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uReport Template Tips and Tricks

This section gives further information on how to approach template and table adjustments, along with a few things to look out for when designing your template.

Click on each Tab for more information

Formatting Example

Formatting templates can get messy if not careful. We recommend to turn on the ( ¶ ) option as it helps provide visibility to how you have formatted your template.

The following image is an example what you will see with ( ¶ ) on.

Common Formatting Issues

Table row height is fixed and not auto-growing

There is fixed spacing appearing in a table of records. This occurs due to table properties on the row where a height is being specified. This setting needs to be unchecked see Insert Merge Field: Table Properties

Text is expanding out of the side margins

It is important that the page margins are correctly set. This ensures that expanding text will move down the page and not off the side of the page.

Learn More about Formatting

Carriage Return (the Enter key)

We recommend the use of paragraph formatting and adjust the ‘space before’ and ‘space after’ of text rather than using the enter key. Carriage returns can cause your document to break onto multiple pages when it doesn’t need to. It can also cause unexpected formatting behaviour.  When using the return key to pad text, depending on the font size/spacing of the prior text, it effects the height of the new line. When using this with a field, if a field is empty, the new line will get its height from the further prior text. For example:

Congratulations sir/madam on your graduation (Font: 16)

<<Client first name>> (Font: 9)

  • new line*
  • new line*

<<Credential number>> (Font: 9)
If the <<Client first name>> is merged successfully, the new lines height will be 9 however if the <<Client first name>> is empty, the new lines height will be 16.
To use paragraph formatting instead of carriage returns (the enter key), simply highlight the text or Field and right click on your mouse. You’ll see the Spacing options. Adjust the the height of the space before and/or after for the best layout of your template.

 

Images with Static text

When working with images that have static text on, it is better practice to use the Paragraph Spacing settings rather than using return keys to create padding between text. Static text is just text that’s typed into your template as usual (as opposed to merge fields)

When the report is generated, all region merge fields are removed, so the ‘TableStart:AU_Credential_Main’ when removed could cause all text to shift upwards by one line.

Overall, it’s a bad practice to work with an image which has static text (excl. Logos etc) – avoid where possible.

Learn More? Learn about uReport Regions and Fields

The Header and Footer of a template can be used to repeat content on multiple pages of the same report.

You can add:

  • Logos
  • Organisation details

You can not add:

  • uReport Regions or Fields
    • Due to limitations in how uReport can process data

Page Breaks

Page breaks can be used to force a new page to occur directly after a specific item.

This is useful when trying to group specific information together.

  • A credential template where the qualification details are on the first page and the Transcript on the second page

To add a page break:

  1. Place your cursor directly between the items you want to split across pages
  2. In the menu select Insert and find and select Break or Page Break
  3. You should now see the added page break

Section Breaks

Section breaks can be used to group pages into sections that can have different types of formatting. While useful, it is recommended to not use section breaks in uReport templates. They will however work if you end the main region before the section break and start the main region once more after the section break. For example:

  • Region list: “TableStart – TableEnd – Section Break – TableStart – TableEnd” and the uReport template will work.

Find any section breaks and remove them by highlighting the section break line and clicking Delete on your keyboard. To find a section break turn on ( ¶ ).

In order for table rows to display properly, it is best to use some specific table settings. To view your table properties, go to your template, hover your mouse over the table and a cross icon will display. Right click on that icon and select Table properties. Example:

In table properties ensure that for each Row settings that the “specify height” option is unchecked, ensuring that it will grow as required.

To check the setting for each row, click ‘Next Row’ and the height setting will appear, which you can then alter. What this does is creates a gap between each row that is based on the value entered in the height setting. If left unchecked, each row will appear directly below the next. If an amount is entered, then a gap between each row will occur that is based on the value entered.

In table properties ensure that ‘Text Wrapping’ is set to ‘Around’ and that in ‘Positioning…’ that the option ‘Allow overlay’ is checked.

It is best that the table is not in a textbox as this will truncate a list of records past the limits of the textbox boundary. Example:

Table properties can be set to ‘None’ if the preference is to display unit details over two pages with the header row of the table repeating in subsequent pages.

Adding a single horizontal line at the bottom of the table

To get a horizontal line on just the bottom of the table, add a new additional cell row at the bottom of the table by right clicking on the last cell and select insert>insert rows below. Format this row with bottom border only. Use the border options found in the menu on the top of your MS Word document. Make this new cell row really thin in size so that it doesn’t take up too much space between the table details and the border line. Without the additional cell row, putting a line on bottom of the table layout will make the line repeat per row.

Without the row, if you put a line on bottom it will repeat per unit which is a different layout style. If just a single rule desired the additional row with line on bottom works best. If you put a line on top of the new row it acts the same as line on bottom of repeating row.

Displaying multiple units or rows in a table

When units or fields in a table take up too much space and cause the report to break on to two pages, there are a few solutions to keep in mind:

  1. Decrease the font size of the fields in the table
  2. Increase the size of each row/cell by moving the cell border to the left or right.
  3. Decrease the font size of multiple details in the layout of the template to allow for more space
  4. In the case of a credential (statement of attainment), check with your compliance manager if displaying the units on the overleaf is acceptable. If so, create a page break in the document and place the unit table on the second page.

