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How to Create Reports Using Microsoft Office Access 2003

Patrick, a computer technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

What is a Report In Access?

Reports are printable summaries of the information you want from your tables or queries. The Reports offer the user a unique way of viewing, formatting, and summarizing the information in your Microsoft Access database.

Reports organize and summarize data that you have created for viewing online or for printing purpose. A detail report displays all of the selected records. You can also include summary data such as totals, counts, and percentages in a detail report.

A summary report does not list the selected records but instead summarizes the data and presents totals, counts, percentages, or other summary data only.

For instance, you can create a simple report of Email addresses for all your contacts, or a summary report on the total sales across different regions and time periods.

Using the design view method makes it possible for you to improve on the final report output as opposed to the use of the report wizard. Before you proceed, make sure you have created your database, table, and query.

Design View Method of Making a Report

Designing a report using the design view method

Designing a report using the design view method

Sections of a Report


Report Header

Appears at the top of the first page and displays the report title. It is the heading of your report

Page Header

Appears at the top of every page and displays the headings (field labels) for each column.

Page Footer

Appears at the bottom of every page and displays the page number and total number of pages.

Detail Section

Appears between the page header and page footer and displays the records from the table or query.

Report Footer

This section is optional. Appears on the last page of the report and displays summary information such as grand totals.

How to Create Reports

  • With your database open under the objects click on reports
  • Click on new and select the design view method. Other methods you can use are the Report Wizard, AutoReport – Columnar, AutoReport – Tabular, Chart Wizard and Label Wizard.
  • Choose where the table or query object’s data comes from and click okay.
  • The report design window opens. Locate the field list which contains the fields you need. If you cannot see it, go to View menu and click on the Field List.
  • Double click at the blue bar of your field list to select all the fields. Then click inside the fields and drag and drop them under the detail band.
  • Hover your mouse over them until you get the hand pointer; use it to move the fields to the desired area.
  • Go to the view menu and select print preview option to view the complete details of your report ready for printing.
  • To go back to the design view mode, go to the View menu and select design View.

Formatting and Making Changes to the Report

Changes and any formatting can be applied to a report when in design view mode. You can make use of the auto-format feature found on the Format menu to apply automatic formatting to your report.

The other way is to highlight the text boxes and giving them the format you want. You can change the text colour, font, and size. The report and text box background are also changeable.

Performing Calculations In A Report

Can I be Able to Perform Calculations in a Report?

It is possible to perform different types of calculations in a report that you create. This can be done in a similar way to performing calculations in a form.

In any Access report that contains numbers, you can use totals, averages, percentages, or running sums to make the data more understandable.

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Some Simple Aggregate Functions That you can add to a Report

Aggregate Functions That Can be Used in a Report



The sum of all the numbers in the column.



The average value of all the numbers in the column.



The count of items in the column.



The highest numeric or alphabetic value in the column.



The lowest numeric or alphabetic value in the column.


Standard Deviation

An estimate of the standard deviation across the set of values in the column.



An estimate of the variance across the set of values in the column.


Other Ways of Creating Reports

Using the Report Wizard

You can try to create reports using the other methods which is much easy. You can start by trying to use the Report Wizard to create a report. It is a complete guide where you are guided on the stage by stage process of creating a report.

The Report Wizard provides you with more flexibility than you get by using the Report button. You can choose the tables and fields, group the data, sort the data, summarize the data, choose a layout and orientation, apply a style, and title your report.

The report waiting to be print previewed

The report waiting to be print previewed

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Patrick Kamau


Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on January 14, 2013:

Emmanuel Kariuki, Access is a very good management program. You should try it and see it for yourself. The introduction tutorials to Access will definately give you a good jump start. Thanks for your comment.

Emmanuel Kariuki from Nairobi, Kenya on January 14, 2013:

Thanks for this hub Patkay. You have given me a good reson not to ignore Access again (like ronhi, I have never attempted it).

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on January 10, 2013:

ronhi, welcome back. Access is not that difficult especially if you make use of my step by step guides. It is a good database management program one can make use of. Thanks for reading and commenting.

ronhi from Kenya on January 10, 2013:

Hey buddy! Am back after the long french leave! As always, i enjoyed reading your step by step guide. I have used Microsoft office for as long as i can remember but i never open access...not because i never need it but because i find it too complicated...but thanks for making it look like a walk in the park

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