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How to Create Custom Report Templates for Work Orders

Custom reports have been added to Total Office Manager for ease in making customized Work Orders and reports that reflect your company. You can use this same report builder to create Custom Work Orders, Sales, Credits, and Estimates.

Opening the Custom Work Order Template Form

  • From the main menu, select Company | Lists | Work Orders | Reports | Work Order Print Setup. From the print setup screen, click the Custom Styles drop-down and choose Add New.
  • From an Work Order, select Menu | Printing | Print Setup. From the print setup screen, click the Custom Styles drop-down and choose Add New.

Using Custom Work Order Templates

These custom reports allow changes to be made to the background color, additions of logos or graphics, and font styles and sizes to be changed. The separate elements of the report can also be moved. Essentially, the Work Order template can be formatted in a way that best suits the company information.

Getting Started with Work Order Templates

To create your custom Work Order, you simply need to know what information you want to appear where on the Work Order, how to get that information there and what you can and cannot do in the Custom Work Order designer.

For example, If you want your customer’s name to appear on the Work Order, you need to select the ‘Customer Phone’ field and drag it where you want it to be. Now, when you preview or print and Work Order using the Work Order template you created the customer phone number will appear where you wanted it.

Before discussing the various fields as they relate to information on the actual Work Order we will first cover the Custom Work Order template interface.

  • Before diving in to create one, we highly recommend you study the default layout of a new Template and refer back to this Help Topic to help you understand why certain things are placed the way they are and how they work.

The Custom Work Order template in “Design View” (see Figure 2) The left side of the custom template (green arrow) consists of a list of fields which pull information from various parts of the actual Work Order, all of which can be placed anywhere on the Work Order and formatted individually. The right side of the window (red arrow) displays the properties and formatting categories for each component of the custom report. The top (blue arrow) shows the toolbar. The custom report template shows in the center pane.

The bottom right of the template window displays two buttons: Design and Preview (Figure 2). The “Design” button shows you the template as it is being modified. Selecting the “Preview” button will allow you to see the document in “Print Preview” without saving, that is, you can see how the Work Order will look with actual information from an actual Work Order. Toggling back and forth between these buttons is allowed (and recommended) during the Work Order modification process.

Report Sections

The Center Pane is broken down into sections. By default these sections are Page Header, GroupHeader1, Detail, GroupFooter1, and PageFooter. You are able to add additional sections as well as remove sections. All sections are collapsible and expandable. Items placed in a section are confined to that section and any manipulation to an item can only occur in that section.

Each section has its own properties (see the Properties section below for more information on properties). These properties control various functions related to each section and should generally be left alone. While you are free to edit and modify these properties, it is not recommended you do so unless you have knowledge of working with Active Reports.

Page Header

Information placed in the PageHeader section will appear at the top of every printed page. This means that if you print an Work Order that is three pages long, the top of each page will contain the same information. This section is useful for:

  • Company information, such as addresses and logos
  • Customer information, such as names, addresses, and contact information
  • Transaction information, such as transaction type (e.g Work Order) and number
  • Column headers (read: labels) for information that will appear in the Detail Section.

Group Header & Group Footer

The GroupHeader and GroupFooter are lesser used sections as any information displayed here will appear below any information placed in the Detail section, creating an overlap of information. While it does have its uses, this is usually left blank or at its default. This section is useful for:

  • Watermarks


The Detail section serves a special purpose. This section should preferably only be used for fields that reference equipment. All fields in this section will duplicate once for each piece of equipment on your Work Order. This means that while your Work Order may have 15 piece of equipment on it, you only need to place the Equipment Model Number field once and when it prints its will display 15 different lines appropriate to your selections.

