The Report Designer

Artisan includes a robust tool called the Report Designer, available as a Deluxe Feature. This tool is used to edit and create reports. Though there are plenty of carefully-crafted built-in reports already, you might want to modify one to fit your needs. Maybe you want to add a column or rename a section. Or, maybe you want to build your own unique report.

No matter the reason you opened the report designer, we’ll walk you through this section so you’ll feel comfortable.

Note: The report designer is rather advanced. If you’re unsure how to modify reports or simply don’t have the time to do so, don’t worry! Let us know what changes you want to be made and we’ll edit or create a custom report for you.

Click on a header to jump to the corresponding section.

Accessing the Report Designer

There are two different ways you can access the report designer. From the “Tool Bar,” click on “Reports,” then “Report Designer.”

Or, from the “Main Menu,” click on “Reports.”

Click on the “Report Designer” button.

Either way, you’ll end up at the following screen.

This screen contains all reports, both built-in and custom-made.

Modifying a Report

Built-in reports cannot be modified, but a copy can be made to edit. Highlight the report you want to edit and press Alt and F3 on your keyboard to copy the record. Edit the copy instead of the original record.

Click on “Edit Form.”

You’ll need to rename this form before you can save the form and start working on it. To do so, click on the “Report” tab and “Summary” option within the Report Designer.

Rename the “Report Name” and “Report Title” as you see fit. Click “OK.

 

Report Designer Tabs

At the top of the report designer are different tabs to choose from. These tabs contain dropdown fields that allow you to modify or adjust the report.

File

Close: You may exit the report designer by clicking “close” (or the red “X” on the top right of the report designer screen).

Page Setup: This allows you to control the overall size of the report. 

  • Paper Size

This is the size of the paper your report will print onto. The default size is set to US-Letter, 8.5 x 11 inches, which is the standard printing paper size. Keep in mind how many fields, columns, and so on you’re including in the report, as smaller paper types might cut off information if the margins aren’t properly adjusted.

  • Orientation

This determines if the report will print vertically (portrait) or horizontally (landscape). You’ll notice as these options are toggled, the width, height, and margins automatically adjust. 

  • Margins

These are the boundaries of the report–the space between the text and the edge of the page. We recommend leaving these fields alone. However, if you need more or less space, adjust the boundaries incrementally until you have the results you want. 

Import Subreport: This allows you to select a report from your computer to combine with this report.


Edit

Most of these fields are self-explanatory. For example, “Undo” will remove the previous change you made, while “Redo” will restore that change. 

  • Delete Selected Fields

This is handy if you need to delete more than one field. Hold shift on the keyboard and click with your mouse to select more than one field to delete.

  • Delete Group

This option will only be accessible if the field selected is classified as a “group” field.

  • Delete Section

This option will only be accessible if the field selected is classified as a “section” field.


Insert

This tab lets you add fields to the form, from text, to columns, to images, and more. We’ll go over how this tab functions in detail later. 


Format

This tab includes additional ways you can edit a field.

  • Format Field

Adjust the text’s font, size, and other characteristics, such as bold, italic, and underline. 

  • Word Wrap”  

Checking this field off means the text will move down to the next line once it reaches the edge of the text box.

  • Comma Wrap

Checking this field off means that any time a comma is used in the text box, the text after that will go to the next line.

  • Grow Vertically to Fit Content

Automatically adjusts the text box to expand downward as necessary.

Information on “Format” and “Translate Names” will be included in this article soon.

Bar Code Format

  • Bar Code Type

We recommend leaving this section alone unless instructed by our tech support team.

Align

The alignment causes the text or barcode to be flush left, right, or center within the field itself.

Color

You may pick a swatch with the color dropper tool to update the text’s color. Or, you may use the other tabs for more control over mixing hues.

Inversing colors will switch the foreground colors to the background, and vice versa. Be mindful of your printer’s color capabilities and the color paper you’re printing on.

