MLS Custom Report Formatting

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
iswcky
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MLS Custom Report Formatting

Postby iswcky » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:27 am

We have two continuing problems with custom reports in MLS for which we have not been able to find or receive work-arounds:

1. The column width settings for reports cannot be saved with the report. Each time we print the report we have to resize the columns. Currently we manually note the width by the characters in the column heading (if the heading is wide enough).

2. When reports are generated using the grouping option (ward or household) you cannot resize the coumns at all. The reports are fine with 4 columns (or less), but if additional columns are added they are all the same width (two of the bolded heading characters) and cannot be changed. The initial 4 columns appear to be all the same width.

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greenwoodkl
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Postby greenwoodkl » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:42 am

This topic may be better for another thread, but as a ward website admin, I remember the options for custom reporting were terrible when i worked with the ward clerk to get confirmation dates and membership numbers. Is there an open-source report formatting tool with basic features similar to other reporting tools (Crystal Reports) where you could do a drop-down report creation tool with all the available fields in MLS and save these custom reports? A secondary list of both preset commonly-used custom reports and saved reports could also be added. (hopefully which would include a report for the name/member#/confirmation date used for Church web accounts) I feel this would be a nice addition to MLS to help the more advanced users get out the data they'd like in a way other than a CSV export.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:44 am

Actually this would be a very cool program. Using MLS, you export your data and then on your PC you import it into a "report generator". Then as often as you like, you re-import the data into this program.

Tom

fraserredmond
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Postby fraserredmond » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:12 pm

I hate the custom report column widths too. I learnt recently about a keyboard shortcut that might help you though:

Ctrl-Shift-C

Click anywhere in the custom report output, press Ctrl-Shift-C and it will copy the text as tab-seperated columns to the clipboard. Then you can paste into a word-processor (MS Word, MS Works, OO Writer, or even WordPad) and set up tab-stops how you like.

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AdrianLP-p40
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Postby AdrianLP-p40 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:34 am

redzarf wrote:Click anywhere in the custom report output, press Ctrl-Shift-C and it will copy the text as tab-seperated columns to the clipboard. Then you can paste into a word-processor (MS Word, MS Works, OO Writer, or even WordPad) and set up tab-stops how you like.



If you have copied a tab-delimited value set, you might consider pasting it into a spreadsheet program (like Openoffice's Calc, I wouldn't recommend an MS product).

Pasting tab delimited fields into a word processor, and then messing with tab spacing, is a very crude use of a word processor, and ill advised

A spreadsheet in this case is what you want, and will give you far more control of the data that a word processor will give you.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:00 pm

AdrianLP wrote:A spreadsheet in this case is what you want, and will give you far more control of the data that a word processor will give you.

Agreed, a spreadsheet program would be much better for CSV or tab-delimited data. Instead of Word, Works, Wordpad, etc., MS Excel would give you better control and layout (or OpenOffice Calc, if you don't already have Excel).

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AdrianLP-p40
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Postby AdrianLP-p40 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:09 am

mkmurray wrote:Agreed, a spreadsheet program would be much better for CSV or tab-delimited data. Instead of Word, Works, Wordpad, etc., MS Excel would give you better control and layout (or OpenOffice Calc, if you don't already have Excel).


Or Calc even if he does have Excel :)

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ericb
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The simple answer...wait for the fix

Postby ericb » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:40 pm

iswcky wrote:The column width settings for reports cannot be saved with the report. Each time we print the report we have to resize the columns. Currently we manually note the width by the characters in the column heading (if the heading is wide enough).


Going back to the original topic of this thread...I've observed this same problem and submitted the issue to membership services (via the Messages feature in MLS). After submitting it a second time a couple weeks ago, I received a reply they are aware of the problem and it should be corrected in an upcoming release. Hopefully, the fix will address the other problem you're seeing.

dwterry-p40
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Postby dwterry-p40 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:13 pm

When I set the column widths (hitting the Select button), I can see my changes both on screen and in print. Then when I click the Save button and exit and reload the report ... the report prints with the column sizes I selected.

I don't see the problem.

Perhaps you could list your settings (columns, etc) and we can try to duplicate it?


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