Reports vs. Exports
This article describes how to create and distribute reports generated from the form data submitted to your website.
But first, it is important to distinguish between reports and exports. Exports are a simple conversion of some or all data records for a particular form to another file format. Data are exported to your desktop computer or to a cloud account such as Google Docs/Drive. Exports are always in a spreadsheet-like format (with the exception of KML which is a mapping format). Exports are done from the File menu in either the View Data or Dispatch tabs.
Reports are highly formatted Excel or PDF files which can include embedded images, signatures and maps. Reports generally involve one completed form data record (i.e., one filled out form), but can also be used to aggregate data from several different but related forms. Reports can be generated from the Row or Data menus in either the View Data or Dispatch tabs. Reports can also be emailed from a mobile device by including an Email Report tool in your forms when you construct them in the Build Forms tab.
Standard Report Template vs. Custom Report Template
Reports can be generated using either a Standard Report Template or Custom Report Template. A “template” is simply a format definition for how the report will look (i.e., the placement of graphics, font type and size, border styles, etc.). The Standard Report Template is an “off-the-shelf” doForms format that you can use for your reports. As described in more detail below, even though it is “standard”, it still provides numerous settings to help you control the content and appearance of standard reports.
In comparison, Custom Report Templates provide you full control over the content and appearance of your reports. Custom Report Templates are created by you, using Microsoft Excel and uploaded to your website. If you know how to format your Excel documents, then you are already an expert at building Custom Report Templates, which can include almost any formatting, calculation and charting function of Excel. See Create custom report templates, Format custom report templates and Manage custom report templates for more information.
PDF vs. Excel Output
Once you have created or selected a Report Template, you can also specify whether the resulting report will be produced in Excel or PDF file format. You can create either PDF or Excel output from a Custom Report Template. Currently you can only produce PDF output from a Standard Report Template. The process for controlling reports is as illustrated below:
Report Settings are used to control the format of reports produced from forms. Report Settings can be controlled in two different ways:
- Via Report Settings in the Email Report tool that is included in a form. These reports are generated when a form is completed on the mobile app and received by the website.
- Via Report Settings in the View Data or Dispatch tabs in the website. These reports are generated from either the Row menu or Data menu in these website tabs.
Report Settings in the Email Report tool
These settings are applied on a tool-by-tool basis. This means that you can set different templates and output types for different Email Report tools contained in a single from. For example, you might want to have a full report with all fields in Excel format that is emailed internally to your organization, but you want a different set of fields in a PDF format emailed to customers. You can achieve this by including separate Email Report tools in the form with different report settings.
To access the Report Settings in Email Report tool:
- Go to the Build Forms tab.
- Open the form containing the Email Report tool(s).
- Click on the Email Report tool.
- Click on Report Settings in the properties pane.
- After making any desired changes, click Save.
Report Settings in the View Data or Dispatch
These settings are applied on a project-by-project and form-by-form basis. This means that you can set different templates and output type for different forms. It also means that you can set different templates and output type for the same form but in different projects.
To access the Report Settings in View Data or Dispatch tabs:
- Go to the View Data or Dispatch tab.
- Select a project and form.
- Click on the Options menu.
- Select Report Settings.
- After making any desired changes, click Save.
Please note that some Settings Options will be selectively displayed based on prior settings.
Emailing Subject Line: When emailing a report, specify if you would like the subject line to contain (1) the name of the form; (2) the record name; or (3) custom text.
When Emailing Report: When emailing a report, specify if report will be sent as a PDF or Excel file.
When Creating PDF File Use: Specify if PDF files will be created using the Standard Report Template or the Custom Report Template (see below for how to specify which custom template to use).
When Creating Excel File Use: Specify that Excel files will be created using Custom Report Template (currently, only the Custom Report Template option is available).
Custom Report Template Settings
Please note that the options in this section will be selectively displayed based on prior settings.
Select an Custom Report Template – Specifies the template file that will be used as the Custom Report Template (see the Creating a Custom Report Template section).
PDF pixels per inch – Use to adjust the resolution of PDF report. A larger value will result in clearer pages, but larger PDF files.
JPEG image quality in PDF - Use to adjust the quality of the JPEG image compression when creating a PDF report. A larger value will result in clearer pictures, but larger PDF files.
Add PDF page break after every Excel template file worksheet – If the Excel template file contains multiple worksheet tabs, then selecting this option will place a page break after each tab in the PDF file.
Standard Report Template Settings
This section is displayed only when “Use Standard Report Template” is selected.
Font – Specifies the font to be used. The “System Default” font should be used for most Latin-based alphabets. Specialty fonts should be selected for other alphabets (e.g., Cyrillic for Greek or Russian).
2 column format – The default layout is single-column. Selecting this option will format the report in two columns.
Hide empty fields – Hides any questions that have not been answered.
Shade headings – Shade the “caption” property of Label question tools in the form.
Display from name – The default is to display the name of the form at the top of the report. Uncheck this option if you wish to hide it.
Display data_names – The default is to display the “caption” property of question tools. Selecting this option will display the “data_name” property instead.
Display hints – Display the “hint” property of the question tools in the form.
Display record_name – Display the system generated “record_name”.
Display date_created – Display the system generated “date_created”.
Display mobile_unit – Display the mobile number of the device that submitted this form.
Display Logo – Display a custom logo if one has been uploaded to your doForms website (see Branding section )
Display page numbers – Include page numbers at the footer of the PDF.
Show GPS coordinates on map – Display GPS coordinates (if any) on a location map which will be appended to the report. Use the “Auto-scale” option to let doForms select the best map scale that fits all the GPS points. Use the “Enter scale” option to manually specify a scale. 0 is lowest detail. 20 is highest detail. Highest detail maps may not be available for all locations.
Scale - Changing the scale determines the altitude that is used to set the map. This is the equivalent of zooming in or out which impacts the level of detail displayed. Always use Auto Scale if you have more than one GPS location in your form.
Page tool starts a new page – Creates a page break in the PDF report wherever a Page tool is inserted into a form.
Each loop in a Repeatable Section starts a new page – Creates a page break at the beginning.
Standard Report Template Fields
Select the fields contained in the form that you wish to be included in the report.
General Report Settings (PDF & Excel Reports)
Always populate defaults – Checking this option causes default values to be displayed in reports.
Resize images - Allows you to specify a reduced image size as a percentage of the original – 100%, 66%, 50%, 33% and 25%. This option allows you to better control the format of your reports, and it also allows you to reduce the size of the resulting PDF or Excel files. By resizing the image, your image will appear smaller in the PDF. We recommend reducing the size of your images if your from has many images to reduce the overall size of the PDF.