Using the Preview view of a report 

You use the Preview view of a report to view it as it will appear with data and test the processing that takes place in it.

To display the Preview view of a report open in the Report painter:

  1. If the Preview view is not already displayed, select View>Preview from the menu bar.

    In the Preview view, the bars that indicate the bands do not display, and, if you selected Retrieve on Preview in the report wizard, InfoMaker retrieves all the rows from the database. You are prompted to supply arguments if you defined retrieval arguments.

    In external reports

    If the report uses the External data source, no data is retrieved. You can import data, as described in Importing data into a report.

    In reports that have stored data

    If the report has stored data in it, no data is retrieved from the database.

    As the rows are being retrieved, the Retrieve button in the toolbarPainterBar changes to a Cancel button. You can click the Cancel button to stop the retrieval.

  2. Select File>Print Preview from the menu bar and evaluate your report.

    For example, scroll the page and page down to new pages to review the layout and content of the report.

Retrieving data

Where InfoMaker gets data

InfoMaker follows this order of precedence to supply the data in your report:

  1. If you have saved data in the report, InfoMaker uses the saved rows from the report and does not retrieve data from the database.

  2. InfoMaker uses the data in the cache, if there is any.

  3. If there is no data in the cache yet, InfoMaker retrieves data from the database automatically, with one exception. If the Retrieve on Preview option is off, you have to request retrieval explicitly, as described next.

Previewing without retrieving data

If you do not want InfoMaker to retrieve data from the database automatically when the Preview view opens, you can clear the Retrieve on Preview option. The Preview view shows the report without retrieving data.

To be able to preview without retrieving data automatically:

  1. Select Design>Options from the menu bar.

    The Report Options dialog box displays.

  2. Clear the Retrieve on Preview check box on the General page.

    When this check box is cleared, your request to preview the report does not result in automatic data retrieval from the database.

Retrieve on Preview check box is available in the Report wizards

During the initial creation of a report, you can set the Retrieve on Preview option.

InfoMaker uses data caching

When InfoMaker first retrieves data, it stores the data internally. When it refreshes the Preview view, InfoMaker displays the stored data instead of retrieving rows from the database again. This can save you a lot of time, since data retrieval can be time consuming.

How using data from the cache affects you

Because InfoMaker accesses the cache and does not automatically retrieve data every time you preview, you might not have what you want when you preview. The data you see in preview and the data in the database can be out of sync.

For example, if you are working with live data that changes frequently or with statistics based on changing data and you spend time designing the report, the data you are looking at may no longer match the database. In this case, retrieve again just before printing.

Explicitly retrieving data

You can explicitly request retrieval at any time.

To retrieve rows from the database:

  • Do one of the following:

    • Click the Retrieve button in the PainterBar.

    • Select Rows>Retrieve from the menu bar.

    • Select Retrieve from the Preview view's pop-up menu.

Supplying argument values or criteria

If the report has retrieval arguments or is set up to prompt for criteria, you are prompted to supply values for the arguments or to specify criteria.

InfoMaker retrieves the rows. As InfoMaker retrieves, the Retrieve button changes to a Cancel button. You can click the Cancel button to stop the retrieval at any time.

Sharing data with the Data view

The Data view displays data that can be used to populate a report. When the ShareData pop-up menu item in the Data view is checked, changes you make in the Data view are reflected in the Preview view and vice versa.

Other options that affect retrieval

These other options can affect retrieval:

  • Query Governor

    Lets you (or a database administrator) set certain restrictions on data retrieval. For example, the Query Governor can limit the number of rows that are retrieved.

    For information, see Using the Query Governor.

  • Retrieve Rows As Needed

    Lets you specify that only the rows needed to display the current portion of the report should be retrieved. When you scroll downward, additional rows are retrieved. This can speed up reporting in certain situations.

    See Retrieving rows as needed.

  • Retrieve Rows to Disk

    Lets you specify that InfoMaker should save retrieved data on your hard disk in a temporary file rather than keep the data in memory. When you preview the report, InfoMaker swaps rows of data from the temporary file into memory as needed.

    For information, see Saving retrieved rows to disk.

Modifying data

You can add, modify, or delete rows in the Preview view. When you have finished manipulating the data, you can apply the changes to the database.

If looking at data from a view or from more than one table

By default, you cannot update data in a report that contains a view or more than one table. For more about updating forms, see Controlling Updates in Forms

To modify existing data:

  • Tab to the field and enter a new value.

    The Preview view uses validation rules, display formats, and edit styles that you have defined for the columns, either in the Database painter or in this particular report.

    To save the changes to the database, you must apply them, as described next.

To add a row:

  1. Click the Insert Row button.

    InfoMaker creates a blank row.

  2. Enter data for a row.

    To save the changes to the database, you must apply them, as described below.

To delete a row:

  • Click the Delete Row button.

    InfoMaker removes the row from the display.

    To save the changes to the database, you must apply them, as described below.

To apply changes to the database:

  • Click the Update Database button.

    InfoMaker updates the table with all the changes you have made.

Importing data into a report

You can import and display data from an external source and view the data or save the data in an external format.

Importing is not available in a report packaged in an executable file

When you create an InfoMaker application (which is an executable file), you can include reports. When you run a report from the executable file, you cannot import data.

