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Old 05-30-2019, 12:47 PM   #1
kilroyscarnival
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Generating a series of tables-as-forms

Me again.

I've been asked to try to sort a way to get a lot of complex information into a report, where previously a table was on one page and a photo on the following. After a series of back-and-forth drafts, I've come up with each record going into a 1 x 3 table format, where the first cell of the larger table contains a detailed sub-table, the second is an unstructured format for adding longer paragraphs, and the third contains a picture control designed to make adding those site photos easy and keep the size uniform. An image of the table/subtable setup is attached, two to one page.

The left-cell table contains auto-numbering, some dropdowns and combo boxes to make selecting data quicker.

I've saved the 1x3 outer table as a QuickTable in Building Blocks, and then each of the three components also separately.

I'm trying to figure out a way to make it simpler to generate the shell of an entire report. For example, some reports will need 42 separate site tables, most of them tidy enough to fit two to an 11 x 17 page like the picture. Instead of having to have an engineer add 42 separate tables to the report, is there an easier way to do this?

1. Obviously I could create a document with fifty, and it'll be easier to delete the unused rather than add more.

2. I could create this as a mail merge document, and then a simple Excel table with the names and numbers of the sites could be merged, so that it creates the exact number needed. I like some of this idea, trying to think how the engineer would want to maybe rough out the whole thing in a simple Excel worksheet, then not have to retype their work. But do I then have to teach them how to mail-merge? Or do it for them each time?

3. I guess I could write some code, and ask for input on a form as to the number of sites, then have it add that number of tables.

Any ideas I haven't thought of?
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File Type: jpg site tables.jpg (86.0 KB, 37 views)

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Old 05-30-2019, 01:09 PM   #2
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Re: Generating a series of tables-as-forms

Hi. Would the report be bound to a specific table? Otherwise, what I think of when I look at the image you posted is a bunch of subreports.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: Generating a series of tables-as-forms

Quote:
Originally Posted by theDBguy View Post
Hi. Would the report be bound to a specific table? Otherwise, what I think of when I look at the image you posted is a bunch of subreports.
Oh, sorry, by "report" I meant the series of tables will be added to a Word document we term a report. It's not a report in the sense of MS Access. I actually wish I could use Access for some things - we don't even have it on our computers at this workplace. (I have it on my personal laptop.) Using Access, the report would generate only as many tables as there was data. All this stuff has to be typed in in Word.

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Old 05-30-2019, 01:44 PM   #4
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Re: Generating a series of tables-as-forms

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilroyscarnival View Post
Oh, sorry, by "report" I meant the series of tables will be added to a Word document we term a report. It's not a report in the sense of MS Access. I actually wish I could use Access for some things - we don't even have it on our computers at this workplace. (I have it on my personal laptop.) Using Access, the report would generate only as many tables as there was data. All this stuff has to be typed in in Word.
In that case, I am not sure how you would prefer doing it, but I suppose all of that is very possible using Word Automation then. You could maybe start out with a template Word Document and then create a new doc based on the template. This is probably similar to how some Mail Merge code are done. I think there are some demos to show how it's done, if you want to give it a try.
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:17 AM   #5
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Re: Generating a series of tables-as-forms

Just wanted to update to say that this setup actually worked really well using Mail Merge to transfer a lot of information in and create as many tables as needed for the full report. The only drawback was that some of the original information was in paragraph form so that needed to be retyped in (for the storage tank details.)

At one point I was asked to take the information from an old Word table and retype it into this one. I was able to do a rough copy/paste of the old data into Excel, shimmy it around a little to get it into a more straight-row format, and mail merge it back into the new format. There were a few data points that didn't jibe perfectly, but it got me 80% of the way there.
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: Generating a series of tables-as-forms

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilroyscarnival View Post
Just wanted to update to say that this setup actually worked really well using Mail Merge to transfer a lot of information in and create as many tables as needed for the full report. The only drawback was that some of the original information was in paragraph form so that needed to be retyped in (for the storage tank details.)

At one point I was asked to take the information from an old Word table and retype it into this one. I was able to do a rough copy/paste of the old data into Excel, shimmy it around a little to get it into a more straight-row format, and mail merge it back into the new format. There were a few data points that didn't jibe perfectly, but it got me 80% of the way there.
Hi. Congratulations! Thanks for the update. Good luck with your project.

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