Page Footer

Information placed in the PageFooter section will appear at the bottom of every printed page. This means that if you print an Work Order that is three pages long, the bottom of each page will contain the same information. This section is useful for:

  • Customer Messages
  • Disclaimers/Legal Information
  • Contact Information
  • Page Numbers

Step by Step Work Order Template Creation

  1. Before editing the custom Work Order, the first step is to determine whether the Work Order will include “Lines” or “No Lines”.
    • From the menu select Templates | Lines or No Lines
  2. Review the template to determine what information defaults into the document. Adding a field to the template is easy as clicking and dragging the field box to the preferred location in the Work Order.
    • Selecting to include a field in the Work Order from the Fields column will automatically display the appropriate information in the completed Work Order. For example, selecting “Customer Phone” from the Fields column and placing into the Work Order will show the words “Customer Phone” while in the “Design” view. Viewing the same revisions in “Preview”, however, will display the customer information associated with the corresponding field description, or the client’s actual telephone number.
    • For more information on Work Order Fields, see the Work Order Fields section in this help topic.
  3. Review your changes in “Preview” view and go back to “Design” view to make any adjustments.
  4. Manipulating the size of a box simply requires clicking and dragging the box edges to the desired dimensions.
    • This will not stretch the contents of the box but rather offer more room for content display.
  5. To add a picture or graphic to the Work Order, find and select the image icon on the toolbar. This selection will change your mouse cursor to a crosshair shape.
    • Click the image icon on the toolbar and drag out the size of the image box preferred in the section of the Work Order you wish the image to be in. The box you draw is simply a placeholder which can be resized or moved later to suit the image and your needs.
    • Inserting the image to the box requires returning to the Properties column to the left of the template. Make sure your image placeholder is selected, then locate the “Picture” option among the properties and select it.
    • A gray square will appear to the right of the option. Click the box to open a browser window which will allow you to search for and select your image. Find the appropriate image and select the open button.
    • Other related properties are covered in more depth in the Properties section of this help topic.
  6. There is a Line Wizard Tool on the Custom Report Writer. The icon for this Tool is listed as “Line Builder” on the Template Toolbar. The Line Builder can be used to build custom lines within the Detail section of any Custom Template.
    • The cursor must be placed within the Detail section or the Detail Header must be selected before the Line Builder button can be selected to begin building lines.
    • Enter the inch marker to select where the line is to be placed. A color and line style can also be selected. The offset selection allows you to make the line shorter than the end of the detail section, or longer than the detail section of the Template.
    • Note: This tool will override the main Template selection of “Lines” or “No Lines”.

Toolbar and Button Definitions

The Custom Work Order document interface contains a number of buttons along the tool bar (top) and several of these have further customizable properties which are adjustable once you have created and selected an item in the document. These changeable properties appear on the right side of the screen.

Custom Work Order Template Tips

  • This process is the same for invoices, statements, purchase orders, and Custom Data Views (CDV). Please see the following topic.
  • Labels should be reserved for information that will appear on each Work Order. Labels only need to be entered once and the template will save the information for the next Work Order using the template. They are not based on information found in the database, like Text boxes.
  • All boxes in the custom template can be moved and resized within their respective sections. Though boxes cannot be moved from one section to another by clicking and dragging, they can be copied and/or cut and pasted into a different section.
  • To add additional sections (e.g. Group Footer 2), right-click and select “Insert”.
  • To change font style or size the corresponding box must be selected.
  • To select multiple boxes at one time, hold the Ctrl or Shift key while making your selections.
  • To select all items in a section, hold the Ctrl or Shift key, and then click and drag the mouse cursor across the section.
  • To select all items on a page, hold the Ctrl or Shift key, and then click and drag the mouse cursor across each section at a time.
  • Place the mouse cursor over the toolbar icons to reveal the Tool Tip for the icons.
  • Many toolbar icons mirror the properties in the right column of the custom template. In
  • some instances, changes to the Work Order can be made in the properties column rather than using the icons.
  • All boxes can be resized by clicking on them to highlight and dragging the edges to the preferred location.
  • When changing the background color of a box or a page, click on BackColor in the properties column and select a color. For the color change to take effect, click on BackStyle and change the condition to Normal.
  • To change a previously selected color back to the grid default, simply change the BackStyle (in the properties column) option to Transparent.
  • If a Field is added to the Work Order but no information is available in the database for that particular field for that customer, it will not be included in the Work Order.