Dividing a Report into Sections


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Insert, move and delete sections in a report
  • Manipulate sections using the Section Expert

Advanced Section Formatting Using Formulas

Implementing multiple sections.

Formatting in the Section Expert refers to changes to the layout and design of a report. Using formulas to control section formatting, you can draw attention to data, change the presentation of dates, numbers, and other values, hide unwanted sections, and perform a variety of other formatting tasks to give a report a professional appearance.

Benefits of Using Sections in a Report

Dynamic display of sections.

The Section Expert offers flexibility when formatting different sections of reports. You can turn each option on or off, or you can use a Boolean condition to do this.

A formula button is located adjacent to most of the options in the Section Expert. The options on the Common tab of the Section Expert are on or off properties so the formula entered must return a Boolean value. The result of the formula you use for conditionally formatting the field must return a True/False or Yes/No answer. If the answer is Yes, then the formatting option is applied. If the answer is No, then the formatting option isn't applied.

In the option on the Color tab is an Attribute property. An Attribute property allows you to have a number of alternatives attributes. The ability to apply formatting to sections conditionally increases the power and flexibility of reporting. You can even conditionally apply background colors to sections.

For example, you have a standard sales report with customer information in the Details section. For customers with a poor track record, those with less than $25,000 in sales, you also want to include additional information. You could insert a second Details section, place the optional information in it and format it to only display in the desired situations. The first Details section, Details a, would have the standard information and would always be displayed. But for Details b, with the optional information, you would use the Suppress property with a formula.

Remember you're suppressing a section. Since you want to display the data in Details b only for customers with poor performance, you must suppress it in the opposite scenario. In this example, because you want to display customers who had less than $25,000 in sales, you want to suppress those customers with sales higher than $25,000 using the formula {Customer.Last Year’s Sales} > 25000.

Limitations of Moving Sections

The following are the limitations of moving sections:

  • Groups can be rearranged. The numbers that identify the order of their relative position remains constant. If you move Group Header 1 below Group Header 2, the labels adjust accordingly to the order of the group. The first group remain as #1, and the second group remain as #2.

  • You can only move a subsection (a, b, c) up or down within the section it was created.

  • The letters that identify the subsection describe their relative (as opposed to their original) position. If you move a "c" subsection up, it becomes a "b" subsection. It loses its original "c" designation.

You can move sections by dragging and dropping them in the Report Designer or using the Section Expert.

Impact of Deleted Sections

When deleting sections that include report objects like database or formula fields, they're physically removed from the report. These changes might influence calculations in other parts of the report that are based on these objects. Letter specification of sections "a," "b," or "c" may also change.

Benefits of the Section Expert

The Section Expert gives an overview of existing sections in a report and allows the inserting, deleting, and the merging of sections. It offers flexibility when formatting different sections of a report. You can turn each option on or off, or use a Boolean condition.

Create and Rearrange Sections

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