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Need guidance on working with layout design.

New Member
Posts: 5
Country: USA

Need guidance on working with layout design.

I am in the process of migrating from Act 6.03 to Act 2012 Premium and have done several test conversion which has allowed me to iron out a number of issues.  I have several hundred custom fields and numerous custom tabs.  Unfortunately my custom layouts didn’t convert correctly, so I have re-created the necessary layouts in Act 2012 on my test conversion db.  Here’s where my problem comes in.  Somehow I have reduced the size of the Tab sections of all of the non-system Tabs in Contact Layout Design.  When I say Tab sections I am referring to the area of the layout in which you place the various fields that you want associate with a Tab, not the size of the actual Tab that the user clicks on to access the contents of the Tab.  I have attempted to change the height and width in the Properties window but the applications will not accept the change, whether I use the Enter key or the Tab key to move to the next property item the one I just changed reverts back to the original value.  Has anyone been faced with this issue and hopefully found a solution?  Can anyone suggest a book or other resource that would give more in depth information on designing layouts and reports as well as explaining what the various properties are for and how to work with them?  I have purchased 2 different books, “The Quick Study Guide for Sage Act” and “Sage Act 2012 Cookbook”, neither of which get into this type of detail.  Thanks for your help in advance.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 61
Country: United States

Re: Need guidance on working with layout design.

I too have had problems removing white space from reports.  Anything I do reverts back making my reports much longer than they need be. I too had to recreate customized reports that did not come over when we did one of our upgrades. I am presently using ACT! Premium 2013, running Windows 7. I have yet to see any guidance on how to fix this but thought I would tag on to your request (almost a year old now) and see if anything comes of it or maybe you discovered a solution?

 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,668
Country: USA

Re: Need guidance on working with layout design.

Getting rid of white space in reports requires a combination of template design, understanding of how the template XML code is compiled and in some cases actual editing of the template XML code directly. For example if a template calls for not including a main level record is the associated subreport is empty, some of the space for the ignored main level record will show up a blank white space.

 

There is a third party book with comprehensive training information on the ACT! reports, here is the link.

https://www.packtpub.com/sage-act-2011-dashboard-and-report-cookbook/book

 

Full disclusure I wrote the reports chapters of the book.  The report chapters work for all version of the ACT! program since ACT! 2007.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
New Member
Posts: 5
Country: USA

Re: Need guidance on working with layout design.

Sorry you are having trouble.  I've been looking around for quite sometime for resources on how to work with layouts and reports but haven't had much luck.  If you e-mail me an example of the report you are having difficulty with I might be able to help.  I did discover on thing that was causing a problem with Act Premium 2012 and Windows 7.  If you use a screen magnification other than 100%, Act reacts strangely in that it often won't accept changes you make to layoutd or reports or will throw error messages.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 61
Country: United States

Re: Need guidance on working with layout design.

Thank you for your quick response. I'm dissappointed as this was not a problem in earlier versions. And, I certainly don't have the skill to get as involved as it appears using the book requires. I would think this was pretty standard - who wants a lot of white space and more pages than necessary on a report? Perhaps it will be addressed in future versions. Thanks again.

 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 61
Country: United States

Re: Need guidance on working with layout design.

Thank you Jaxson for you offer. I don't know how to verify if I am viewing at 100% -- I don't see that in any of the toolbars.  Not sure where to email to -- isn't this board without emails?

 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,668
Country: USA

Re: Need guidance on working with layout design.

The first thing I tell people when I teach a class on creating reports is that reports are nothing like word processing. When you create a report template you are writing a program to extract and format data from the database. In fact you can view the ACT! report template XML program code using Notepad. That said, the ACT! 3-6 reports were very crude and the report editor had many limitations and problems that were never resolved. The ACT! 2005 reports are more flexible and can accomodate a greater range of report designs. However, it does have a significant learning curve.

 

For what it's worth, I do training on the reports and design custom reports.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129