Here is default look of the designer with opened invoice template:
Brief description of each element:
1. Main toolbar. Contains basic commands, like save/open reports and formatting buttons to change appearance of the currently selected element.
2. Print preview toolbar. Allows to quickly switch to preview mode and see how your template will be looking using real data from the database.
3. Toolbox panel. Contains elements which can be placed on the design surface.
4. Design surface. Here you build template structure, using bands and controls from the toolbox, which are binded to database fields listed in the field list.
5. Report helper menu. Contains the most important report commands and properties. The same helper menu is available for each element on the workspace. When you select any element, corresponding icon appears:
This menu significantly simplifies workflow, providing quick access to the most used properties.
6. Field list. Contains list of database fields which you can use in your template. Please read separate article about navigation in the field list.
7. Property grid. Contains properties of the selected element. Most properties will be never used, while others will be interesting. We'll be discussing a lot of different properties in this section.
8. Group and sort panel. Allows to sort source data (for example, when you print several invoices at once) or group it (for example, if you want to group source data by currency or by customer).
The Toolbox contains all available report controls and allows end-users to add them to the report being edited. Report controls can display both static and dynamic information of different kinds (simple or formatted text, pictures, tables, etc.) and adjust a report layout (organize controls within panels, insert page brakes, etc.)
The following controls are most commonly used to display data in a report.
The most basic Label control is intended to display plain text in a report.
The Check Box control displays True/False or Checked/Unchecked/Indeterminate states in a report by displaying (or not) a check mark, which can be accompanied by a text description.
The Rich Text control displays formatted text in a report.
The Picture Box displays static or dynamic images of various file formats in a report.
The Table control is designed to display tabular information in a report.
The Bar Code control transforms its content into a bar code of the specified type.
The Zip Code control transforms its content into a zip code.
The Gauge control provides the capability to embed graphical gauges into a report.
The following controls are connected to data individually, without accessing a report's data source.
The Chart control displays a series of points using numerous 2D or 3D chart types.
The Sparkline control displays a compact chart that is commonly used to reflect the flow of data for every row in a report.
The Pivot Grid control displays dynamic data in a cross-tabulated form.
The following controls allow you to draw shapes in a report and customize the report layout.
The Panel control is a container that frames separate report controls to allow them to be easily moved, copied and pasted, and visually unite them in the report's preview.
The Line control draws a line of a specified direction, style, width and color.
The Shape control draws one of the predefined graphic objects (rectangle, ellipse, etc.)
The Subreport control allows you to include other reports in a current report.
The Page Break control inserts a page delimiter at any point within a report.
The Cross-band Line control draws a line through several bands.
The Cross-band Box control draws a rectangle through several bands.
The dynamic content of the following controls is not obtained from a data source.
The Page Info control is intended to add page numbers and system information (the current date and time or the current user name) to a report.
ADDING CONTROLS TO A REPORT
To add a control from the Toolbox to a report, do one of the following.
Double-click an item in the Toolbox to create the corresponding control at the default position.
Drag-and-drop an item from the Toolbox onto the required position within a report.
Select an item in the Toolbox, and then indicate the bounding rectangle by holding down the left mouse button.
If you need to perform selection, re-arranging or resizing operations, select the Pointer item ().
To edit main properties of the selected element, use triangle to display helper menu. Contents of this menu depends on the selected element and usually allows to change data binding, formatting, alignment, etc.
To edit the text inside label or text control, simply double click on it. In the case of rich text, you can apply different formatting into different parts of the text inside it. To do this select the text and change any formatting parameters (font, color, alignment) – these commands will be applied only to the currently selected text.
The Field List panel is intended to display the structure of the data source to which a report is currently bound. When you're working on the invoice template, usually field list contains 1 source (or table): Invoice. This source links report with a corresponding table in BaccS database.
You may add as many source as you need to build your template. As an example, let's take CV template: some built-in CV templates contains 2 data sources: User and Projects. First one serves as a source of user's data, while second one is used to show list of your recent projects.
Filed list is used to create new bound report controls, manage calculated fields and template parameters.
To add any field to the report, drag and drop a field from the field list to the design surface. This creates an appropriate control bound to the selected data field.
When you select any control on the designer surface which is bound to some field, this field will also be automatically selected in the field list. This is conventional way to analyze report structure: just select a label and see to which field it is bound:
This is useful approach when you'd like to add adjacent fields. For example, you edit invoice row band, already have Quantity field there, and wish to add Price field, which you know is located nearby Quantity field. In this way, you select Quantity label on the designer surface, and then quickly find Price label in the field list, which can be quickly dragged onto designer surface.
GROUP AND SORT PANEL
The Group and Sort Panel allows to quickly apply grouping and sorting to report data.
To create a new sorting or grouping criterion, click the Add a Sort or Add a Group buttons, respectively. Then, select the desired data source field in the invoked drop-down list.
After adding the grouping criterion, the Group Header band is automatically created. You can manually specify whether to display the corresponding Group Header and Group Footer using the Show Header and Show Footer check boxes.
You can choose the sorting mode (ascending or descending) in the Sort Order drop-down list.
The Group and Sort Panel also allows you to change the precedence of multiple grouping and sorting criteria using the Move Up and Move Down buttons.
To remove a grouping or sorting criterion, select it and click the Remove button.
The Properties panel allows you to access and customize settings of a report and its elements.
Selecting a Report Element
To select an element and show its properties in the Properties panel, do one of the following.
- Select a required element in the drop-down list at the top of the Properties panel.
- Click a required element in the Report Designer Surface.
- Select a required element in the Report Explorer.
Changing Property Values
In the Properties panel, each row consists of two cells: the header cell showing the property caption and the value cell. To set a property value, locate the property and specify its value using the corresponding cell editor. Specific properties contain nested properties, which can be accessed by clicking the expand button for the property captions.
Searching for Properties
The Properties panel includes the search box that allows you to search for a required property. When you type within the search box, the Properties panel automatically creates a search criteria based on the entered text and filters the list of available properties.
If you type two substrings separated by the space character, these substrings are considered as individual conditions combined by the OR logical operator. To find properties that contain both substrings (i.e., to use the AND logical operator), type "+" before the second substring. Similarly, type "-" to exclude properties that contain a specific substring. To search for a property that contains a space character, enclose the entered string in quotation marks. You can also combine several logical operators and quotation marks.