File definition examples

The following examples illustrate common techniques for defining records and fields and show you how to use the options available in the PDF File Definition and Print Image File Definition pages to include the data you need in your ACL table.

Defining records

In Figure 1, the Header record is defined by selecting the phrase “Product Class:” which occurs at the same location in each record.

Figure 1. Selecting text to define a record

The following steps outline the process for defining a new record.

  1. Select the first field to include in the record in the file definition area. The field must be outside the highlighted area of any existing records.

    When a field selection is required the Hint panel displays the following message: “Select a field by clicking and dragging. A field may span more than one line.”

  2. Enter the name of the field in the Field Definition dialog box, modify other properties of the field as necessary, and click OK.

  3. Identify a character, or group of characters, that uniquely identifies each row of the record. In a Detail record, this may be a decimal point in a numeric column, a backslash in a date, etc. In a Header record, it may be a label that appears consistently in each record, such as a “Customer ID:” label.

    When a selection to identify a record is required the Hint panel displays the following message: “Select some text that is always located in or near this field. It will be used to identify all occurrences of the field.”

  4. In the Record Definition dialog box, specify the type of record to create (Detail, Header, or Footer) and modify the record name and criteria as necessary. Verify that each record is highlighted correctly in the file preview.

  5. Define each of the remaining fields to include in the record.

Defining multiline records

The report in Figure 2 includes detail records that span two lines. Defining the first field on the first line, and selecting the decimal point on the second line, ensures that the record is identified as a two line record.

Figure 2. Defining a multiline record

The following steps outline the process for defining records that span multiple lines.

  1. Select the first field to include in the record in the file definition area. The field must be outside the highlighted area of any existing records.

  2. Enter the name of the field in the Field Definition dialog box, modify other properties of the field as necessary, and click OK.

  3. Identify and select a character, or group of characters, that uniquely identifies each record. If possible, select the unique identifier for the record on a different row than the first field you defined.

  4. In the Record Definition dialog box, specify the type of record to create (Detail, Header, or Footer) and modify the record name and criteria, and adjust the Lines in Record value to include all of the rows spanned by the record, as necessary. Verify that each record is highlighted correctly in the file definition area.

  5. Define each of the remaining fields to include in the record.

Defining fields

In Figure 3, the Field Definition dialog box is displayed after the company name is highlighted in Print Image File Definition page.

Figure 3. Defining a field

The following steps outline the process for defining a new field.

  1. Click and drag your mouse in the file definition area to select the area that defines the field. Release the mouse button when the field area is highlighted. You should select a large enough area for all of the values in that field throughout the report.

  2. In the Field Definition dialog box, modify the properties of the field, as necessary, and click OK.

  3. Scroll through the file preview to ensure the field has been selected in each record, and that no additional information has been incorrectly selected.

Defining multiline fields

In Figure 4, the comment field spans two lines. By default, ACL will create a separate field for each line, but the Convert to single field option can be used to create a multiline field.

Figure 4. Defining multiline text as a single field

The following steps outline the process for defining fields that span multiple lines.

  1. Select the multiline area that defines the field in the file preview.

  2. In the Field Definition dialog box, enter the name for the field and the character type.

  3. Click Advanced Options and select the Convert to single field checkbox. The selected lines will be concatenated into one field and any extra blank spaces between the line segments will be removed.

    If you do not select the Convert to single field checkbox, a separate field will be automatically created for each line. For example, if you select a two line area and name the field address, the table format will divide this selection into two fields (address_01 and address_02).

  4. Modify any other properties in the Field Definition dialog box and click OK.

  5. Scroll through the file preview to ensure the field has been selected in each record, and that no additional information has been incorrectly selected.

Including information not repeated for each detail line

In Figure 5, the highlighted detail records contain inconsistent information. In order to improve the readability of the report, Vendor Number and Supplier information is only included for the first record in each group. When the ACL table is created, this information must be included with each record.

Figure 5. A report with inconsistent detail records

The following steps outline the process for including information that is included in the first detail record, but not in subsequent related detail records.

  1. Define the Detail record so that all of the required field entries are highlighted, and then define each individual field in the first detail record.

  2. For each field with required information that is not repeated in subsequent lines, you need to complete the following steps:

    1. Right-click the field in the file definition area and select Edit Field.

    2. In the Field Definition dialog box, click Advanced Options and then select the Fill if Blank checkbox. Selecting this option specifies that if the current value for the field is blank, it will be populated with the most recent text identified in that field from the previous record.

    3. Click OK.

Excluding incorrectly selected detail lines

In Figure 6, the decimal point used to identify each detail record is also found in the footer record that displays the total for each group, and the footer information is incorrectly added as a detail line. You can add a new criteria to the detail record to exclude the footer information.

Figure 6. The total lines are incorrectly selected

The following steps outline the process for removing lines that should not be included as detail records from your selection. This may be necessary if the characters used to select detail rows in the file also appear in other areas in the file.

  1. Right-click anywhere in the file preview that is not highlighted as part of a record and select Edit Record.

  2. In the Select Record dialog box, select the record to edit from the drop-down list and click OK.

  3. In the Record Definition dialog box, click the button below the Logic label and select Insert Criteria.

  4. Click the first button in the new criteria and select Exclude.

  5. Modify the remaining criteria options to uniquely identify the detail lines you want to exclude. You can enter the required information manually, or select the characters that identify the text to exclude in the file preview.

    For example, to exclude the total lines from the file in Figure 6, you could specify a criteria that excludes any line that includes the word “TOTAL”. The “Find in line” option must be used in this case because the word total does not appear in the same position in each record that must be excluded.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Check the detail lines highlighted in the file preview to ensure that only the required entries are selected.



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