Can a single textBox wrap text across two columns of a report?

Posted on 2007-07-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-28
Hope this is easy - worth 500 points to me.
I have a memo field that I want to print across two columns on a (sub) report.

I made the (sub)report two columns (in File/Page Setup...) and added a single textbox to the details section.  I made the text box 4" wide and set 'can grow' to Yes.  No luck.  I also set the Details section can grow to No.  

This is doable, right? I want my one memo field to wrap across two columns on a report.

what am I missing?

Thanks in advance -
Question by:LynnFogwell
  • 7
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LVL 75
ID: 19590490
I'm not sure that you can split one field (memo) across two columns .. humm.

LVL 75
ID: 19590525
Typically, the 2nd column is going to pick up the next record and so on ...

I just tired this ... no go.  They may be some exotic trick ... but I can't quite see how it would be done.

Curious as to why you are trying to do this?


Author Comment

ID: 19590593
Hi DatabaseMX,
The back of a high school transcript has an 'achievements' section (varsity sport, chess club, honor roll, etc).  It is just free format text that can often be over 255 characters.  It is one big memo field because all I have to do with it is let them input text and then print it out on the back of the transcript.  I noticed, on the hand typed transcripts, that they often type text into this box as two columns, instead of running it across the box.

As a 4 inch column, I could also make an input form that basically matched the width of the report column.  That way they would have a better idea how the formatting would look on the transcript.

They don't need the formatting of a word processor, but I do want to give them some feel of the formatting.
Surely there is a way to do this - Access seems infinitely flexible
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LVL 75
ID: 19590614
Humm.  Well, while I try to dream up something, see if Lebans has something:


LVL 75
ID: 19590619
How would Access know when to switch to the other column?

LVL 77

Expert Comment

ID: 19590645
You won't realistically achieve this with a single memo field and a normal Access textbox.
Typing formatted text into a memo field is not for those who have a life to live as well..
If you feel the layout is important then you could try using two memo fields - one for each column (you wouldn't want a 2-column subreport then of course).

But memo fields have no physical dimensions so things can go adrift if you get the drawn sizes different.

You might want to consider using an RTF control for your form/report along with  memo fields.

This is a popular free rtf control,

(Unless you are using A2007- in which case you already have one)

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 19591170
Hi LynnFogwell,

the comments from the Guys above are right, you cannot have a report set up as a 2 column layout and then split one field all the way across the two columns.  I have had a similar proiblem with a report we run here for years and have not been able to get round it sucessfully.

The only suggestion I can make is to have the memo field in the page footer and hide it.  then use code to make it visible if you are at the end of that detailed section of the report.  This can be a bit of a pain to acheive and to be honest probably will not give you the layout you are hoping for.

Sorry if this is not any help.

LVL 58

Accepted Solution

harfang earned 2000 total points
ID: 19592252
A textbox can span across two columns, provided you allow the section to do so. The detail section's property "keep together" has a default value "yes", meaning that Access will always attempt to print the entire section on one page/column. If you choose "no", any textbox can and will be cut at the bottom of the page/column, and continue on the next.

Note that this applies only to columns flowing "down, then across". The option "across, then down" naturally inserts a column break between your sections, no matter what.

Also, you should have both the textbox's and the section's "can grow" set to "yes", or you risk to truncate your memo field.


Author Comment

ID: 19593081
You 'da man!!!!
You are exactly right!

Access is a confusing labrinth of infinite contortions, but it does mean that there always seems to be a way to do something.

Thank you - Thank you - Thank you
LVL 75
ID: 19593466
That's why I said "i'm not sure" :-)

LVL 75
ID: 19593706
Man ...  I just KNEW ... in the back of my head ... I had done that in the past ... another reason I'm on this site ... to bring back the past ... back to the Future :-)

Good one Marcus ...


Author Comment

ID: 19593767
As they say,
you've forgotten more than I'll ever know about Access

LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 19593895

> Access is a confusing labrinth of infinite contortions

I tend to agree with that. I have taught enough Access to know how counter-intuitive the reporting engine is to most users. I developed a teaching method involving different background colors for each and every section during design. That helps a lot.

"You see here that Access inserts the lavender strip (read header section) because the week has changed"; "notice that the yellow block (read detail section) would not fit on page 5, so it's moved to page 6"; etc.

Good luck with your reports now!

[Thanks mx, as well!]

LVL 75
ID: 19594101
In fact ... last night I DID change the Keep Together to NO ...BUT ... completely forgot about flowing "down, then across"

oh well.  That is now higher up on the food chain :-)


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