How to add a new cell to the table

In your table, right click on a cell and select ‘Insert.’ The choice to add a new column to the left or to the right displays in the list. This is useful if you require additional information to display in the table, like, the Unit End Date or Outcome. IMPORTANT: In the case that a new column is added to the table and it’s set at either the first column or the last column, make sure that the sub-region is either moved or added in to this new column, Simplest way is to copy and paste the sub-region in to the new column.

Using a textbox to fill empty space before reaching additional text

Adding a text box over a table helps to display details in the table properly by allowing the details in the table to expand down the page, all the while preserving the placement of any text or Fields below the text box. Once the allotted space used by the text box has been filled, any details below the text box will be pushed down and move down the page. It is good practice to add a text box over a table (and not IN) so that details below the text box will stay in place until the gap has been filled. The example below shows how a text box sits over a table:

What you get is a table that fills up with unit details while preserving the allotted space. Notice in image below that the table doesn’t push any of the details below the textbox any further down.  Example of generated table in layout:

How to add a textbox

  • Easy
  1. Open a Wisenet pre-designed uReport Template, like a Transcript of a Statement of Attainment, and copy the text box. To find it, hover your mouse over the table and a box should appear to sit over the table.
  2. When the textbox has been copied, paste the text box on to your template and place it over the table. For best results, have the top of the text box sit just above the first cell of the table.
  3. Then take the bottom section of the text box and expand it down by dragging it to as far as you want it to expand.
  4. Remove any space gaps between the bottom of the text box.
  5. If there are any details at the end of the template, say a signature or date, then just have them sit below the text box.
  6. The space that you create with the text box will preserve any fields or text in place until the text box has been filled. Only then will details be pushed down.
  • Advanced – Add a text box manually to your template by following these directions:
  1. From your main menu, go to Insert and find the icon for Textbox.
  2. Select Draw Text box option. Shape your text box with your cursor in your template.
  3. Place a text box over the area of the table.
    • (Mac) Right click on the text box and set the wrap option to “Top and Bottom” (This means that carriage returns are not required)
    • (Windows) Right click on the textbox: format text box>layout>advanced>text wrapping, and set the wrap option to “Top and Bottom”
  4. Drag the textbox to the required size
  5. Push all details below the text box down until you reach the space you feel is required for the table alone.

Note: Be sure to not place the table inside the text box; they must be separate.
The details in the table will now take up the allotted space created by the text box. Once the space is filled, any details below the text box will be pushed down. If there is a gap between the textbox and any details below the text box line, that is more than likely because there are spaces put there with the “enter” key from your keyboard. Remove them up until the point that you require the text box line to reach.

A Field was added to a template, but is not displaying correctly

You need to check that the field has been correctly added.

  1. Find the field in the template
  2. Right click on the Field and select Toggle Field Codes
  3. This will show the Field Reference
  4. Check to ensure the the value is correct and matches a field in the uReport Field Dictionary

Learn more? How to add Fields to uReport

How to hide label when field has no value?

  1. Add the field that you wish to use as normal
  2. Toggle the Field and change the Field Code to be similar as below (change labels and field references as required)
    • { If <<COR Expiry Date>> <> “” “Course expiry date is <<COR Expiry Date>> \@ dd/MM/yyyy \* MERGEFORMAT }
  3. Once complete right click on the field and click Update

Format Field to Datetime, Number or Currency

This is achieved by adding additional info into the MERGEFIELD. This is known as a MERGEFORMAT.

The uReport Data Dictionary already has the required formats for each field that you can then edit.

See examples below:

Number

  • To format a numeric field into a specific number format you need to use ( \# ) followed by the format requirement (eg. \# ,#0.00)
    • \# starts number formatting
    • ,# to define comma separated thousands
    • 0.00 to define point separated decimals to 2 places
    • $ appended to the front (this is optional),

Currency

  • To format a numeric field into currency you should use the same Number format as above but add required currency sign
    • (eg. \# $,#0.00)
    • $ is appended to the front

Datetime

  • To format a date field into date time you need to use ( \@ ) followed by format requirement (eg. \@ “h:mm am/pm”)
  • \@ starts datetime formatting
  • Then in “” need to define the desired format
  • Date option
    • eg. 23 March 2019 can be displayed as Friday, 23 Mar 2019 or 23/03/19
    • Day: Friday (dddd) or Fri (ddd) or 23 (dd)
    • Month: March (MMMM) or Mar (MMM) or 03 (MM)
    • Year: 2019 (yyyy) or 19 (yy)
    • dd MM yyyy or dddd, dd MMMM yyyy are date options
  • h:mm am/pm is time format

Remove all of below?

To be able to add Field Switches in Microsoft Word, you must highlight the MergeField, the right click and press Toggle Field Code. After adding your field code right click again and press Toggle Field Code and then Update Field to return the document back to normal.

Note: Field switches must be added after the last character of the Field and before the \* MERGEFORMAT Field Switch and the }

Further information on time/date formatting
Further information on field switch

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