Chapter 4 Report Templates

About Reports

The report generated by WDReportGen is a Microsoft Word document. The layouts, formats and styles of report are defined by a report template, and the data of report are got from databases such as Oracle, DB2.

About Report Templates

To make a report using WDReportGen, you should create a report template first. The report template is a Microsoft Word document that defines the layouts, formats and styles of report. In the Microsoft Word report template, you can input static content such as titles, descriptions, comments, a cover, a company logo, format the static content, and define the format of tables you will fill data into.

WDReportGen will generate the report based on the report template file. All static contents, layouts, formats and styles defined in the report template file will be brought to the final report file.

Word Basic Concepts

If you have known these concepts of Microsoft Word, please skip this section. For more detail information about Microsoft Word, refer to Microsoft Word Help.

Documents

A document is a Microsoft Word file with extension .doc. You can open and save it using Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word documents may contain a combination of text, formatting and graphics.

Headers and Footers

Headers and footers are areas in the top and bottom margins of each page in a document. You can insert text or graphics in headers and footers - for example, page numbers, the date, a company logo, the document's title or file name, or the author's name - that are printed at the top or bottom of each page in a document.

Tables

A table is made up of rows and columns of cells that you can fill with text and graphics. Tables are often used to organize and present information. You can set borders, shading, alignment and fonts in tables.

Ranges

A range represents a contiguous area in a document. Each range is defined by a starting and ending character position. In a table, a range represents a cell, a row, a column, or a selection of cells containing one or more contiguous blocks of cells.

Bookmarks

A bookmark identifies a location or selection of text that you name and identify for future reference. For example, you might use a bookmark to identify text that you want to revise at a later time.

Page Breaks

When you fill a page with text or graphics, Microsoft Word inserts an automatic page break and starts a new page. To force a page break at a specific location, you can insert a manual page break.

Graphics and Diagrams

There are two basic types of graphics that you can use to enhance your Microsoft Word documents: drawing objects and pictures.

Drawing objects include AutoShapes, diagrams, curves, lines, and WordArt drawing objects. These objects are part of your Word document. Use the Drawing toolbar to change and enhance these objects with colors, patterns, borders, and other effects.

Pictures are graphics that were created from another file. They include bitmaps, scanned pictures and photographs, and clip art. You can change and enhance pictures by using the options on the Picture toolbar and a limited number of options on the Drawing toolbar. In some cases, you must ungroup and convert a picture to a drawing object before you can use the Drawing toolbar options.

Inline Pictures and Floating Pictures

Inline picture: A graphic or other object that is positioned directly in the text of a Microsoft Word document at the insertion point.

Floating picture: A graphic or other object that is inserted in the drawing layer so that you can position it precisely on the page or in front of or behind text or other objects.

Charts

Charts are used to display series of numeric data in a graphical format to make it easier to understand large quantities of data and the relationship between different series of data.

A chart has many elements: chart area, plot area, data points, data series, axis, legend, title, and data label. Some of these elements are displayed by default, others can be added as needed. You can change the display of the chart elements by moving them to other locations in the chart, resizing them, or by changing the format. You can also remove chart elements that you do not want to display.

Formatting

You can use these formatting features of Microsoft Word to effectively display your data.

Fields

Table Reports

About Table Reports

A table is made up of rows and columns of cells that you can fill with text and graphics. Tables are often used to make reports, and organize and present information.

WDReportGen supports two types of table reports: fixed table report, variable table report.

Fixed table report: The number of rows and columns in the table is fixed. When WDReportGen executes a SQL statement, directly puts the result data into cells in the table.

Variable table report: The number of rows or columns in the table is unfixed, and it is variable as the number of result records. When WDReportGen executes a SQL statement, it repeats the table rows or columns for each record or group, and then puts data into cells of the table.

