Related Information Examples & Tutorials
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How To Build Reports Or Letters

This topic covers the basic steps necessary to begin to create your own reports or letters in Collect!.


Setup Company Details

Review help on Report Definition and Report Body

Examine sample reports and letters for guidelines

Have a definite plan for your report layout and the data you want to pull from database fields

Study help topics related to your specific needs

Know what form your report or letter will "start on"

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Creating Reports And Letters In Collect!

To get the most out of Collect!'s report writer, it is necessary to be aware of the kinds of information you can include in your design. You will use several of these elements to create effective, useful reports or letters. Basic elements are easy to use to create standard reports or letters. Review the samples included in the pre-defined reports.

tip.gif You may find that one of Collect!'s pre-designed reports or letters provides the information that you need. If so, you can use this report or change it slightly to suit your requirements.

Creating reports and letters begins with an understanding of the basic codes used in the report writer and knowledge of the steps taken to pull information from your database records.

Once you are familiar with the basics, you can extend your use of the report writer to build sophisticated reports, designed in a pleasing manner and capable of displaying your data as you need it, including calculations, totals, and information from various records and forms. The possibilities are quite limitless! For this reason, it is necessary to learn the basics and proceed from there.

See Also:

- Printable Field
- Printer Control Code
- Default Printer Codes

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Start With Pre-Defined Reports Or Letters

Return to the pre-defined reports and samples provided with Collect! whenever you start to design a new report or letter.

Pull down the Print menu and choose Customize Printing, Edit Report Templates. This will display the Report Definition list with all the reports and letters that are within Collect.

tip.gif Take time to examine several of these reports and letters to get an idea of the way reports are designed.

Use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to navigate through this list.

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Copying A Report Or Letter

When you find a pre-defined report or letter that you would like to use, make a copy of this report. To do this, make sure the correct report is highlighted.

1. Pull down the Edit menu and choose Copy, or use the Ctrl-C key combination.

2. Next, Pull down the Edit menu and choose Paste, or use Ctrl-V, to paste an identical copy of the report into the Report Definition list.

3. Click on one of these copies to open the Report Definition form for this report.

4. Click in the Name field and rename your copy of this report.

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

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Creating A New Report Or Letter

1. Pull down the Print menu and choose Customize Printing, Edit Report Templates. This will display the Report Definition list with all the reports and letters that are within Collect.

2. Press F3 or click the NEW button at the bottom of the Report Definition list screen to create a new report.

3. The Report Definition form will now display a form for you to use to create your report or letter. Enter a name that you would like to call the report or letter in the Name field.

4. Click in the "Start On" field or hit your F2 key and you will be able to select the form that the report or letter will start on. Press F1 for more information. Especially, note the help about Start On as this is most important.

5. Click into the Report Body and the Report Body editor will open with a blank form for you to start entering text and codes for your report or letter. Press F1 for assistance on using the Report Body editor.

6. Press F2 to display the Choose Report Item form. You can use this to find the codes you need for database fields and printer commands. When the Choose Report Item form is displayed, press F1 for more information.

7. Refer to help and How To topics for guidance and code snippets. Also, find sample reports and letters in the Report Definition list. You can copy code from these samples into your report. As well, there is an extensive list of Report Samples that you can view and choose from.

See Also:

- Report Definition
- Report Body
- Choose Report Item

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Collect! Report Library

For many years, Comtech Systems has designed reports in answer to the needs of its clients. This has resulted in a large library of reports that are made available to you with your system as shipped and available on the Member Center for FREE download if you have a Support Membership.

If you do not have a current Support Membership, contact Comtech at 250-391-0466 and press 3 for Administration.

See Also:

- Report Sample - access sample reports and code

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Custom Reports From Collect!

Collect! creates custom reports on request. You can send us your requirements and we will quote and contract to design a special report for you.

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Creating reports and letters in Collect! can be challenging when the results you desire are complex. The results are very powerful, flexible and almost limitless. Start with the basics and build on what you are sure of.

The support team at Comtech Systems is always willing to email you "a snippet" to paste into your reports!

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See Also

- Report Sample to view sample reports and letters
- Report Topics Index for a list of all report and letter topics
- How To Order Custom Reports
- How To Import A Report
- How to Export A Report

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