The Partition Tool is the most powerful tool in the palette. Complex reports are usually divided into sections or bands called Partitions. A Partition determines how database data is distributed and displayed when printing a report. Partitions can contain database fields, text, formulas, pictures, lines, rectangles and ellipses. Report Designer includes several different types of Partitions each with its own unique capabilities. Which Partitions you use depends on what kind of report you're trying to create. Many kinds of reports use only a single Partition. Partition objects are not appear in the preview or final printed report - they are only used when designing reports to indicate how data from the database is to be distributed. The position and order of the Partitions on-screen isn't critical since the Partition type dictates where they will appear in the final report.

The types of Partitions are described below:

Report Title

Prints once on the first page of the report. You can have only one Title Partition in a report.

Report Summary

Prints once on the last page of the report. You can have only one Summary Partition in a report.

Page Header

Prints at the top of each page. You can have only one Page Header Partition for each page in a report.

Page Footer

Prints at the bottom of each page. You can have only one Page Footer Partition for each page in a report.

Data Header

Prints at the beginning of the Data Body.

Data Body

Each object you place in the Data Body Partition, including fields, text, pictures, etc., appears once for each record in the table. The Data Body is associated with a specific table in the database. Generally, any fields placed on the Partition must belong to the same table.

Data Footer

Prints at the end of the Data Body.

Column Header

Prints at the top of each column. The report's Page Properties must be configured with multiple columns.

Column Footer

Prints at the bottom of each column. The report's Page Properties must be configured with multiple columns.

Group Header

This Partition is used to arrange data into groups. In order for a group to print correctly, the Group Header must be paired with Data Body Partition. It's also usually necessary for the table containing the data to be sorted prior to printing. The Group Header prints at the beginning of each group.

Group Footer

Prints at the end of each group.

To create a Partition, use the mouse to draw a rectangle where you would like the Partition to appear. You will notice the Partition stretched horizontally across the entire width of the page. This is normal because Partitions, which are sometimes called "bands", are designed to distribute data vertically down the page during printing. After drawing the Partition, the Insert Partition screen will appear asking you to select the type of Partition you want to create. If you select Data Body or Group Header a second screen will appear asking you for additional information about the Partition.

Data Body Partition

When using a Data Body Partition it's absolutely critical that you select the correct table. If you don't, your report probably won't turn out as you intended. The table you select, must match the fields that you place onto the Partition. For example, if you're designing a report to print mailing labels from a list of contacts, then Data Body should be linked to that table.

The Page break after option can be enabled if you want the report to begin a new page after each record. Enable the Allow printing across page/column boundaries option if you want to allow large blocks of data to flow across page or column breaks.

Group Header Partition

The Group Header Partition is designed to be used in conjunction with a Data Body Partition. Suppose you want to print a list of clients from your address book database grouped by zip code. To do this you would create a Group Header Partition linked to the client table's zip code field. (You can use the button to select from a list of available tables and fields.) This would be placed next to a Data Body Partition containing the fields that you want printed. (Fields are added using the Text/Field tool.) For example the following report:

when printed will look like this:

Note: It was necessary to sort the table prior to printing in order to get the grouping to work correctly.