Forms & Reports:
Printing Reports

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want: Working with Databases: Access 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016

We discussed printing objects briefly in Project 2: Access Basics: Print Objects. You got deeper in to the printing process for forms in Printable Form, in the current project. Much of what you learned about managing the printing of forms applies to reports also so we won't go over those details again.

Common issues with printing reports:

  • Report Width/Height:
    A record runs over onto a second sheet with little or no data on it.
      Solution: Try Landscape orientation for width problems. Adjust margins to fit report's width/height inside page width/height. The default margins are 1" on all sides. You may have to resize or move controls before you can change the report width.
  • Background for report and controls:
    Uses too much ink and makes the report slow to print.
      Solution: Don't use a background or create a report without backgrounds just for printing.
  • Black and white printing:
    Hard to read in black-and-white
      Solution: Don't use colors for text or background in controls or labels without checking how it prints on a black-only printer.
  • Data hidden:
      Cause: Control is too small to show all of the data.
      Solution: Resize control. Set the Can Grow property for the control and for the Detail section to Yes.
  • Group, Page, Report Headers and Footers:
    Confusion over which prints where. (See below)
  • Group Header shows at bottom of page alone:
    Solution: In the group's properties, set Keep Together to With First Detail.
  • Slow to display/print or program freezes:
    • Computer is not powerful enough for the task.
      Solution: Upgrade the computer with more memory or a faster processor.
    • Based on complex query and/or many groupings.
      Solution: Avoid using a query that is based on other queries that are based on queries.
    • Many calculated controls.
      Solution: Do the calculations in the source query instead in the control.
    • Many records or records with photos.
      Solution: Change the report's source to restrict the records to a smaller set.

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Databases

Before you start...

Project 1: Intro

Project 2: Access Basics

Project 3: Tables & Queries

Project 4: Forms & Reports Arrow: subtopic open
    Import/Export/LinkTo subtopics
    Designing FormsTo subtopics
    Designing Reports Arrow: subtopic open
    Icon: StepReport Wizard
         Printing Reports
    Icon: StepCreate Report Manually
    Icon: StepGroups
    Icon: StepTotals - Simple
    Icon: StepTotals - Calculated
    Icon: StepSharing Reports
    Special Forms & ReportsTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics


Page Setup

For reports you have the same three tabs that you see for printing forms: Margins, Page, Columns

Dialog: Page Setup - Margins Dialog: Page Setup - Page Dialog: Page Setup - Columns

The default margins are 1" all around, unless you changed them in the Options dialog, General tab. The default orientation is Portrait. The default number of columns is 1, with the width being the same as the width of the Detail section.

Printing in columns is discussed in the section on Special Forms and Reports: Multiple Columns.

Print Dialog

Dialog: PrintThe Print dialog still controls the printing process.

  • Select an object in the Database Window or open it.
  • From the menu select  File | Print.... 
  • Choose to print All or just certain pages (in sequence) or Selected Record(s) (for datasheets and forms).
    Unlike with forms or datasheets, for a report, you cannot print just selected records. You cannot select just part of a report after it has been created. You can print only certain pages or you can change the report's source to select the records that you want.

Which Sections Print Where?

As with form sections, figuring out which sections print where can be a bit confusing. In the example below, each section other than the Detail section has both a header and a footer. You can hide either one or both if you wish.

Report Design View: Sections
Sections of a report - first page Sections of a report: last page

Report Header/Footer:
These sections appear only once in a report. The report header is the very first section in the report. The report footer follows directly after the last group footer. It will be above the page footer.

You show or hide the report header and footer from the View menu.

Totals for the whole report can appear in either the report header or footer.

Dialog: Report Properties - Page HeaderPage Header/Footer:
Appear on every page by default.

On the first page, the page header is below the report header. On other pages the page header is at the top of the page. In the example above, an IIF statement was used to write different text in the Page Header after the first page.

The page footer is always at the bottom of the page.

In the report's Properties dialog, you can choose to not show the Page Header or Footer with the Report Header or Footer.

You show or hide a Page Header/Footer from the View menu, not from the Page Setup Dialog.

It is tricky to create totals for each page and requires using code.

Group Header/Footer:
When you group your records, each group can have its own header and footer. These are nested. The second level group header and footer are in between the first level group header and footer, etc.

Dialog: Sorting and GroupingThe Report Wizard automatically creates groups for the fields that you choose in the wizard. When you create or edit a report yourself, you create your groups and choose whether to show the group header or footer in the Sorting and Grouping dialog.

Totals for each group can appear in either the group header or footer.