Creating a Table for a Fixed Table Report

For a fixed table report, you need to create a table in the report template file according to the report. The format of the table is the same as the format in the report, but cells that should be filled data into are blank. When WDReportGen executes a SQL statement, the data values from data source will be filled into these cells.

Word Report - Fixed Table Report

Creating a Table for a Variable Table Report

For a variable table report, you do not know how many records will return from database. You need to create a table in the report template file, and make one or two blank ranges. WDReportGen will add ranges according to the number of records returned from data source.

Word Report - Variable Table Report

The format of the last row/column border can be different from the others. For example, the outside borders used double lines, and the inside borders used single lines. To do this, you should define two blank ranges.

The ranges can be nested. The inside range is used for the detail data, and the external range is used for the group. WDReportGen will repeat the inside range for each record, and repeat the group range for each group.

Formatting Cells

To format cells that contain static contents, use "Format" menu in Microsoft Word. To format cells that contain (Formula) fields, use the switches of fields in Microsoft Word. For more detail information, refer to Microsoft Word Help.

For cells in which data are got from database, you can set font, color, alignment using Microsoft Word. But to display values in formatting string, you should use other way.

You should write formatting expressions into data cells in the report template file. WDReportGen will get the text of the cell as a format expression before it puts a value into a cell, and output the value using the format expression. In fact, WDReportGen calls the format function in Visual Basic. The text got from a cell is used as the format expression in format function. For a variable table report, WDReportGen will use the format expressions in the reserved rows/columns. For more information about format expression, refer to "Format Expression in Data Cells".

Word Report - Formatting Cells

A format expression for numbers can have from one to four sections separated by semicolons. You can define the different formats and colors for positive values, negative values and zeros.

For example, the format "$#,##0;($#,##0)" has two sections: the first defines the format and color (black) for positive values and zeros; the second section defines the format and color (red) for negative values. It displays "2345.12" as "$2,345", displays "-5432" as "($5,432)".

The format "#,##0.00;;" has three sections: the first defines the format and color (black) for positive values, the second defines the format and color (red) for negative values, the third section defines the format and color (blue) for zeros. Note, the first semicolon ";" is red, the second semicolon ";" is blue. The negative values and zeros are printed using the format of the positive value. But the color for negative values is red, the color for zeros is blue. It displays "8.9" as "8.90", displays "-123" as "-123.00", and displays "0" as "0.00".

Irregular Tables

Tables don't have to consist of simple grids. Not every row has to have the same number of columns. You can merge and split cells to create irregular tables. An irregular table is the table that contains split cells or merge cells, and it does not have the same number of cells for each row or column. While an irregular table provides for an attractive way to display data, but it does make it harder to process the document. You have some difficulty to reference a cell in an irregular table. For example in the following table, for most Office version, cell1 is in column 3 and row 2, cell2 is in column 3 and row 3. But for some lower Office version, cell2 is in column 2 and row 3. Moreover, an error may occur when you try to work with some rows or columns in an irregular table.

Word Report - Irregular Table

To simplify your work and ensure that report function can be executed correctly, you should regularize the irregular tables. Split the merge cells, and remove the border in these cells. For example, the following table is a regularized table, cell1 is in column 3 and row 2, and cell2 is in column 3 and row 3.

Word Report - Regularize Table

Referencing Cells

You can reference table cells as A1, A2, B1, B2, and so on, with the letter representing a column and the number representing a row. Cell references in Microsoft Word are always absolute references and are not shown with dollar signs. You can reference an entire row or column in a calculation in the following ways:

Referencing Tables

You can reference a table by an index number or a bookmark. The index number represents the position of table in a document. The index number starts at 1. So table 1 is the first table in a document, table 2 is the second table, and so on. You can reference a nested table inside a table by an index number like 2-1-2. Table 2-1 is the first table inside table 2, and table 2-1-2 is the second table inside table 2-1. The max nested level WDReportGen supports is 3.

