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Designing Reports   «Prev  Next»
Lesson 2 What is a report?
Objective Describe when you need a report to present or analyze data.
Reports are the best way to take your data and put it on paper. With a report you can format your data so that it looks good: you can add pictures and graphs to make the report more attractive and the data clearer. You can use the report to group and summarize data to make your data ready for analysis.
Reports are similar to forms, but there is an important difference.
Reports are just for displaying data, not for entering and editing data. In addition, reports are usually the better choice if you are printing out your data. You can create reports from a single table or query, or from multiple linked tables and queries. The ability to create a report from a query enables you to use this criteria to limit the data reported on and to display only selected information rather than all the information in the underlying table.
You can create reports with a wizard or in Design view. As with forms, I highly recommend that you begin creating a report with a wizard, then fine tune the report in Design view if you need to make changes.
In the next lesson you will learn how to create the most basic type of report, an AutoReport.

Create reports by using a wizard.
Like forms, reports give people easy access to the information stored in a database.
However, there are several differences between forms and reports, including the following:
  1. Forms are used to view, enter, and edit information. Reports are used only to view information.
  2. Forms are usually displayed on the screen. Reports can be previewed on the screen, but they are usually printed.
  3. Forms generally provide a detailed look at records, and they are usually for people who actually work with the database. Reports are often used to group and summarize data, and they are often for people who do not work with the database but who use the information stored in the database for other business tasks.
Reports usually present summaries of larger bodies of information. For example, your database might hold detailed information about thousands of orders.
If you want to edit those orders or enter new ones, you can do so directly in the table or through a form. If you want to summarize those orders to illustrate growth rate of sales in a company, you generate a report. Like a book report or an annual report regarding organizational activities, this report created in Microsoft Access 2013 is typically used to summarize and organize information to express a particular point of view to a specific audience. When you are designing a report, it is important to consider the point you are trying to make, the intended audience, and the level of information they will need.
Report: An object in desktop databases designed for formatting, calculating, printing, and summarizing selected data. You can view a report on your screen before you print it.