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How To Design HTML Reports

This is an *** ADVANCED TOPIC ***

This topic discusses using HTML code in the Report Body to design your own reports to Print via Browser. This requires experience using Collect!'s report writer and familiarity with the HTML language and creating HTML pages.

By default, Collect! prints reports as HTML pages whenever "Print Via Browser" is enabled, either globally, through the Report and Printer Setup, or for individual operators through the Operator form.

Collect! uses predefined HTML printing commands from the HTML section of the Printer Control Codes list. If the operator has a style sheet, Collect! displays the letter or report within the style sheet.

This default behavior of Collect!'s printing functions may not give you enough control over the results you want to see in your browser. If you are an experienced web page designer, you may want to create your own HTML pages. Collect!'s Web Host uses custom HTML pages designed in this way.

Custom HTML Pages

If you want to create your own reports with HTML code, you can turn off the report writer's interpretation of Print via Browser reports with the @no html command.

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No HTML

The command @no html tells Collect! that you will handle all of the HTML coding in the page that is printed to the browser. With this code, you completely control the page layout yourself.

SYNTAX: @no html

Usage: This command turns off the automatic internal generation of HTML pages when you enable Print via Browser.

Place this code at the very beginning of your report or letter, on a line by itself. Then design your page just as you would build a web page, starting with <html>. Use whatever HTML code you wish to format the page as you would like it to display.

@no html stops Collect! from converting hard returns to <:br> and gives you have full control of HTML coding within the report.

Add printable field codes wherever you want to pull information into the report from your database.

For Example:

<strong><center>@de.na</center></strong>

Bold and centers the Debtor name. In other words, your report is sent directly to the browser as an HTML page rather than going through the internal HTML generator first.

You can design a web page and test it in your browser. Then open it in a simple text editor. Copy and paste the entire HTML code into a new report body in Collect! Substitute printable field codes where appropriate to bring in data from the database.

tip.gif Collect!'s Web Host uses reports designed in this way. Examine the list of reports in the Web Host Report Definition list for examples and ideas.

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No HTML Wrapper

This command stops Collect! from grabbing the system.html when printing to browser.

SYNTAX: @No HTML wrapper

Usage: Collect! ships with a system.html file in the bin\styles folder. On the Operator form there is a button labeled EDIT STYLE. When you select this, Collect! copies the system.html and renames it to {op.id}.html where op.id is whatever operator you are signed on as. You can customize this file to display whatever you want. Whenever an operator prints any report to Browser, Collect! looks for an {op id}.html file and if one is not found, then it grabs the system.html file to wrap the report in before displaying to Browser.

@no html wrapper stops this from happening and thus you are responsible for all the HTML code in the report, including <html> <head> and <body> commands.

tip.gif @no html wrapper gives you full control over what is sent to the Browser. This enables Collect! to talk to many third party applications through web pages.

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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 Edit Style Sheets
- How To Use @Include In Reports
- Default Printer Codes

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