When the Advanced Report Designer is displayed, the menu has the following functions:

File Menu

  • Close: closes the Advanced Report Designer. If you made any changes to the report since it was last saved, you are asked if you want to save them. You can also close the Advanced Report Designer by clicking the close box (the X in the upper right corner) of the designer window.

  • Save: saves the report.

  • Revert: reverts the report to the last saved version. This function is handy if you've made a lot of changes and want to discard them all.

  • Page Setup: displays the Page Layout page of the Report Properties dialog.

Edit Menu

This menu contains the usual Windows edit functions.

Help Menu

This menu has a single Help function to display help for the Advanced Report Designer.

Format Menu

Some of these items are only enabled when you select more than one object since they affect the size or position of objects relative to each other.

  • Align: provides alignment options in a submenu. See the Layout Toolbar later in this section for a description of the various choices.

  • Size: provides sizing options in a submenu:

    • To Grid: sizes the object in grid increments when you drag it if the Snap to Grid option (see below) is turned on.

    • To Tallest: sizes all selected objects to the height of the tallest selected object.

    • To Shortest: sizes all selected objects to the height of the shortest selected object.

    • To Widest: sizes all selected objects to the width of the widest selected object.

    • To Narrowest: sizes all selected objects to the width of the narrowest selected object.

  • Horizontal Spacing: the submenu items adjust the horizontal spacing between objects:

    • Make Equal: spaces the selected objects equally across the band.

    • Increase: increases the horizontal space between the selected objects.

    • Decrease: decreases the horizontal space between the selected objects.

  • Vertical Spacing: the submenu items adjust the vertical spacing between objects:

    • Make Equal: spaces the selected objects equally down the band.

    • Increase: increases the vertical space between the selected objects.

    • Decrease: decreases the vertical space between the selected objects.

  • Bring to Front: brings the selected objects in front of all other objects.

  • Send to Back: sends the selected objects behind all other objects.

  • Group: joins selected objects so they can be manipulated (moved, sized, removed, etc.) as a single object.

  • Ungroup: separates previously grouped objects.

  • Snap to Grid: when this function is turned on (indicated with a checkmark in front of it), objects can only move in fixed increments (see the next item for the scale of those increments).

  • Set Grid Scale: displays the Ruler/Grid page of the Report Properties dialog.

  • Font: allows you to select the font name, style, size, effects, color, and script for labels and fields.

  • Foreground Color: allows you to select the color of the text for the selected label or field. You can also change the color from the Color Palette toolbar (discussed later in this section).

  • Background Color: allows you to select the color of the background for the selected label or field. You can also change the color from the Color Palette toolbar (discussed later in this section).

  • Text Alignment: use this submenu to set the alignment (left, center, or right) for labels and fields, and the spacing (single, 1 1/2, or double) for labels.

  • Reading Order: this item, which is only available on systems configured for languages that read right-to-left such as Hebrew and Arabic, determines whether text is displayed left-to-right or right-to-left.

  • Fill: allows you to specify a pattern with which to fill shapes (rectangles, rounded rectangles, ellipses, and circles).

  • Pen: this submenu allows you to specify the line thickness and type for lines and shapes.

  • Backstyle: lets you determine whether the selected object is opaque, which prevents objects behind the selected object from showing through, or transparent, which allows objects behind the selected object to show through.

Report Menu

  • Quick Report: this item, which is normally disabled, is for the application's internal use and should be left alone.

  • Run Report: prints the report

  • Print Preview: previews the report to the screen.

  • Load Data Environment: this item is always disabled, as it is for the application's internal use.

  • Private Data Session: this item is for the application's internal use and should be left alone.

  • Printer Environment: this item determines whether Stonefield Query stores the specific printer selected for the report or can use any printer; a check mark in front of it means this setting is turned on. Select this function to toggle the setting on and off. You can also control this setting in the Page Layout page of the Report Properties dialog. This is best left turned off, but can be turned on if you want the report to always print to a particular printer.

  • Optional Bands: displays the Optional Bands page of the Report Properties dialog.

  • Data Grouping: displays the Data Grouping page of the Report Properties dialog.

  • Variables: displays the Variables page of the Report Properties dialog.

  • Default Font: allows you to specify the default font for the report. This font is used by default for any objects you add; it doesn't affect the font for existing objects.

  • Edit Bands: displays a dialog allowing you to edit the properties of a specific band. This is just like double-clicking the band's grey bar.

  • Insert Control: select one of the items in the submenu that appears to add a new object to the report. This is just like selecting the appropriate object from the Report Controls toolbar (see below).

  • Properties: displays the Report Properties dialog.

Shortcut Menu

A shortcut menu is available by right-clicking the report surface. This menu has some of the functions that appear in the Report menu, specifically Run Report, Print Preview, Optional Bands, Data Grouping, Variables, and Properties.

Toolbars

Three toolbars are displayed just below the menu bar. The first is the Report Controls toolbar, which allows you to add objects to the report. It has the following buttons:

  • Select Objects : turns the mouse pointer into an arrow so you can select objects; this is the default.

  • Label : allows you to add a label (literal text such as "My Company Name").

  • Field : allows you to add a field from the database or a calculation.

  • Line : allows you to add a horizontal or vertical line.

  • Rectangle : allows you to add a box.

  • Rounded Rectangle : allows you to add a box with rounded corners or an ellipse or circle.

  • Picture : allows you to add an image such as a company logo.

  • Button Lock : allows you to add multiple objects of the same type without having to click the button on the toolbar more than once.

The second toolbar is the Layout toolbar; it helps you specify how report objects are laid out on the report. It has the following buttons, many of which are only enabled when you select more than one object since they affect the size or position of objects relative to each other:

  • Align Left Sides : aligns the selected objects on the leftmost edge.

  • Align Right Sides : aligns the selected objects on the rightmost edge.

  • Align Top Edges : aligns the selected objects on the topmost edge.

  • Align Bottom Edges : aligns the selected objects on the bottommost edge.

  • Align Vertical Centers : aligns the selected objects' centers on a vertical axis.

  • Align Horizontal Centers : aligns the selected objects' centers on a horizontal axis.

  • Same Width : adjusts the width of the selected objects to the widest object.

  • Same Height : adjusts the height of the selected objects to the tallest object.

  • Same Size : adjusts the height and width of the selected objects to the largest object.

  • Center Horizontally : aligns the selected objects' centers with the horizontal middle of the report.

  • Center Vertically : aligns the selected objects' centers with the vertical middle of the band they're in.

  • Bring to Front : brings the selected objects in front of all other objects.

  • Send to Back : sends the selected objects behind all other objects.

The third toolbar is the Color Palette, which allows you to assign colors to objects. Most of the buttons simply select the displayed color.

The following buttons have other purposes:

  • Foreground color : sets the foreground color for the selected objects. Push this in, then click the desired color.

    If the Background color button is also pushed in, clicking a color sets both the foreground and background to the same color, which likely isn't what you want.

  • Background color : sets the background color for the selected objects. Push this in, then click the desired color.

    If the Foreground color button is also pushed in, clicking a color sets both the foreground and background to the same color, which likely isn't what you want.

  • Other colors : displays the Windows Color dialog box, where you can define custom colors.

The toolbars appear in a default position, which is right below the menu bar for the Report Controls and Layout toolbars, and at the left of the screen for the Color Palette. To move a toolbar somewhere else, click it and drag it to the desired position. Toolbars automatically "dock" at the top, bottom, left, and right edges of the screen. If a toolbar is moved away from an edge, it automatically "undocks," becoming a floating toolbar.