Collect! Credit and Collection Software™

  Page Table of Contents Related 'How To' Tutorials

How To Create An RTF Report

This document explains creating letters in an RTF format and using Collect! to print them. This procedure uses your word processor for the final output.

If you have a letter in MS Word, or some other program that can save to an RTF file, you can bring the report into Collect! and print it when you are on an account, or have several accounts tagged. When the original RTF report is designed, the same printable information codes used in Collect!'s Report Writer are used, so that data from your accounts is printed in the report. Please refer to the samples shipped with Collect!

RTF's provide a great way to produce a letter quickly without being very familiar with Collect!'s Report Writer.

For best results, use RTF reports for simple letters. Lists, headers and footers may not be handled the way you expect and they may slow down the printing process. RTF's are meant to be used for printing single letters or small batches of letters.

Creating The RTF File

1. Start your word processor.

Useful Note WordPad is recommended for this example. If you use MS Word, please ensure that you do not include any "fancy" formatting and that you save the sample as an RTF file! After you save the file, you must open it with Wordpad and re-save it to remove the Microsoft specific headers.

2. Create a new blank document and begin to enter your text. As an example, type in the following line.

This is a debtor's name: @de.na<

This line contains a printable information field, @de.na, to pull the Debtor Name from the database into your report.

This will print this is a debtor's name: followed by the Name of the Debtor whose account you have open in Collect! when you run the report.

3. This is enough text to demonstrate how RTF's work. So let's save the document to an *.rtf file.

From the top menu bar, select File and then select Save As from the drop-down choices. This will open the Save As window in your word processor, i.e. WordPad.

Ensure you have Rich Text Format(RTF) selected in the field labeled Save as type.

Type a name for this report in the field labeled File name.

Select Desktop the location in the field labeled Save in. This will place the new RTF file on your computer's Desktop. This is the easiest place find it later.

Select the Save button.

You have now created your RTF report.

Top of page.

Importing The RTF Report

The RTF report is imported into Collect! in the same manner as an ordinary *.rpt report created in Collect!'s Report Writer.

Useful Note If you are not familiar with importing reports into Collect!, please refer to How To Import Reports for the complete steps.

After you have successfully imported your RTF report into Collect! there are a few setup steps to take to prepare the report for printing.

1. Select Print from the top menu bar and then select Edit Reports from the drop-down choices. This will display the list of all reports in Collect!.

2. Scroll through the list of reports until you find the RTF report you imported.

3. Select the RTF report to open the Report Definition for the report.

4. Select Debtor from the Start On field pick list.

5. Select the Report Options button and select Other in the Destination field.

The RTF report may be edited by selecting the Report Body. This will open the word processor you created the report in, i.e. WordPad. Then you can save your changes and they will automatically be saved in Collect!. There is no need to import the report again after modifications.

Useful Note If you have a letter that you previously created in MS Word, try saving it as RTF to preserve whatever formatting you can and open it in Word Pad to edit it for use with Collect!.

Top of page.

Loops And Variables

In the Report Writer, there are functions that need to be on the left margin, including loops and variables. This also applies to RTF files. RTF files have the facility to embed comments. The comments will not output or display when you open an RTF, but the code inside the comment will still execute when Collect! prints the file.

1. In the RTF file, position the output in the location where you want it to output. For example, if you are outputting a variable, on the right margin or in the middle of a paragraph, put it there or if you are outputting cosigners in a table, put the applicable fields in the table, without the loop markers.

2. Once your file is ready, save it as per the above instructions.

3. Once saved, open the RTF with a text editor like notepad.

4. In the file, navigate to the applicable location and put your loops inside a comment: {\*\text}

Here are some examples:

Putting the Last Payment Amount into a Variable

{\*\collectcomment
@tvarAmt$ = 0.00
@de.tr NO TOTAL WHERE ( @tr.ft = Payment ) MAX = 1
@tvarAmt = @(tr.tu+tr.di)
@de.tr
}

Outputting Cosigner Names

{\*\collectcomment
@de.cos NO TOTAL WHERE ( @dc.cl = Cosigner )
}
\pard\widctlpar\sa160\sl252\slmult1\b0 @dc.na<\par
{\*\collectcomment
@de.cos
}

Useful Note The code that appears before the @dc.na is formatting code inserted by WordPad.

Top of page.

Troubleshooting RTF

If you attempt to edit an RTF report in Collect! and this opens MS Word, you may want to edit your Windows file associations so that *.rtf files are opened with WordPad. This keeps the formatting simple as you get started and may prevent erratic results. Please refer to Windows documentation on Associate a file extension with a file type or ask your technician to create this file association for you.

If you have large volumes of letters to print, it is recommended that you use Collect!'s Report Writer. Every time an RTF report

is printed, a file is created and sent to the printer. For this reason, RTF reports are not recommended for printing large batches of letters, especially on a network, as this would mean creating very many files. This large volume would be very time consuming for your printer and may slow down your network. On the other hand, printing a large batch of reports created in Collect! only creates one file to send to the printer. This is much faster. For large companies and large batches, using Collect!'s Report Writer is a much more efficient choice.

Useful Note Please look through the pre-defined reports and letters. You will find sample reports listed with code snippets illustrating many report writing topics. As well, Collect! ships with many report samples complete with code and our web site always has new offerings.

Top of page.

Was this page helpful? Do you have any comments on this document? Can we make it better? If so how may we improve this page.

Please click this link to send us your comments: helpinfo@collect.org

Collection Advisor RMA ACA Member