You can reference a table by the bookmark too. If you add a bookmark in a table, you can reference the table using the bookmark. If you want to reference a nested table inside a table, you must add the bookmark in the nested table. It is very useful if you do not know the number of tables. To add a bookmark in a table, do as follows:

1. Click in the upper-left cell in the first row of table, and place the insertion point before the text.

2. On the Insert menu, click Bookmark.

3. Under Bookmark name, type or select a name.
Bookmark names must begin with a letter and can contain numbers. You can't include spaces in a bookmark name.

4. Click Add.

Formatting Cells for Pictures

To enhance the visual impact of your report, you can insert pictures into your report. WDReportGen supports many popular graphics file formats: bitmap, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF and so on. For the graphics file formats WDReportGen supports, refer to Microsoft Word Help.

You should store the path and name of graphics files in the database, and identify the image fields in the report function. WDReportGen will read the graphics files, and insert them into the cells in the report file. You can adjust the position of pictures by changing the cell margins.

To specify the inserted way, text wrapping style and size, you should write a formatting expression into the cell in the report template file. WDReportGen will get the text of cell, and insert a picture into the cell according to the instruction in the format expression. The format expression for pictures as follows:

[wrapstyle] [size]

The wrapstyle specifies the inserted way and text wrapping style, and can be one of the following values. The default value is NONE. "NONE" means floating pictures.

Values Description
INLINE Inline picture
NONE Floating picture, none text-wrapping style
SQUARE Square text-wrapping style
THROUGH Through text-wrapping style
TIGHT Tight text-wrapping style
TOPBOTTOM TopBottom text-wrapping style
BEHIND Behind text-wrapping style

The size specifies the size of a picture. Possible values are STRETCH, Wnnn or / and Hnnn. "STRETCH" means that the picture is resized to fit within the cell. "W100" means that the width of picture is set to 100 points. "H50" means that the height of picture is set to 50 points. The default means the original size. If you just specify the width or height of picture, not both, WDReportGen will retain the original proportions of picture when WDReportGen resize it.

Example

inline w120 h90

Remarks

WDReportGen will insert an inline picture, and set the width of picture to 120 points, the height to 90 points.

Form Reports

About Form Reports

Beside table reports, WDReportGen supports form reports too. For a form report, you can get data from data sources, and put data as text, list, title and table in the report file. So you can make a form report as follows:

Word Report - Form Report

Creating Merge Fields or Quote Fields

The report template file of a form report must contain merge fields or quote fields where data values will be inserted. A field can be created in text, list, title, table or other. When WDReportGen is run, it will replace the merge fields or quote fields with values from data source.

To create a merge field or quote field:

1. Click where you want to insert a field.

2. On the Insert menu, click Field.

3. From the Field names list, select MergeField or Quote.

4. In the Field name text box, enter a name for the merge field or quote field. For example, enter ProductName. Remember the field name, you will use it in the report function.

You can show field codes, and edit the field codes. To switch between field codes and results, do one of the following:

If the data value is a number, date or time, and you want to display it in a custom format, use the switches of fields like "\#" or "\@". For more detail information, refer to Microsoft Word Help.

Defining Ranges

A range represents a contiguous area in a document, and contains text, lists, tables, table rows or paragraphs. When WDReportGen generates a report, it will repeat the range for each record or group.

A range can be defined by a Word bookmark. Or the entire document will be defined as the default range.

To define a range with a bookmark:

1. Create a document as your report template. For example, you create a template as follows:

Word Report Template - Form Report

2. Select the range that you want to define as a repeat block. For example, you select a table row.

Word Report Template - Select Table Row

3. On the Insert menu, click Bookmark.

4. Under Bookmark name, enter a bookmark name and click Add. For example, enter Product.

In Microsoft Word, bookmarks are hidden by default. To show bookmarks:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.

2. Select the Bookmarks check box.

3. The bookmark appears in brackets ([...]) on the screen.

Word Report Template - Show Bookmarks

The ranges can be nested. The inside range is used for the detail data, and the external range is used for the group. For example, you define a bookmark Category for the product category, and a bookmark Product for the product.

