of columns does not have to match on every subtab within the Layout Tab. However, the total width and column span must match on each subtab, i.e., Header, Data, and Footer, if there are any fields within the Tab, or it can have no fields at all. No row's total column span should be greater than the greatest number of cells in a row.

If you attempt to save a report that does not meet all the rules, WebTMA alerts you with a message specific to your layout.

The following screenshot is an example of the error message. In this case, the total of the rows' column spans was equal, but it was greater than the greatest number of cells in a row.

By default, the header labels are bold.

If you want to indicate page breaks in a Table style, use the Page Break check box on the Groups Tab.

Detail Style Reports

Path: Reports > Report Writer / Layout Tab

The Detail style gives you more flexibility in arranging data and allows you to use dividing lines between each new set of data.

The Page Break button applies to the Detail style and adds a blank page at the beginning or end of a report.

By default, the system adds Data Label fields related to each Data Field. The data labels are in bold. While it is possible to select an existing data field to create your chart, it is advisable to add a new field if you add a Chart; otherwise, the results may not be what you expected.

You may prefer to create a separate report that includes your graphics and use it as a sub-report. In addition, you can create reports made up of charts for a quick graphic view of the data.

About Sub-reports in Report Writer

If the form you select does not include all the fields you need, you can supplement your report with sub-reports.

Existing reports are used as sub-reports regardless of whether the term 'sub-report' is included in the title of the report.

The sub-report can be in one style, such as a Table, and the primary report can be in the other style.

  All the fields from the sub-report are included in the new report. Make sure your sub-report does not contain numerous unwanted fields. WebTMA ignores the sub-report's title, logo, margins, etc.

Layout Tab Functions

Path: Report Writer / Layout Tab

The available layout buttons change depending on whether you use Table or Detail style.

If you want to experiment with the different styles, save your basic report and make a copy with a slightly different name. Initially, you may want to experiment to determine the type of layout that works best for you. Having two copies of the report, one in Table style and one in Detail style, saves time because each time you switch between styles on the same report, all formatting and other selections are cleared from the fields.

Tips for Using the Layout Tab

Path: Report Writer / Layout Tab

Click the Save button frequently. Until you save, your changes are not stored. As mentioned previously, you can go to the Layout Tab during the process of creating a report and save your report. This is especially useful when you create complex Criteria and Calculations.

Click to put a check mark in the box or boxes you want to affect. Remember to click the Apply button on the button-related window to record your changes.

The action buttons such as Save, Preview, Add, and Remove as well as the arrow buttons do not open a separate window. They perform the actions indicated. Click the check box of the cell you want to rearrange in the layout, and click the arrow buttons (up, down, left, or right) to move the cells around the layout. If at first the cell does not move to the location you desire, continue to click the arrow to cycle through various positions.

The Add button adds a new blank field that you can use as a data field, a label, a chart, or blank. When you want to align data in a particular design, use blank fields as spacers. Be sure to format the size of blank fields exactly as the other fields in the column.

The Remove button deletes the field or fields that are checked. If you remove a field and change your mind, exit the report without saving.

Be sure you mark a field check box before you click any buttons. Unless you tell WebTMA what field you want to affect, nothing happens.

Data Type Selections

Path: Report Writer / Layout Tab

Use this button to determine the kind of data the field will display. You can make only one selection on this window. When you make a selection in another field on the window and tab out of the field, the system automatically clears the previous selection. Fields are either Labels (text) or Data.

The fields on this window are defined as follows:

Data Label – Select the label you want for this field. Choose from the available list.

Generic Label – The selections on the list for this window are predefined by WebTMA.

Function – Select one of the built-in data functions provided by SSRS.

Custom Text – Type your own text if you want to customize a Data Label.

Data Field – Select one of the fields from the Fields Tab.

Calculation – If you have created calculations on the Report Writer Calculations Tab, you can select one here.

Summary – If you have created summaries on the Report Writer Summaries Tab, you can select one here.

Styles Selections

Path: Report Writer / Layout Tab

Use Styles to determine the appearance of your data. Be sure to check at least one cell in your layout before you click the Styles button.

