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alexliz

Re-sort records before printing

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I have a system for a school, and I need to print a multi-column report sheet showing all pupils per class.

I need to format the layout so that the pupils' names appear in three columns, but after the end of each class I have to go to single-column again to print a footer with sub-summary results showing end-to-end on the page. Then switch back into 3-columns and so on.

If I simply define the report layout to be multi columnar, printing down then across, then the footers are limited in width and only occupy the width of one column. What I need is the pupils' names to appear in three columns, ie a class with only 3 pupils will print one line with three names on; a class with 8 will print three lines, the third only showing two names, BUT they have to be SORTED alphabetically DOWN first THEN ACROSS, otherwise, if they are sorted alphabetically across first, then down, anyone reading the report tends to read the first column then go to the second then the third, the result being that they don't read the names in their alphabetical order!!!

If you've bothered to read this far and you have an idea, please help!!

TIA

Alex.

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I think this is one of those times where you just can't get there from here. You'll have to export to Word or something to get that kind of layout.

But, if you really wanted to spend a lot of time on this, I could envision possibly laying out 3 portals, one for each column. Then you'd divide the number of students in the class by 3 to get the number in each column, and put the remainder in column 2 -- although it's going to be slightly more complicated, e.g. with 7 you'd want the columns to be 3-2-2. So with 8 students you'd end up with the number 3,3, and 2. Now you'd combine the class i.d. with the portal number:

class_id & ".1" for the first 3 students

class_id & ".2" for the next 3, etc.

Not sure if all that could be done with calcs alone, you might have to script it.

Then make 3 calc fields, same calcs as above, and a relationship for each one, assign to the portals, and there you have it.

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OK, Fitch, get the idea. However, here is a question: how do you figure out the number of lines to allow for in the portal? Some classes may have more pupils than others, and if I allow the maximum number of rows for each class, then the sub-summary parts of the layout which act like a footer will not show after the last line with names on, but they will appear after the last line of the portal, even if that means that there might be a few empty lines in the three portals. See what I mean?

I was thinking of something else, and please see what you think:

Preserve things like they currently are, and sort alphabetically first across then down. Then devise a formula whereby each pupil name is assigned an integer number according to its position (line, column) and then convert than number to a new position, basically reshuffling the pupils' records so that they are sorted by this new integer (after it's converted etc.) and they appear alphabetized when someone reads the first column, then the second, then the third. Basically the layout will continue to print across first, then down, only it will be sorting by a new variable (the converted integer) which will be 'magical' enough to put things in the order we want.

What do you think?

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Note that I am NOT advocating printing from portals -- in general it doesn't work very well. However, this is/was a special case. Portals can slide up, so you'd make them as long as you need and set them to slide.

But I like your idea better than mine, assigning a sort value and re-sorting. I'd go with that. Good luck!

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Alex,

Would personnaly like to see it worked. Let us know how yu fixed things up.

I also thing your solution with a "fraction sort" for fixed portals will work. The only problem I can see is if the numbers of students per class exceeds the 3 colums....

Really, let us know and share.

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