Object layout is an important aspect in creating professional reports. The Reporting Module provides a host of intuitive tools and functions to help you design and edit reports. Ignition Reporting uses a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach.
The Ignition Designer menubar provides quick access to many common Reporting Design functions. The Component and Pages menu items are added to the menubar when the Report Design Panel is open. Many of the menus, such as File, Edit, and Tools are similar to other areas of the Designer. Reporting-specific Toolbar and Menu functions are described below.
The Component menu allows you to modify the layout of objects in a report. To perform any of the Component menu functions, you must first select an object or multiple objects before you're able to perform the function.
|Group/Ungroup||Grouping allows you to merged selected shapes and makes them behave as one with respect to: selection, moving, and resizing. To "drill down" to individual objects, superselect the grouped object. Ungroup separates grouped shapes.|
|Bring to Front/Send to Back||All shapes have an order on the page that determines what is drawn on top when two shapes overlap. These options allow you to move a selected shape either forward or backward. This is also known as the Z Order.|
|Combine/Subtract Paths||Takes multiple overlapping shapes (such as a rectangle and an oval) and combines them into a single shape using the combined paths. A powerful tool to construct complex shapes.|
|Alight Selected Items - Make Row Top/Center/Bottom||Quickly align several shapes in a row, either by their top, center, or bottom border. This is particularly useful when shapes are of different heights.|
Align Selected Items - Make Column Left/Center/Right
|Same as above, but for columns, aligning their sides or center.|
|Equally Space Row/Column||Equalizes the distance between shapes horizontally or vertically.|
|Make Same Size, Height, Width||Make several shapes the same width, height or both.|
The Pages menu allows you to add or remove pages in the report. Adding and removing pages in the Design Panel is easy. Under the Page menu, click on either Add Page to add a page after the currently selected page, or Add Page Previous to add a page before the currently selected page. To remove a page, open the page you want to remove and select Remove Page.
|Add Page||Adds a page to the current open document, after the currently selected page.|
|Add Page Previous||Adds a page to the current open document, before the currently selected page.|
|Remove Page||Removes the currently selected/visible page in the current open document.|
The Toolbar provides a variety of functions to assist in editing while designing a report. Here is a complete list of editing functions and their descriptions in the table below.
|Toggles bold of the selected text|
|Toggles Italic the selected text|
|Toggles underline of the selected text|
|Aligns the selected text left|
|Centers selected text|
|Aligns the selected text right|
|Adds a $ to the data key|
|Adds a % to the data key|
|Forces a decimal place on an integer value in a text shape|
|Add the number of allowed decimal digits|
|Subtract the number of allowed decimal digits|
|Increase the size of the report in view|
|Decrease the size of the report in view|
|Have the report fill the available space|
You may have seen some of these same shapes tools when designing your Vision windows. The shapes you see in the Report Design Palette are shape tools: Line, Rectangle, Ellipse, Star, Polygon, and Pencil. Shape tools allow you to create various shapes as well as edit them to create other shapes. They behave a little differently from the typical drag and drop function that you perform on a Vision window. They are not dragged from the design palette on to your report, instead you select a shape tool on the design palette to make the tool active and begin to draw your shape on to your report. You create its size, height, and shape. You'll also notice the Property Inspector will change to reflect that specific tool's properties once the tool is active. Just like components, once a shape is created, you can change its fill color, stroke color, stroke style, and more. Each shape has its own properties. To learn more about shapes, refer to the section on Report Design.
The Text Shape is worth mentioning here because it is a fundamental component used to create text within a report. The Text Shape is used for report titles, customized page headers and footers, and of course, any additional text you want to add to your report. Simply drag a Text component on to report and begin typing. You can move the Text component around, expand it, or shrink it by using the handles when the component is selected. You can even change the font type, size, and color. The Text Shape also has a lot of properties associated with it, including Data Key Format Properties for Date and Number formats by choosing a format from the list of available templates.
Creating headers and footers is just like creating any other set of objects in your report. There is no explicit header or footer functions, or specific area on the report where they belong. Typically, headers and footers are placed at the top and bottom of the first page respectively, using the Text component or the Built-In Keys.
When designing your report, the key is sizing and positioning of components within your page around your header and footers. If you have a lot of data in your data table, your report will automatically create additional pages. Each new page that the table creates will have the same header and footers.
You can use the Text component to customize your header and footers or you can use the Built-In Keys from the Key Browser. The Built-in Keys allow you to drag and drop keys to your header and footer areas such as Path, Timestamp, Date, Page number, and more. So place your header and footers where you want them on the first page, and the Report Designer will automatically place them on all additional pages.