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How To Design Reports And Letters

Letters and reports can be defined to print whatever data or information set you need. You can pull information from records in your database and add your own lines of text, print single letters or run batch processes.

Reports can be designed to print very complicated combinations of information. They can do calculations and provide totals and summaries of the information that is pulled from your database.

Pre-Defined Letters And Reports

Many pre-defined reports have been included in Collect! They illustrate various concepts and possibilities for your report and letter design. You can use these reports, modify them if necessary to suit your needs, or copy code from them into your own designs. To view these reports, Choose Print -- Edit Reports. The Report Definition list is
displayed. This is a listing of all reports contained in Collect! When you define your own reports and letters, they too will display in this list.

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Parts Of A Report

This is an overview of the parts of a report. In addition to explaining what these parts are, references are included to guide you to details and examples.

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Header

A header is standard information that is displayed at the top of each additional page of a multi-page report. To use a header, see How To Use Headers and Footers.

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Today's Date

There are several possible ways to format the date of your report or letter. When you are in the Report Body, if you press F2, a form is displayed with standard date codes that can be added to your design. Choose one of these formats and press Next. The date code will be entered in your report body at the position of the cursor.

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Personal Data Lines

This is, typically, information that is pulled from the database. There are numerous How To topics covering all aspects of data selection and display. Look for topics that deal with Selecting Information and Formatting.

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Date / Time

See How To topics on Date and Time, Date Ranges, Formatting and Using the WHERE clause with Dates.

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File And Transaction Information

This is, typically, information that is pulled from the database. There are numerous How-to topics covering all aspects of pulling information from records and displaying it. Look for topics that deal with Selecting Information, Formatting, and Creating Lists. Advanced topics include Using WHERE clauses, Variables and 'if' Conditionals.

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Text

Type any text and Collect! will print it exactly as you type it. One limitation is that if you want to print the % character, you must type %%. This is because a single % is recognized by the system as a printer code.

There are numerous How To topics that cover ways to format the text, change fonts, use text-justifying. See How To topics on Formatting, Controlling Font and Print Attributes,

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Closing

You can create a standard closing statement to appear on each page of your letter or report. See How To Use Headers and Footers.

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Footer

A footer is standard information that is displayed at the bottom of each page of a report or letter. See How To Use Headers and Footers for more information.

tip.gif To get started formatting your reports, refer to How To Add Formatting to Your Designs.

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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

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