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Frames are used in the Report Builder to print something on the report page, to include:


ð        A database field used in the application
ð        A text string (such as a report header, column header, etc)
ð        A calculated field that is generated at runtime
ð        A page counter
ð        The current date or time
ð        Total fields (such as total expenditure, dollar total, etc)


Anything that you want printed on a report page MUST be added via a Frame. A Frame is also how you gain access to the Dictionary screen, which contains your database file information and internal functions that allow for manipulating information to achieve your reporting goal for highly formatted (and attractive) output. A Frame requires at least one report Band to to exist on a report page before it can be added to the report page. An unlimited number of Frames can be added to a report page (space permitting).


Adding A Frame To A Report Page

ð        Ensure at least one report band (Detail Band, Group Footer or Group Header) exists first
ð        Left click inside the report band that you want something to be printed; this will select the report band to receive the empty Frame
ð        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:




Moving/Resizing A Frame

Resize: When a Frame is selected red blocks outline the Frame to indicate that you can stretch any of the corners to meet your printing size requirement.


Move (Mouse): You can 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 final position.


Move (Keyboard): Hold down the CTRL key and use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move the Frame in the desired direction (left/right/up/down).


Frame Contents

As described above, a Frame can contain many things (or combination of things). The Dictionary is the primary method of adding an object, via the Frame, onto a report page. You can also use the keyboard to manually enter information into a Frame (such as a report or column title).


If you use the Dictionary to add information to a Frame (ex: database field), you will notice that an equal sign (=) is automatically added to the frame in the first position:




If you remove the equal sign the Report Builder will generate a runtime error when the report is printed. This is because the equal sign is MANDATORY for adding a database field or using internal functions (to format information in a highly specific manner). Adding information from the Dictionary will automatically add the equal sign for you; only one equal sign is required, and it MUST be positioned as the first entry in the above screen.


If you are adding simple text to a report (ex: a column title) via a Frame the equal sign is NOT required:




Frame Border

By default a newly added Frame has a box drawn around it:




This makes the Frame easy to find on the report page; however, you can remove any (or all) of the four sides of the box by clicking the appropriate toolbar icon to toggle that box side on or off (icons 1-4):




You can fill the Frame with any color that you desire to create colorful reports by first selecting the Frame, and then click on icon #5 - a popup color selection window will appear to select the color for that Frame.


The box line color can be changed by clicking icon #6 - a popup color selection window will appear to select the color to apply to the selected Frame.



Frames are the ONLY WAY to add the following items to a report page:


ð        Report header page title
ð        Report footer page count
ð        Image files (ex: your company logo on the top of the report page)
ð        Database file information
ð        Text information (ex: column header)


Frames can be placed anywhere on a report page. Frames require a report Band to be placed inside of. Frames can be resized as large or small as needed. By default a Frame has a border drawn around it that can be removed (one side at a time). A Frame can be filled with any color.