You can make your Access reports easier to read by adding controls, such as lines and rectangles, and using back color to group records visually. For example, say you have a report that lists each customer’s order balance. To make it easier to interpret, you have grouped the customers according to their assigned Intern and included a Total Balance for each group. However, as you can see in Figure A, the results are difficult to read.

Figure A

To improve this situation, follow these steps:

  1. Open the report in Design view.
  2. Click the Line tool.
  3. Press Shift and click and drag to create the vertical line to separate the columns for each group.
  4. Click the Rectangle tool.
  5. Click and drag to draw a rectangle around the Balance Total field in the report footer (Figure B).

Figure B

  1. Click in the Back Style box of the Rectangle Property Sheet and select Transparent (Figure C).

Figure C

  1. Click the Detail bar to select the Detail Report section.
  2. Click in the Back Color box of the Detail property sheet and click the Build button.
  3. Click a light blue color swatch (Figure D).

Figure D

Now when you run the report, the added controls visually organize the data to make it much easier to read, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E

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