Notice that the last field changes depending on your selection of Detail or Table style layout.

Use the Height field when you select a Detail style report to size the area in your report and assure there is room to fully display the data such as a bar code or a graph.

Use the Column Span field when you select a Table style report. This option is used to encompass the number of table columns you designate. Be sure to give the Header and Footer columns the identical column span so WebTMA can display the report.

Other fields on this window are similar to style settings in most computer applications. Note the Font field includes Bar Code in the selections. If you want the selected data field to print as a Bar Code, select it here.

Formatting Selections

Path: Report Writer / Layout Tab

Click the Formatting button to open this window and set the appearance of date, time, and numeric data.

The list shows the character string codes. Type your selections in the field at the top of the window. Use the Literals (. , : - /) for dividers as appropriate. You can also press the space bar if you want a space between selections such as MMMM D, yyyy to display October 20, 2008 for example.

Scroll down for examples of the various codes. The examples are listed in the same sequence as the preceding codes, i.e., yyyy  2008, yy 08, MMMM April, etc.

Divider Line & Page Break

Path: Report Writer / Layout Tab

The Page Break and Divider Line buttons are exclusive to Detail style reports. No window opens when you click the buttons, rather WebTMA automatically inserts a cell at the beginning of the data cells and the cell is checked.

The Page Break button is used to insert a blank page at the beginning or end of the report. If you place a page break cell anywhere else, it is ignored.

The Divider Line button operates in much the same way as a page break; however, you can place the divider line anywhere among the cells. Unless you have a particular need, this may create more confusion in reading the report, but the option is available to you.

How to Select a Sub-report

Path: Reports > Report Writer / Layout Tab

When you select the same column in both the report and sub-report, you link the two reports. Unless you specify these common data columns, the sub-report is not included.

Be sure these columns contain data that is not duplicated in the database. For sensible results, be certain that you select a field containing unique data such as Work Order # or Equipment #. In contrast, a column such as a technician's first name could have many occurrences in the data.

To include a sub-report, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Add button to create a blank cell. It is checked by default.
  2. Click the Sub-report
  3. Select the name of the sub-report.
  4. Select the Sub-report Primary Column.
  5. Select the Report Primary Column.
  6. (Optional) Select secondary columns for the sub-report and report.*
  7. Click the Apply

A secondary sub-report, i.e., a sub-report within a sub-report, is used for very advanced report writing. Rarely will you use this feature. For the most part, you can include two independent sub-reports to display the data.

Chart Selections

Path: Report Writer / Layout Tab

The Chart button is available with Detail style reports only. Use this option to design graphic representations of your data. You can select any combination of types and fields, as long as they make sense. The system will not create a graph if the input is not logical.

On the Chart window, the Title field is not required, but you may want to add one to help identify the data.

Select the graph style in the Type field. You have many choices as well as a 3D check box if you want a three-dimensional graph.

When you click the Add Data button, select the Type, Sub-type, and Column.

The data Type selections are Field or Group, and the Sub-types differ depending on your type selection.

Selections available in the Column field include any of the fields you have selected for your report.

When selecting your charts, at least one Type/Sub-type needs to be Field/Count.

If you include a field in the chart, it must have a group specified on the Group Tab. Without a group, the chart doesn't display in the report.

Table Layout Selections

Path: Report Writer / Layout Tab

The Table Layout button applies only to Table style reports. Use it to determine the appearance of the table on the page.

If you make no selections, the entire table is aligned to the left of the page without any grid lines or other formatting.

The Grid option outlines each cell and adds a contrasting background to alternate rows.

The Default Template option adds a contrasting background to the header row at the top of each page.

The Center option centers the entire table on the page. It does not center individual columns in the table.

The Header Line Separator option inserts a line after the table header.

The Footer Line Separator option inserts a line before the table footer.

The Group Header Line Separator option inserts a line after the group header.

The Group Footer Line Separator option inserts a line before the group footer.

The Row Line Separator option inserts a line between rows of data.

Click the check boxes that work best with your Table style report.

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