A summary report is one of the most powerful and useful layout types. A summary report summarizes data by grouping records in a database in meaningful ways. For instance, you could summarize all invoices in an invoice database by age (commonly called an aging report). You could also control the amount of detail you see for each invoice—whether you see any at all or only summaries.
Other examples of common summary reports include:
On a summary report, you can have more than one break field. Forexample, in order to summarize contacts by state, you would break your report on the state field. You could further break on the contact’s city and again on township for a very detailed report. Likewise, you could summarize time sheets by year, month, week, and day on the same report.
The sky’s the limit on how many fields you can break a summary report on, although if you use more than four different break fields the summary report starts to get hard to read and understand.
Companies by City Summary Report
Now use the New Layout/Report wizard to create a simple summary report for the customers in your Company.fp5 database. This report will give you a nice list of all customers, grouped under the heading (break fields) of the city in which the company “lives.”
Notice that the city is sorted alphabetically and appears in white on black in bold above the list of company’s that are located in each city.
Depending on how much data you entered into your Company.fp5, you’ll also notice that, when you flip to the next page of the report by using the book on the status bar, that subsequent pages of the report all have the same header and footer as the first page of the report. You’ll also see that sometimes the black city line part will be at the bottom of one page and the companies under that city will be at the top of the next page.
Now, take a look at the report in Layout mode and see how it’s set up:
First, you’ll notice that this layout has been created by the New Layout/ Report wizard with four layout parts: header, sub-summary by city (leading), body, and footer. In the header is a text object containing the report title you wanted and other text objects (also known as field labels) over each of the fields in the body. In the footer, you’ll see a “##”, which indicates where the page numbers will appear in Browse or Preview mode.
In part setup, you can arrange, create, modify, and delete layout parts on a layout. There are certain restrictions as to how you can arrange layout parts and in what order they can be arranged (you can’t have a header below the body or the footer, you can’t have a trailing grand summary before the body, and so on).
You can also create and modify layout parts by using the Part tool or by doubleclicking parts in Layout mode.
From the Field: All Fields Layouts
If you open Company.fp5 again the database you created earlier, the first layout (Layout #1), in Layout mode, should look something like this:
There aren’t many different objects on this layout, just fields and text blocks. In fact, this is a good example of what an All Fields layout looks like. An All Fields layout is a utility layout that’s useful to have in a database because you can always go to it to see every field in your database on one layout. (There are often many layouts in a given database, but few have every field on them because that would make the layout too busy and confusing.)
Usually, an All Fields layout is formatted as black text on a white background and has no other formatting or layout objects on it, and all the fields are aligned, alphabetically, top to bottom. All Fields layouts can get quite long, depending on how many fields you have.
All Fields layouts are often used in scripts when you need to copy information from one field to another in the database. The reason is that in order to do a copy-paste in a script the fields being copied from and pasted to need to be on the current layout called in the script.
To quickly update an All Fields layout create another layout using the New Layout wizard, add all the database’s fields to it (sorted alphabetically) and then cut all the fields from this new layout and delete the new layout. Now go to the All Fields layout, delete the existing layout objects (usually just the fields and their labels), and paste, adjusting the length of the layout as necessary to fit your longer list of fields.
Why not just delete old All Fields layouts and create new ones and forgo the copying and pasting? Because you might rely on the specific layout ID of your All Fields layout in a script and would want the layout ID of your All Fields layout to be static over time so as not to break these scripts.
From the Field: Blank/Divider Layouts
The New Layout/Report wizard lets you create a blank layout, the last selection in the layout type list. Blank layouts are great if you want to start a quick layout from scratch without being asked what fields you want to put on it or what theme you want to use. Simply select Blank layout from the layout type list, click Finish, and you’ve got a blank layout with a header, body, and footer. Now you can start dragging fields and objects onto it.
Blank layouts are also important for use as a divider layout. If you create a blank layout and name it simply with one hyphen character ( - ), the layout will appear in the layout menu as a divider line between layouts instead of as a layout itself. The screen below shows the layouts you’ve created so far separated by divider layouts.
You can create as many divider layouts as you like. A quick way to create many of them is to use Duplicate Layout in the Layouts menu. The duplicated layout will have the word “copy” appended to the end of it, so always make sure to edit the name of your divider layout in Layout Setup to remove “Copy” and leave the layout named “-”.
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