Access: Creating Reports

Lesson 11: Creating Reports



If you need to share information from your database with someone but don't want that person actually working with your database, consider creating a report. Reports allow you to organize and present your data in a reader-friendly, visually appealing format. Access makes it easy to create and customize a report using data from any query or table in your database.

In this lesson, you will learn how to create, modify, and print reports.

Throughout this tutorial, we will be using a sample database. If you would like to follow along, you'll need to download our Access sample database. You will need to have Access installed on your computer in order to open the example.

Watch the video below to learn more about creating reports.

To create a report:

Reports give you the ability to present components of your database in an easy-to-read, printable format. Access lets you create reports from both tables and queries.

  1. Open the table or query you want to use in your report. We want to print a list of cookies we've sold, so we'll open the Cookies Sold query.
    The Cookies Sold query
  2. Select the Create tab on the Ribbon. Locate the Reports group, then click the Report command.
    Clicking the Report command
  3. Access will create a new report based on your object.
  4. It's likely that some of your data will be located on the other side of the page break. To fix this, resize your fields. Simply select a field, then click and drag its edge until the field is the desired size. Repeat with additional fields until all of your fields fit.
    Resizing fields in the report
  5. To save your report, click the Save command on the Quick Access Toolbar. When prompted, type a name for your report, then click OK.
    Saving and naming the report

Just like tables and queries, reports can be sorted and filtered. Simply right-click the field you want to sort or filter, then select the desired option from the menu.

Deleting fields

You might find that your report contains some fields you don't really need to view. For instance, our report contains the Zip Code field, which isn't necessary in a list of orders. Fortunately, you can delete fields in reports without affecting the table or query where you grabbed your data.

To delete a field in a report:

  1. Click any cell in the field you want to delete, then press the Delete key on your keyboard.
    Deleting a field
  2. The field will be deleted.

When you delete a field, be sure to delete its header as well. Simply select the header and press the Delete key.

Deleting a field header after deleting the related field

Printing and saving reports in Print Preview

While you can print reports using commands in Backstage view, you can also use Print Preview. Print Preview shows you how your report will appear on the printed page. It also allows you to modify the way your report is displayed, print it, and even save it as a different file type.

Watch the video below to learn more about printing reports.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about Print Preview.

edit hotspotsPrint Preview interface

Export Options

Export options allow you to save your report in another format. This makes it possible to view your report in other programs.

To print a report:

  1. From the Home tab, click the View command, then select Print Preview from the drop-down list. Your report will be shown as it will appear on the printed page.
    Selecting Print Preview from the View menu
  2. If necessary, modify the page size, margin width, and page orientation using the related commands on the Ribbon.
    The Print Preview tab on the Ribbon
  3. Click the Print command.
    Clicking the Print command
  4. The Print dialog box will appear. Set any desired print options, then click OK. The report will be printed.

Saving reports

You can save reports in other formats so they'll be viewable outside of Access. This is called exporting a file, and it allows you to view and even modify reports in other formats and programs.

Access offers options to save your report as an Excel file, text file, PDF, and HTML document, among other file types. Experiment with the different export options to find the one that best suits your needs.

To export a report:

  1. From the Home tab, click the View command, then select Print Preview from the drop-down list.
  2. Locate the Data group on the Ribbon.
  3. Select one of the file type options, or click More to see options to save your report as a Word or HTML file.
    Choosing an export option
  4. A dialog box will appear. Select the location where you want to save the report.
  5. Enter a file name for the report, then click Publish.
    Exporting a report
  6. A dialog box will appear to notify you that your file has been successfully saved. Click Close to return to your report.

Some export options will cause the Export Wizard to appear. Simply follow the instructions to export your report.

Using the Export Wizard


  1. Open our practice database.
  2. Open the Customers Who Live Nearby query and use it to create a report.
  3. Resize the fields so all of the information is on the left side of the page break. Make sure the columns still have enough width to display all of the text.
  4. Move the page number so it is to the left of the page break.
  5. Export the report as a PDF.