Word Report Template - Nested Ranges

Formatting Fields for Pictures

To enhance the visual impact of your report, you can insert pictures into your report. WDReportGen supports many popular graphics file formats: bitmap, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF and so on. For the graphics file formats WDReportGen supports, refer to Microsoft Word Help.

You should store the path and name of the graphics files in the database, and identify the image fields in the report function. WDReportGen will read the graphics files, and insert them into the fields in the report file.

To specify the inserted way, text wrapping style and the size, you should write a formatting expression in the field switch "\#" in the report template file. WDReportGen will get the format string in the field switch "\#", and insert a picture according to the instruction in the format expression. The format expression for pictures as follows:

[wrapstyle] [size]

The wrapstyle specifies the inserted way and text wrapping style, and can be one of the following values. The default value is INLINE. "INLINE" means inline pictures.

Values Description
INLINE Inline picture
NONE Floating picture, none text-wrapping style
SQUARE Square text-wrapping style
THROUGH Through text-wrapping style
TIGHT Tight text-wrapping style
TOPBOTTOM TopBottom text-wrapping style
BEHIND Behind text-wrapping style

The size specifies the size of a picture. Possible values are Wnnn or / and Hnnn. "W100" means that the width of picture is set to 100 points. "H50" means that the height of the picture is set to 50 points. The default means the original size. If you just specify the width or height of the picture, not both, WDReportGen will retain the original proportions of the picture when WDReportGen resize it.

Example

\# "square w84"

Remarks

On the supposition that the original picture is size 144 x 168 points. WDReportGen will insert a floating picture, apply the square text-wrapping style, set the height of picture to 72 points, and the width to 84 points.

Charts

About Charts

Charts are visually appealing and make it easy for users to see comparisons, patterns, and trends in data. Chart tools are fully integrated with Microsoft Office 2007. For Microsoft Word 2007 or later, the default chart software is Microsoft Excel.

Charts that you create will be embedded in Microsoft Word, and the chart data is stored in an Excel worksheet that is incorporated in the Word file.

Creating a Blank Chart using Microsoft Excel

To create an Excel chart in the report using WDReportGen, you need to add an Excel chart in the report template file first. The chart will be brought into the report file with the same chart type, display option, data format, label format and other chart item.

To add an Excel chart in the template file in Microsoft Word 2007 or later:

1. Open the report template file using Microsoft Word.

2. Place the insertion point where you want to create the chart. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Chart.

3. In the Insert Chart dialog box, click a chart, and then click OK button. Microsoft Excel will open and display sample data on a worksheet. Change the sample data on the worksheet as you need.

4. Modify the chart. For example, you want to change the chart type, make the text larger, or change colors, patterns, lines, fills, and borders in charts.

5. After you have finished the modification, delete data from the worksheet of chart. You should keep a blank chart in the report template file. WDReportGen will put data into the worksheet of chart.

6. When you've finished, click the Microsoft Office Button in Excel, and then click Close.

For more detail information, refer to Microsoft Word Help and Microsoft Excel Help.

Referencing Charts

You can reference a chart by an index number or a bookmark. The index number represents the position of the chart in a document. The index number starts at 1. So chart 1 is the first chart in a document, chart 2 is the second chart, and so on.

You can reference a chart by the bookmark too. You might use a bookmark to identify a chart if you assigned the bookmark to the chart. To add a bookmark, do as follows:

1. Create a chart in the report template.

2. Select the chart you want a bookmark assigned to.

3. On the Insert menu, click Bookmark.

4. Under Bookmark name, enter a bookmark name and click Add. For example, enter Chart1.

In Microsoft Word, bookmarks are hidden by default. To show bookmarks:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.

2. Select the Bookmarks check box.

3. The bookmark appears in brackets ([...]) on the screen.