Tutorial - Lesson 4

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Time to clean up the report and make it more presentable. Remember you can move FRAMES with either the keyboard OR the mouse - the choice is yours. For moving a FRAME in very small increments the keyboard will be more precise and easier; use the mouse to select multiple FRAMES (hold down the CTRL key, then left click on each desired frame to select them individually), then use the keyboard to move the selected FRAMES (while holding down the CTRL key, use the arrow keys to move the selected frame(s) up/down/left/right) to where they need to go (yes, you can move multiple objects at one time!). Also note that the Tab key on the keyboard will select the next FRAME for you; shift-Tab will select the previous FRAME (just as in other Windows programs that you use).


We are going to reopen the report that was just created from the Report Manager by highlighting it inside the Report Manager screen, then click the CHANGE button. This will display the Report Formatter screen once again, with everything just as we saved it.


The first thing to change is the default font; some fonts used in Windows are more attractive than others. The Verdana font was designed specifically for readability, and makes an excellent choice for printed reports. You can easily (and quickly) change the font used inside all frames in the report by clicking File, then select the Font menu option. You will see a standard Windows font selection window on screen, allowing you to select the font, it's style and size. Once you select a font and click the OK button you will notice that all of the FRAMES in the DETAIL band will change their font. Be aware that some fonts print larger than other fonts, so if you are tight on space, select a font that is narrower than other fonts. For now we'll select Verdana-Regular-8.


Located on the toolbar is a button with a blue "A" inside it. RepBuildAButton This font button will change the font only for a single FRAME that is currently selected (i.e. has the red resizing boxes on the corners). It will not change the font used for the entire report!


Now we click the FRAME that contains the Name field from the database - we want to display it with BOLD text to make it stand out on the report. After left clicking that frame click the blue "A" button, select Bold then click OK. The contents of that frame will now be boldfaced - you may need to resize this frame, since bold text requires a little more space.


Each FRAME in a report can print in a different font; they can even print in different colors! Try not to use too many different types of fonts in your report, as it can become a distraction and make reading it more difficult. Stick with common fonts that are loaded on everyone's machine; otherwise Windows will substitute the font you chose (but isn't installed on another computer) with a font that will cause printing problems (such as a column bleeding into the next column, improper spacing, etc).


To recap; in this lesson you learned:


How to change the default font used in a report


How to change the font characteristics for a single frame


Each frame can be formatted with a different font