In the real world as you start to apply your skills to the fine art of report building, you need to understand how these things really happen and don't be intimidated by some of the processes that you go through. Everybody has to deal with that first fearful, wait a minute, how do I do that? Where is that data? How am I going to get those numbers? There are five steps in report creation that you should follow, that most people will naturally end up on these, after three or four pretty nasty experiences, and the first one is, to define the report layout. Now notice I haven't said open Access, and start dropping fields, or anything like that. This is really what we would call in software development, defining the requirements. You need to go sit down with whoever is asking for this report, and kind of take a pencil and piece of paper, is what I've always done, you can do some sort of drawing program on your computer, but make sure that you understand, exactly what data they want to see, how they want to see it grouped, how they want it sorted, all that sort of thing. Kind of sketch out exactly what they're looking for. From that, you now know, and especially after you do a few reports, it will just automatically, pop into your little brain, about exactly what needs to be grouped, which, what you can group with your query, what needs to come as raw data to the report builder, all that sort of thing. The second step is going to be, leave that meeting where you have defined the report layout, where you know exactly what needs to be on the page, and now, you need to go build the query that will supply the data for you, that will allow you to produce the kind of output on the page, that you're looking for. And then step three, and this is where the fun really begins, is actually creating that report. Most people are going to use the Report Wizard, they're going to kind of build the skeletal structure, the skeletal layout of the report, then they're going to use the layout in Design Views to tweak the thing, and to get it looking nice. Now, looking nice is a relative term. It's relative to whose looking at, who they've had an argument with in the past thirty minutes, you know, humidity, all that sort of thing OK? So creating the report can be somewhat tedious. Now the more of these you do, generally, the better you will get at it, but what I always find is, is that, within companies, different people have very different attitudes about how reports should look, how much fancy graphics and so forth and colors should be on them, and, so you'll just have to kind of deal with that, but you'll have all the Tools at your disposal to build those kind of reports. Then once as you build it, you will print it and view it, and then finally you're going to get down to the last, near the end, and you're going to print or view that report, show it to the person who has requested it, could be you, and make sure that you've got the kind of layout, the clean kind of layout, the usefulness, the useability, the readability, that you're looking for. And then, save the report. Now you will probably be saving it all along, but you want to make sure that you save it, with a name that makes sense, that you then, make sure that you get a copy of this on a backup, and so that if anything drastic happens, you've got the report. It's not unusual to put quite a bit of time into each one of these reports, to finally get it working. You will also trip across little tricks, about how to convert data that's in the report, into English words, on your report, and so forth, and you'll want to save those things as well. You will learn a lot the first five to ten reports that you build. There's a bazillion tricks and tips, I am going to in the next few videos, take you through the basics, on these steps, and, maybe trip across a couple of tricks to show you here, but there's millions of these things, so find your good resource, a third party book, in the bookstore, that has a good section on building reports, find you a good website out there, find you another Access nerd whose building reports, but a lot of tips and tricks, so that's the five steps you want to go through. The most important by far, is going to be, step number one. Make sure you know what you're building, before you actually get started.
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