Converting Forms to Reports in Microsoft Access 2013

Two Methods for Converting Static and Editable Forms to Reports

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There are a couple of ways to convert a form to a report in Microsoft Access 2013. If you want a report that looks exactly like the form, the process is extremely simple. If you want to be able to manipulate the data after the conversion, the effort is only slightly more involved.

Reasons to Convert an Access 2013 Form to a Report

  • The most common reason to convert a form to a report is to create something that is easy to print with all the data that a report can offer.
  • Forms show everything that was entered for records, allowing you to see what was entered and what (if any) fields were grayed out. Forms give an idea of how users enter information. If you see a clear pattern of mistakes, missing information or duplicate data, being able to print a report that shows the source of the data entry gives you the most accurate idea of what went wrong and where. 
  • Other times you may like the way things appear on the report and you want to be able to work with the data in a way that is already familiar to you or your audience. Working on an editable report makes the data presentable for slideshows, conferences and handouts.

Different Types of Conversions

There are two primary ways to convert a form to a report:

  • One in which the data is static and appears as you want it to print
  • One in which the data is active and can be manipulated to organize the report as you want it to look before printing it

    While it is obvious why you would want to print static data from a form, it is less obvious why you would want to be able to manipulate the data. Given how much time goes into creating a form compared to creating a report, odds are that the form is presentable, but you don’t want to change the way it looks just for a single report.

    If you just want to rearrange the data, Microsoft Access 2013 allows you to manipulate the converted form so that the report looks exactly as you need it to look without having to spend a lot of time recreating the form as a report.

    Converting a Form for Printing

    The process for converting a form so you can print it as a report is a relatively easy.

    1. Open the database that contains the form you want to use. 
    2. Open the form to be converted.
    3. Go to File  >  Save As  >  Save Object As.
    4. Go to the section called Save the current database object and click on Save Object As.
    5. Enter the name for the report under Save ‘Campaign List Subform’ to: in the pop-up window.
    6. Change As from Form to Report.
    7. Click OK to save the form as a report.

    Open the report and review it to make sure that it appears as you want it to before printing. When you are ready, click on Report Under Objects under Database and select the report.           

    Converting a Form to a Report That Can Be Modified

    Converting a form to a report that you can modify is only slightly more complicated because you have to be aware of what view you are in when you save the report.

    1. Open the database that contains the form you want to use. 
    2. Right click on the form you want to convert and click Design View
    1. Go File  >  Save As  >  Save Object As.
    2. Go to the section called Save the current database object and click on Save Object As.
    3. Enter the name for the report under Save ‘Campaign List Subform’ to: in the pop-up window.
    4. Change As from Form to Report.
    5. Click OK.

    Now you can make adjustments to the report without starting from scratch or saving a new version of the form. If you think that the new look should become the permanent look, you can update the form to match the changes that you made to the report.