One key characteristic of a good list report is balance: effectively displaying a lot of information in a small amount of space while still containing enough white space that the report is easy for the eye to skim and read. If you use RL6’s Advanced Reports Designer, here are a few tricks you can use to work towards creating that perfect balance in a list report.
1. A traditional list report contains a column for each field of information and each row represents a file. We can play with column widths as much as we want; however, we will inevitably compromise by either reducing the fields included in the reports or tolerating a long report due to large chunks of text crammed into a narrow column. The trick to use here is to insert a new row for each file to create more space for large text fields.
2. What needs a column header? What does not need a column header? Sometimes you can read information and understand exactly what it is without a column header. A good example is our previous case of Brief Factual Description. In other circumstances, the info contained in a field is not as self-explanatory. You may not want to use a column header, so instead you can save space by appending a label of “Open Days” to the end of the field’s value.
3. Use borders effectively. Not every cell needs to have a border. There are many ways to go about your borders. Be creative and keep it simple. A simple horizontal rule differentiating the files in your report is an easy and effective way to tell a reader’s eyes that they are moving on to a new chunk of information (e.g., a new file).
4. Use conditional formatting to make important information jump out. It is nice when important information jumps out at you. Conditional formatting allows us to get creative by changing font formatting when specified values appear in a report. For instance, high severity values could be conditioned to jump out in red and files that have been open beyond a certain threshold (e.g., 50 days) could be shown in a larger font.
Log into RL HUB for more details on how to complete these sweet tricks!