Strategies for Printing Customized Reports
Margaret Lourie, Suffolk University
INNOPAC users can create customized reports by printing the INNOPAC report
to file instead of paper or by using PC software to reprocess
the data to produce the desired report. More detailed information is available
from the INNOPAC Printing FAQ web site listed above.
Printing To File
Printing to a file instead of paper gives you better control over your printing.
Any output from INNOPAC can be printed to file instead of paper.
There are two basic ways to get the print to a file on a PC:
Redirect the print to a file on your PC. The recommended method for Windows
users is to add the Windows Generic/Text Only printer, which
will print to a file.
FTS e-mail printer and file save printers.
E-mail printer: The print is sent to your e-mail box as an e-mail message.
Move the message to your PC.
File save printer: The print is sent to a file on the INNOPAC machine. Move
the file from the INNOPAC machine to your PC.
Reprocessing Your Data
Once you have the file on your PC, you can manipulate the data and either
print reports or use the content in data form.
Be sure to write down what you do as you go along, so you know what gave
you the result you wanted. Keep experimenting until you get what you want.
Work with a small sample until you get your process developed. Document
everything you do. When you have a report worked out, write up instructions
how to do it next time.
Some reports can be printed to file and require only minor formatting before
sending to the printer. For example a report in columns can be put in a
spreadsheet (e.g., statistical report) and a report in paragraph format can
be left that way but formatted nicely before printing (e.g., new books list).
This technique has greatest application for reports created with list
some data from a review file.
Print the INNOPAC report to file, then:
Use a word processor to divide each record into fields by inserting a character
that functions as a marker at the end of each field, and retain a hard return
at the end of each record.
Use a spreadsheet program to get the data into columns (you may be able to
do this in MS Word using convert text to table instead).
Use a word processor (tables and formatting) to make the result look nice.
There are eight steps to preparing a custom report. The process is illustrated
by an example of producing a printed periodicals list.
Decide what your final product should look like, what data should be in it,
in what order, etc.
List of periodical holdings containing title, location, holdings (in that
order) printed as a table with three columns, with titles in upper case.
Design the report you get from INNOPAC. Type of report, type of record, fields
included, etc. Sort the records, select fields in order you want them; choose
a subset if you want.
List some data from create lists review file of check-in
records with locations periodicals, microform,
newspapers; subset microform only can be separate
list if desired.
Configure the print:
Print each field on a separate line (default)
Print one line between records (default)
Title all in uppercase (default)
Print the output to file (see above) to get the file to the PC.
Make changes to the output file with a word processor. The goal is to insert
a character to be a field delimiter between fields in a record and to retain
a hard return at the end of each record.
Identify what needs to be changed and how to use search and replace
to make consistent changes throughout the file; combine search and replace
commands into macros; reuse macros in different reports.
Delete unwanted text (e.g., labels).
Replace two consecutive hard returns with a temporary character (^ or some
other unused character) to mark the end of a record.
Replace combination of characters at end of field (e.g., period space
hard return) with another character (e.g., tab) to insert this character
(tab) as field delimiter between fields
Delete all remaining hard returns, such as those that occur at ends of lines,
which are not ends of fields.
Replace temporary character (^) with hard return (so the only hard returns
are now at the end of records).
Save file as TEXT and close file.
Create columns with spreadsheet. If too many errors, analyze cause of errors
and start over in word processing with revised search and replace strategies.
If few errors, manually fix; save as spreadsheet file.
Open file with spreadsheet program as delimited TEXT file, indicating when
asked which character was used as field delimiter. Data will be in three
Check column four for processing errors and decide if processing can be improved
to reduce errors, or if errors should be manually fixed in spreadsheet or
Save as spreadsheet.
Desktop publish with word processor. Spreadsheet file will open
as a table. Format columns, fonts, borders, etc; add page numbers, headers,
Reselect paper printer to get fonts and sizes available for that printer.
Set column widths, margins, fonts, headers, footers, etc. as specified in
printed instructions you wrote the first time you did this.
When satisfied with the result, send final version to printer.
Submitted by: Margaret Lourie, Suffolk University