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How To Add Formatting To Your Designs

This is an extensive topic. You can format text, date/time and numeric fields and variables. There are many possibilities for each type of data.

Formatting Guidelines

1. The best way to begin is to print your report or letter with no formatting. If the output is correct and you are satisfied with it, then you can begin to add formatting.

2. Check the margins. Change these first, if necessary. Refer to Report Options for details.

3. Check the fonts. Refer to How To Control Font Attributes if you want to change the font type or size.

tip.gif If you want to apply a certain font to your whole report or change the page orientation, please refer to Report Options for information. The Report Options form allows you to set many details that Collect! will use when printing a specific report.

4. Next, apply bolding, italics or underlining. refer to How To Control Font Attributes for details.

5. Format your dates, trim trailing spaces, format numeric fields. refer to "How To Format" topics.

tip.gif Begin with a few standard formatting effects, such as right or left justifying and date formatting. When your results are consistent, you can add finer details to your design. Very attractive results are possible with a few definitions. Adding too many makes your design confusing and hard to control.

There are pre-defined reports and letters that have been formatted for a variety of special effects. Check out the contents of the list of Report Definitions for ideas and examples. As well, there is an extensive list of Report Samples that you can view and choose from.

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Using Pre-Defined Reports Or Letters

Return to the pre-defined reports and samples provided with Collect! whenever you start to design a new report. Pull down the Print menu and choose Customize Printing, Edit Report Templates. This will bring up the Report Definition list. Use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to navigate through this list. When you find a pre-defined report or letter that you would like to use, make a copy of this report.

To copy a report:

1. Make sure the correct report or letter is highlighted in the Report Definition list.

2. Either Choose Edit -- Copy from the drop-down menu at the top
of your Collect! screen, or use the Ctrl-C key combination.

3. Next, choose Edit -- Paste or use Ctrl-V, to paste an identical copy
of the report into the Report Definition list.

4. Click on one of these copies to open the definition form for this report.

5. Click in the Name field and rename your copy of this report or letter.

Now you can experiment freely with changes. If you are not satisfied with the results, the original report or letter can be used to restore the design.

tip.gif If your requirements are more complicated than you care to delve into, remember that the Collect! support team can design custom reports to fit your every need.

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See Also

- Report Topics Index for a list of all report and letter topics
- Report Sample to view a list of available sample reports and letters
that you can import into your database - Refer to How To topics for the type of data you would like to format.

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