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Frames

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Frames are used to mark the boundaries of an object placed in a report band. A better explanation in "laymans terms" would probably be best described as a "box that will contain something". Frames are usable on certain report bands that you add to a report.
 
To define a new frame, you will:
 
· Left click inside the report band that you want something to be printed; this will select the report band to receive the empty frame
· Right click the mouse to display a popup menu; from this menu select 'New Frame'
 
A new empty frame is now displayed inside the report band where you had previously left clicked the mouse:
 
As shown above an empty frame was placed inside the Page Header Report Band; red blocks outline the frame, indicating that you can stretch any of the corners to meet your printing size requirement. You can also drag the empty frame to a different location inside the report band by left clicking inside the empty frame, then drag the empty frame to the desired location. When dragging the empty frame the border will turn completely red - release the left mouse button after moving the frame to set it's position.
 
A useful ruler bar to aid in positioning frames for the report. You can toggle the ruler bar style between the English system and Metric system by selecting the main menu option OPTIONS, then METRIC SYSTEM. If a checkmark is displayed to the left of the menu entry the ruler bar is displayed using the metric system, and vice versa.

 
Once you have moved and/or resized the frame you need to define what you want printed in this location. A frame can contain many things:
 
· A database field used in the application
· A text string (such as a report header, column header, etc)
· A calculated field that is generated at runtime
· A page counter
· The current date or time
· Total fields (such as total expenditure, dollar total, etc)
 
Frames can also contain MULTIPLE items - this is handy when you want to format database information to look a certain way. Here are some examples of combining multiple items inside a frame:
 
· Two or more fields: CUS:Fname & CUS:Lname
· Two or more fields; remove empty space at end of each field: clip(CUS:Fname) & ' ' & clip(CUS:Lname)
· Two or more fields; highly formatted: clip(CUS:Lname) & ', ' & clip(CUS:Fname)
· Fields and text: '* ' & clip(ITE:Description) & ' *'
 
Notice that the function clip() was used with text information (remember to ALWAYS surround any text information with the ' symbol). Any of the report builder functions may be used to format database information (such as the Upper() and Lower() functions).
 
To change the contents of a frame and/or it's properties you will use the Report Formatter Frame Edit Box.

You can change any aspect of the frame contents by using this dialogue box. Here is a breakdown of the various options:

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Contents: If you are going to use the frame to contain text you can simply type it into this entry field. If you want the frame to contain database information click on the Dictionary button to select a database field, or alternatively format the information using the built in functions. You can modify the contents at any time by selecting the frame and re-editing.

 

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Contents - Image File Name:

 

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Picture: If using database information inside the frame you can use a "picture" to modify it's appearance.

 

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Split Enable:

 

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Align Horizontal: A droplist of different positions that the frame contents are aligned horizontally inside the frame.

 

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Align Vertical: A droplist of different positions that the frame contents are aligned vertically inside the frame.

 

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Left Margin: Define in increments of 0.5mm the gap between the edge of the frame and it's contents from the left edge of the frame.

 

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Right Margin: Define in increments of 0.5mm the gap between the edge of the frame and it's contents from the right edge of the frame.

 

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Top Margin: Define in increments of 0.5mm the gap between the edge of the frame and it's contents from the top edge of the frame.

 

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Bottom Margin: Define in increments of 0.5mm the gap between the edge of the frame and it's contents from the bottom edge of the frame.

 

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Between Margin:

 

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Border Color: Displays a standard Windows color selection box to choose a color for the border drawn around the frame.

 

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Left Border: A checkbox that allows for displaying (checkbox is checkmarked) or not displaying (checkbox is empty) a border on this side of the frame. The default setting for the report builder is to display a solid black border around the contents of the frame.

 

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Right Border: A checkbox that allows for displaying (checkbox is checkmarked) or not displaying (checkbox is empty) a border on this side of the frame. The default setting for the report builder is to display a solid black border around the contents of the frame.

 

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Top Border: A checkbox that allows for displaying (checkbox is checkmarked) or not displaying (checkbox is empty) a border on this side of the frame. The default setting for the report builder is to display a solid black border around the contents of the frame.

 

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Bottom Border: A checkbox that allows for displaying (checkbox is checkmarked) or not displaying (checkbox is empty) a border on this side of the frame. The default setting for the report builder is to display a solid black border around the contents of the frame.

 

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Border Width: This is a spinbox with a range of 0-9 which changes the border line width.

 

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Font: Displays a standard Windows dialogue box to change the font characterics of the frame contents.

 

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Fill Enable: A checkbox allowing you to fill in a frame with a solid color. When checkmarked the button to the left of the checkbox is made available to select a color from a standard Windows color selection dialogue window.

 

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Save: Save changes made to the selected frame.

 

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Cancel: Abandon all changes made to the selected frame.