in Sage March 28, 2018
Tips for the Sage Report Designer
Sage's primary "on premise" software offerings for SMEs - Sage 200c Professional, Sage 50c Accounts and Sage 50 Payroll - all use the same report designer.
Learning the skills required to build new reports from scratch would really require attendance at a proper report designer training course. Adjusting existing reports is much simpler however, and is something that those users with decent computer literacy shouln't be afraid of. Below you'll find a few quick tips to aid with this.
Edits in Preview Mode
When in the Report Designer, you'll see a wee magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner - press this to enter Preview Mode, to see what you're report is actually going to look like.
What most people don't know however is that you can still make edits when in Preview Mode - you can drag & re-position fields as you want them. This can be invaluable for cosmetic changes, as you can clearly see where things are going to be positioned:
Rather than doing in Design Mode, where you can often not even be sure you're moving the correct field, never mind getting happy about where you're moving it to:
Exporting to Excel
Anyone who has tried exporting a report from an older (pre 2017) version of Sage 200c or Sage 50 knows that it can be a nightmare. It exports to Excel exactly as you see on screen - i.e. including headers & footers - and usually merges a bunch of cells also. The end result is you need to then spent 10 minutes tidying it up before you can actually do anything with the data in Excel.
Sage have actually fixed this themselves with the most recent versions of Sage 200c Professional and Sage 50c Accounts - with all reports exporting to Excel "pivot table ready".
If still on an older version however, you can still achieve the same result - refer to our separate guide on Exporting to Excel from Sage for more info.
Adding Criteria to a Report
When running virtually an report in Sage, you'll first be presented with the Criteria screen - essentially the list of filters that you can apply on the report.
This list can be easily added to - allowing you to add a criteria to filter on. Common requests we have is to add in "posting date" criteria - to allow existing reports to be filtered based on the date a transactions was physically entered, rather than the date that was typed in.
To add a criteria, simply select "Report > Criteria" on the top menu, press "Add Criteria", then select the field you want to be able to filter on (note - you might need some help with this bit. Don't hesitate to contact TMS if you need us to advise the name of the field you're looking for.