This article will explain how to modify almost any report, invoice, statement, and route sheet that is in CLIP. This is an advanced function. If you do not feel comfortable with using computers, you should NOT attempt the following steps.
After you make changes to forms and reports, CLIP will no longer support that form if you get error messages. Applying an update will reset all the forms back to factory default settings.
- Advantages / Disadvantages
- Information about Report Files
- Making The Changes
- Understanding Bands
- Understanding The Programming Behind Objects
One advantage is that you can make the report, invoice, statement, or route sheet look exactly like you want. You can adjust the position of the name, color, or font of different sections. You can also re-adjust the whole report to your liking.
Once you modify the report file, it is unique to you. Sensible Software Inc will not support the new form. You could end up with error messages or you could lose your changes for whatever reason. When you install updates to your program, the install program will install the standard report files over your modified ones. This will erase your changes. We try to make the install check for modified dates and not overwrite the changes. However, we strongly advise you to protect yourself in this area.
Once you have weighed the advantages and disadvantages, decide if you want to go ahead and modify the report file.
Please read over the instructions to understand how these report files work in our program.
Information about Report Files
The report files in Microsoft Fox Pro are actually tables or databases that contain all of the definitions. There are always two files for any report. One will have the extension FRT and the other will be an FRX.
For example, if a report is called "job cost" it would have two files on the hard drive such as "jobcost.frt" and "jobcost.frx." If you want to copy a report, you need to copy both files or the report will be ruined.
There is an interface in Fox Pro that allows you to change the reports interactively. This allows you to move things around, change the fonts, colors, background, size, and other things.
To access this click Files, Other Utilities, and then Dot Prompt.
Type: MODIFY REPORT
CLIP will want you to find the report file to customize. All of the modifiable reports are in the CLIPv/REP directory. Keep your modified reports in this same directory and CLIP will use yours instead of the original ones.
Identifying the report you want to modify.
The easiest way to know what report goes to what function is to identify the function in CLIP that produces the report. The reports that are used to create the balance forward statements and invoices that are accessed from either billing process or mid-month billing:
Plain paper statement or invoice = b0plain
Laser Statement 12256 or laser Invoice 12351
Offset determines which form is used:
0 offset = b12256l0
1 offset = b12256l1
2 offset = b12256l2
Small Statement 12328 or Small Invoice 12352
0 offset = b12328l0
1 offset = b12328l1
2 offset = b12328l2
Small Statement or Small Invoice
Pin Feed = b12354
Notice that CLIP determines which form to use based on the form chosen and the offset.
Route Sheet Invoices Report files start with pi Plain Paper = piplain
12345 - 0 offset = pi123450
12345 - 1 offset = pi123451
12345 - 2 offset = pi123452
Service Ticket = svr_tick
Route Sheet = rtsheet
Route Sheet with bar code = rtsheetb
Abbreviated Route Sheet = rtshort
Expanded Route Sheet = rst_exp
Summary Sheet = susheet
Plain Paper = inv_plai
Plain paper Statement = inv_stmt
Word Processor Reports
Accessed from Other Utilities/Word Processor
Header and Footer chosen = wpheadft
Only Header chosen = wpheadcu
Estimate Table Chosen = wpheades
No header but footer = wplainft
No header or Footer = wpplain
Making The Changes
In this section, we will go over an example on how to make small changes to a file called b0plain form. Please make sure that you have made a backup of CLIP because you may need to restore a report if you make a mistake in your editing.
Many places in CLIP have the three dots button. They are usually located next to the forms or reports that you want to modify.
To change the position of an object on the form, you will essentially want to drag it using your mouse from one place to another. Another way of moving objects on a form is to click on an object and then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it a little bit at a time. To select more than one object at a time, you can use your mouse to draw a box around it or you can hold the shift key down while clicking on the objects.
The screenshot above shows what it looks like when an object is highlighted. The small black square boxes around the object allow you to shrink the object up, down, left, or right. Make sure you are very careful when doing this. Once an object is highlighted, you will have the ability to move it, copy it, or make other changes.
Once an object is highlighted, click the font properties icon towards the top left of the screen.
From here, you can select the font and size that you want. Press OK and it will bring you back to the report designer window.
Be careful when adjusting the font because it will enlarge the field.
This may become a problem when fields are close together and they may overlap each other. If you are sure that you want to get rid of an object, you can highlight the object and then press delete on your keyboard or right click then select delete.
This works the same when you wish to copy an object. First, highlight the object and then press CTRL+C on your keyboard or right click and select copy. Then you will be able to press CTRL+V on your keyboard or right click and select paste in order to use copy/paste on an object.
In this plain paper statement/invoice, you can see several bands.
The first one is the page header. This band is always at the top of each page.
The second band is called Group Header 1: number and Group Header 2: hs_pj_id. This simply means that CLIP will be printing all the information between the header and footer until the condition changes.
The third band is called the Detail band. This will print detail of the data and continue to print it until the group header information changes or the page number changes. This is the band that contains the date, description, charge, and other fields for all the transactions for the customer.
The fourth band is the Group Footer bands. They signify the end of the group. The first group footer band is empty because there is no information we want to print when the customer number changes. In other reports/forms, there will be sub-totals and other fields to display in this band.
The last band is called the Page Footer. This is where we print the information we want on the bottom of the page.
You can adjust the bands by dragging it up or down with your mouse as needed. You cannot move the band higher than the lowest object in the band.
Understanding the Programming Behind Objects
Objects have a code that makes them appear or disappear as requested by the user from the menus and options. You can see the code by double clicking on the object.
If you double click on the bill name field, you will see the properties window.
If you click the "print when" tab, you will see the "print when" screen which shows if there is a condition that needs to be met in order for the bill name to print. This object is selected to "print repeated values" on each page or each customer.
Click "cancel" to close this screen when finished.
From the screenshot above, we will focus on the "total amount due" object. Select this object so it is highlighted and then click the "A" icon on the small report control window.
Now, you will be able to change the text for "total amount due." Change it, and type "pay the amount."
In order to create new text, click the "A" tool and click anywhere on the form and type out the text you want. After you type it out, you can click the "font" button to change the font and size.
There are many tools on the report designer control window. This is called the report control box. The first tool is an arrow or pointing device that you can use to highlight objects in order to move or modify them.
The "A" tool is for creating or modifying text. The "ab" tool is for adding fields or variables to the report. The "line" tool is for drawing lines on the form. You can change the thickness of the line by selecting the line then double clicking it then select the "style" tab.
Use the style and weight options to modify the line. The square and oval tools on the report control box are for drawing boxes with either sharp corners or rounded corners. The picture tool is for manually adding picture (bitmap) files to your form.
When you are finished modifying the report form, either hold down the CTRL key and then press W on the keyboard to save it or simply close the window. It will then ask if you want to save the changes.
The reports get saved into a separate folder once you save changes inside the CLIPv folder called "CustomReports." This is done so that when updates are applied they will not overwrite your changes.
To test your report, run it from the menu and see the changes. If you get an error, chances are you have mis-spelled something. You may need to jump back and forth between the report designer and previewing the form to get it the way you want.
Let us know if you need further assistance!