Border

This tab contains all parameters for a field’s border. A “count” set to “none” will not show a border line. You may have up to three lines on each side in a solid, dot, or dash style. 

Examples:


Database

The database tab contains the “Table Linker.” The table linker connects report fields to Artisan code, which affects what appears on your report. We recommend leaving this section alone unless instructed by technical support. 

This tab also includes “SQL Query.” This is particularly helpful when identifying any problems within the report. The staff might ask to see this information when repairing a report, which you can copy and paste into a support ticket. 


Report

The first few tabs contain shortcuts to run or view the report, export or save a copy on your computer, or send it over email. The other sections contain options to sort, select, and view additional report information.

Run

You may run the report without having to exit out of the report designer area. Enter any parameters you wish, such as keywords, date range, and location, if applicable. Press “View Report” to open the report on your computer or “Print” to print a copy. When you’re finished, Artisan will return to the report designer.

Export

This screen lets you save the report from a variety of fields, such as .PDF or .XLS.

Choose a location to save this copy of the report and press “Save.”

Email

Easily send the report right from Artisan. Enter the email address you’re sending to. Adjust the subject and text field as you see fit. When you’re finished, press “Send.”


 

Editing the Form

You may edit already existing fields or add new fields. When editing a field, the border around the field turns blue.

Adjusting Placement

If you need to adjust the field’s placement, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to shift the field from left to right. For more control, right-click and select “Position and Size.” We’ll go over this screen in a moment.

Hide: This screen allows you to hide a field if necessary. We recommend not altering this screen without instructions from the support staff. 

Delete: Selecting this option will remove/erase the selected field.

Replace Field Source: Selecting this option causes any field that is placed on the form (using the “Insert” option or “Field Picker“) to assume the position, size, border, and format of this field.

Position and Size: This screen lets you edit the field’s position on the page, as well as the overall size of the field. The “Y” axis is the vertical position while the “X” axis is where the field is placed horizontally. Adjusting the “X” axis moves the field up and down while adjusting the “Y” axis moves the field left to right. For example, this field is currently at a Y-Axis of 0.0 and an X-Axis of 7.0. 

Inputting a new Y-Axis number, 10, moves the field down. 

Notice how the field moved from its original position.

Sections

As well as headers, footers, and columns, you may also organize information via sections and groups. 

A “detail” is any section between the headers and footers. If you have more than one detail section, Artisan will name the sections Detail (a), Detail (b), and so on.

To create a section, right-click and select either “Insert Section Above” or “Insert Section Below.”

You may manually adjust the height of these sections by pulling on the lines separating each section.

Additional Tools

Right-clicking on the form reveals additional tools.

Suppress

Selecting this option opens the “Suppression” window. This is used to tell the report designer to ignore certain codes (information) on the report. 

Background Color

This will change the background of the section of the report you’re editing. Remember that all printers will not print colors accurately, and be mindful that dark text on a dark background is difficult to read.

Before:

After:

New Page Before

This will cause the report, when viewed or printed, to have a blank page before the first page.

Shrink to Fit

This will cause the section to compress around whatever information is in the section, eliminating unnecessary blank space above and below the field.

Before:

After:

Select All In Section

This grabs everything in the section, which is especially helpful if you want to move more than one field at a time, or adjust the field’s font, size, etc.

Adding a Field to a Report

To add a field to a report, click on “Insert” and “Database Field.”

This opens up all fields that will pull data from Artisan to generate information for your report. Sort by section to find the field you’re looking for. In this example, we want to add a column that includes the date customers joined a loyalty program. So, we’ll click on the “Loyalty Club Summary” and look for “Date Joined.”

Drag the field to the report by holding down on your mouse and moving the field onto the report designer, where you want it to be placed.

To see our changes, we’ll head to the “Report” tab and press “Run.” 

Enter any specifics you wish, like time range, and select “View Report.

Our new column is displayed here.