Fit to Page
So far, I have never designed a report or seen a real report more than one page wide. I'm sure in other businesses such a thing is more common. For me, however, I am always in the position of fitting the most important data within a single landscape page width.
As such, adjusting the column widths in ActiveReports is a chore I must go through on every report I build. While I don't expect the software to magically size the columns perfectly, I would really appreciate an option to force the table to fit the page width. Then, rather than adjusting the width of the columns in inches, I'd adjust them as a percentage of the width of the page.
For reference, I use Excel's "Fit To" Scaling feature in their Page Setup on nearly every spreadsheet I print.
Thanks for the straight feedback Dane, I really appreciate it. And I especially like the feature name "Magic Run-Time Optimization" :)
So I experimented a bit more with resizing the table and snapping it to the size of the page. That actually works fairly well. It's pretty simple to snap the table to the page width and have all of the columns proportionally resize.
That will probably work for most of what I need. While it's one extra action after resizing a column, it isn't such a bad thing that I have to make the decision to resize all of the columns slightly.
The ability to have a report optimize its own column widths at run-time isn't something I've really seen, but would still be cool.
While the table doesn't split columns, it will split a word that's longer than the column width. That makes sense. It's just in the Magic Run-Time Optimization (TM) it should avoid that.
@Dane: BTW: The table will not split table columns/words in the middle. If a column would land in between pages, it will always move a column to begin on the next page, so long as the column has a width that is less than the width of the page.
We do have intuitive snaplines now that make it easier to size the table directly to the edge of the page, but it sounds like you want something more:
Would it be fair to say you want tables to default to "snapping" to the width of the page by default? And if the page size or orientation is changed you want it to stay snapped to the page edges (with columns resizing according to their percentage). Correct?
Actually, you know what would be absolutely amazing: a magic formatting button. I'm talking about the table outputs here.
Here's what the magic formatting would do: with the given set of columns with a maximum width of one page (perhaps variable if it matters to others), the report will resize the columns at run-time so that the report takes up a minimum number of pages without breaking words.
That's essentially what I'm trying to do and guess at by hand when I size the columns. I don't want dates or words broken across two lines, but otherwise I want long multi-word values to wrap as little as possible. If I could just set up a pretty header, define the report criteria and output values, and click the Magic Formatting button, that would be bliss.