To import data into a report:

  1. Select Rows>Import from the menu bar.

  2. Specify the file from which you want to import the data.

    The types of files that you can import into the painter display in the List Files of Type drop-down list.

  3. Click Open.

    InfoMaker reads the data from the file into the Report painter. You can view the data and save the data in an external file.

Data from file must match report definition

When importing data from a file, the datatypes of the data must match, column for column, all the columns in the report definition (the columns specified in the SELECT statement), not just the columns that are displayed in the report.

For information about importing XML data, see Exporting and Importing XML Data

Using print preview

You can print the data displayed in the Preview view. Before printing, you can preview the output on the screen. Your computer must have a default printer specified, otherwise properties handled by the printer driver, such as page orientation, are ignored.

To preview printed output before printing:

  • Be sure the Preview view is selected (current) and then select File>Print Preview from the menu bar.

    Print Preview displays the report as it will print.

Using the IntelliMouse pointing device

Using the IntelliMouse pointing device, users can scroll a report by rotating the wheel. You can also zoom a report larger or smaller by holding down the Ctrl key while rotating the wheel.

Controlling the display of rulers

You can choose whether to display rulers around page borders.

To control the display of rulers in Print Preview:

  • Select/deselect File>Print Preview Rulers from the menu bar.

Changing margins

You can dynamically change margins while previewing a report.

To change the margins in Print Preview:

  • Drag the margin boundaries on the rulers.

    The following picture shows the left and top margin boundaries. There are also boundaries for the right and bottom margins. The picture shows the outline of the margin. If you do not want to see the outline, clear the Print Preview Shows Outline check box on the Print Specifications page in the Properties view.

Zooming the page

You can reduce or enlarge the amount of the page that displays in the Print Preview view. This does not affect the printed output.

To zoom the page on the display screen:

  1. Select File>Print Preview Zoom from the menu bar.

  2. Select the magnification you want and click OK.

    The display of the page zooms in or out as appropriate. The size of the contents of the page changes proportionately as you zoom. This type of zooming affects your display but does not affect printing.

Zooming the contents

In addition to zooming the display on the screen, you can also zoom the contents, affecting the amount of material that prints on a page.

To zoom the contents of a report with respect to the printed page:

  1. Select Design>Zoom from the menu bar.

  2. Select the magnification you want and click OK.

    The contents of the page zooms in or out as appropriate. If you enlarge the contents so they no longer fit, InfoMaker creates additional pages as needed.

Printing data

You can print a report while the Preview view is displayed. You can print all pages, a range of pages, only the current page, or only odd or even pages. You can also specify whether you want multiple copies, collated copies, and printing to a file.

Avoiding large rows

To avoid multiple blank pages and other anomalies in printed reports, no row in the report should be larger than the size of the target page. The page boundary is often reached in long text columns with AutoSizeHeight on. It can also be reached when detail rows are combined with page and group headers and trailers, or when they contain multiple nested reports or a column that has been resized to be larger than the page.

When a row contains large multiline edit columns, it can be broken into a series of rows, each containing one text line. These text lines become the source for a nested report. The nested report determines how many of its rows fit in the remaining page space.

Page break before last row

The summary band in a report is always printed on the same page as the last row of data.    This means that you sometimes find a page break before the last row of    data even if there is sufficient space to print the row. If you want the last row to print on    the same page as the preceding rows, the summary band must be made small enough to fit on the page as well.

To change printers or settings before printing

You can choose File>Printer Setup from the menu bar.

To print a report:

  1. Select File>PrintReport from the menu bar to display the Print dialog box.

  2. Specify the number of copies to print.

  3. Specify the pages: select All or Current Page, or type page numbers and/or page ranges in the Pages box.

  4. Specify all pages, even pages, or odd pages in the Print drop-down list.

  5. If you want to print to a file rather than to the printer, select the Print to File check box.

  6. If you want to change the collating option, clear or select the Collate Copies check box and click OK.

    If you specified print to file, the Print to File dialog box displays.

  7. Enter a file name and click OK.

    The extension PRN indicates that the file is prepared for the printer. Change the drive, the directory, or both, if you want.

Working in a grid report

If you are viewing a grid-style report in the Preview view, you can make the following changes. Whatever you do in the Preview view is reflected in the Design view:

  • Resize columns

  • Reorder columns

  • Copy data to the clipboard

To resize a column in a grid report:

  1. Position the mouse pointer at a column boundary in the header.

    The pointer changes to a two-headed arrow.

  2. Press and hold the left mouse button and drag the mouse to move the boundary.

  3. Release the mouse button when the column is the correct width.

To reorder columns in a grid report:

  1. Press and hold the left mouse button on a column heading.

    InfoMaker selects the column and displays a line representing the column border:

  2. Drag the mouse left or right to move the column.

  3. Release the mouse button.

To copy data to the clipboard from a grid report:

  1. Select the cells whose data you want to copy to the clipboard:

    • To select an entire column, click its header.

    • To select neighboring columns, press and hold Shift, then click the headers.

    • To select non-neighboring columns, press and hold Ctrl, then click the headers.

    • To select cells, press the left mouse button on the bottom border of a cell and drag the mouse.

    Selected cells are highlighted.

  2. Select Edit>Copy from the menu bar.

    The contents of the selected cells are copied to the clipboard. If you copied the contents of more than one column, the data is separated by tabs.