Producing Compact Printed Reports
with Recollector


There are times when you want to have a printed listing of your collection, ideally in the form of a compactly printed report that summarizes either your entire collection or a subset of your collection. For example, if you are at a show or an auction, and it is inconvenient to have your computer with you, a printed listing of your collection can be helpful to remind you of what you have (and what you don't have). Or, as an attachment to an insurance policy, a printed listing can provide valuable back-up, containing supporting information when filing a claim.


As of version 1.1.19, the Recollector contains a Report Generation Wizard that makes generating customized printed reports a snap. If you are a current customer, choose About Recollector from the Help menu. This will show you your current version number. If it is less than 1.1.19, you should first upgrade to the latest version. (Click here for instructions on how to update to the latest version.)


Here is an image of what a page from a compact report looks like:

List View

(Click on image for a larger view)


This example shows several features of the report that reflect its compact format:

  • Not all fields in the collection database are shown; only those fields that you select will be included in the report.
  • Multiple records are printed on a single page.
  • Images are shown as thumbnails, large enough to help identify the object, but small enough to allow a compact overall presentation. You can select the maximum thumbnail size, and the program will scale the images to stay within the specified size limit.
  • The images, which represent a field in the database, are shown without any label, since a label such as "Image" is, in most cases, unnecessary.
  • Where there is space to include more than one field on a single line, this is done.
  • Each entry is preceded by an entry number (in the left-hand margin). These numbers are used in conjunction with the report's indexes (described below).
  • In the example shown here, the entries are sorted by the ID # field. You can specify any field for sorting the entries in your report.

In addition to the pages with the collection entries, as shown above, the report also includes a title page (identifying the collection, the subset used, if any, and the date and time the report was generated). Optionally, the report can include a currency-field summary page, which lists totals for all fields in the report whose data-type is "currency". Alos, optionally, one or two indexes can be printed at the end of the report. For example, if you have a "title" field, you could generate a title index, that is, an alphabetized list of all of the titles, with the corresponding entry number so you can easily locate each record in the body of the report.


To generate a report, select Generate Printed Report (with wizard) from the File menu. The wizard takes you through a sequence of pages, letting you provide the information needed to configure the report as you want it. The following illustrations show the sequence of pages displayed by the wizard. You move from one page to the next by clicking on the Next button. You can also use the Back button to go back to an earlier step to modify selections you made earlier. Only when you get to the last page is there a Finish button that will start the processing of the report.


Initial wizard page (introduction):



Wizard page for step #1:



Choose whether your report will cover your entire collection, or just a specified subset. You can also choose the font size that will be used in printing your report.


Wizard page for step #2:



Choose which fields to include in the report's entries, and also choose the order in which the fields will be listed within each entry. Once you know which fields you want in your report, it makes sense to create a Field Profile, so that the program will remember this particular choice of fields (and their order). Then, on this page of the wizard, you can select the third radiobutton choice (Use the fields (and field order) defined by an existing Field Profile). If you select this radiobutton, a drop-down list will appear below the radiobutton box, allowing you to select the Field Profile you want to use. Alternatively, you can use the fields that are currently being displayed in the List View (the first radiobutton choice). Or you can select a custom set of fields just for the purpose of this report, by selecting the second radiobutton and then clicking the Choose button. This will bring up a field selection window which you can use to select the desired fields and their order.


This page in the wizard also lets you make some choices related to images. If your selection of fields contains any image fields, these will be displayed as thumbnails in the report. In general, images are self-explanatory and so there is usually no need to show a label (with the field name) in front of each image. If, for any reason, you do want to include field name labels for images, turn off the Omit field labels for images checkbox. This page is also where you specify the maximum height and width for the thumbnail images in the report.


Wizard page for step #3:



Choose how you want the entries in the report to be ordered. You can either use the current sort order of the List View, or you can choose any field as the sorting field (whether or not the field is one of those selected for inclusion in the report entries), as well as choosing ascending or descending order.


Wizard page for step #4:



If you want any indexes to be appended to your report, specify it here. Also, if you want a currency-field summary page included as part of the report, turn on the checkbox at the bottom of this page of the wizard. The currency-field summary page will list totals for all fields that are included in the report whose data-type is "currency".


Each index will be in the form of an alphabetized list, showing the value of the chosen index field as well as the entry number in the report. (Each entry in the report is numbered in the left-hand margin, as can be seen in the examples at the top of the page.) You can also request that the index show the value of the ID # field (in addition to the index field and the entry number). The following image shows part of a page containing an index:



After you have gone through the pages of the wizard and pressed the Finish button, the program will ask you whether you want to proceed to a full run, or whether you would like to generate just one page, as a test of the choices you have made. If you request a test page, only the first page of the report (excluding the cover sheet, and also excluding any indexes) will be printed. The program will then ask you whether to now go ahead and execute a full run, or whether to re-enter the wizard to make any adjustments which you may have decided to make, on the basis of having looked at the test page. If you choose to go back into the wizard, all of the choices will be as they were when you just previously completed the wizard's steps, so you will only need to make selections for choices that you have decided to change. On pages where no changes are needed, just click Next to move to the next page, and repeat until you get to the last page and can click Finish.

A couple of hints for generating printed reports:

  • Since the report sends its output to a printer, you can use any printer that has been set up for your system. For example, if you have a printer defined which generates PDF (e.g. Acrobat Distiller) rather than sending output to a physical printer, you can easily generate a PDF file for your entire collection.
  • If your printer supports duplex printing (printing on both sides of the page), this may be useful for reducing the amount of paper needed in cases where you are generating long reports.

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