Design, Tips and Tricks

The principles of Design also apply to Template design. An easy way for you to remember the four most important principles of design is by way of the acronym C.R.A.P.

  • Contrast
  • Repetition
  • Alignment
  • Proximity

Click this link for a short design tutorial on C.R.A.P. design.

The above tutorial is only a drop in the ocean of what is freely available online.


Most Templates will include Images for company logos, diagrams, etc. The resolution of an image is measured in dots per inch abbreviated to dpi.  High resolution equals high quality but also equals large file size - so we need to find the correct balance of quality versus file size.

Ideally Images that are used on templates should be the lowest resolution required to produce the best quality on the printing device that will output the document. For home and office printers, this is 150dpi or 59dpc (dots per cm) at final size - in other words, using images with a higher resolution will only increase the file size and not the output quality.

Click this link for free Image Editing Software - Paint.Net

Click this link for free photo re-sizing software - FastStone Photo Resizer

Tips and Tricks

This topic gives you useful tips and tricks for creating Document and Report Templates.

Multiple Columns

Multiple column Layouts can be created by using the Report > Layout properties combined with the Detail Band > Generation properties. Columns can be equal in size or different sizes and can be populated from top to bottom or from left to right. The Report > ColumnPositions property allows you to add custom starting points for each column.

Managing Page Breaks

Care must be taken to manage page breaks on Reports that could run into multiple pages. You need to ensure that relevant data is kept together and where necessary, headings are reprinted on subsequent pages. The properties that control how data is displayed on page breaks include:

  • ReprintOnOverFlow 
  • KeepTogether
  • ShiftRelativeTo


Title Band can be used to display the Header on the first page of a document while a shortened PageHeader Band can display the Header on subsequent pages. Remember to uncheck the PrintOnFirstPage property on the PageHeader BandRegions are useful for grouping the components that need to be kept together.


Functionality is provided to Group on one or more of the fields in a DataPipeLine - eg. When creating a Template for a Report. Click on Main Menu > Report > Groups... to create a new Group or to change the settings on an existing Group. Group Header and Footer Bands will automatically be created for each Group.

A List followed by Detail Pages

At times it might be useful to print a list of items, followed by a detail page for each item. For example, you might want to print a list of Quotations, followed by a detailed Quote Letter for each item on the list.

Set the Report's DataPipeline to the one that contains the List.

Add a SubReport for the List Page to the Title Band and set the PrintBehavior = pbSection. Use the same DataPipeLine on this SubReport that was used on the Report.

Add a SubReport for the Detail Pages to the Detail Band of the Report and set the PrintBehavior = pbSection. The DataPipeLine property on this SubReport must remain empty.