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Formatting Fields and Calculations or a Form Letter

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You can double click on fields to alter some formatting of the field and some other options. You can alter the:
  • Name of the field which is displayed on the letter, if you prefer something different than the standard.
  • Description of the field which is the tooltip displayed when you run your mouse over the field.
  • Calculation that the field will display. This is normally only a single database field selected from the context menu as per the example to the right.
  • Formatting of the field (numeric, date, text, currency, etc) by using the popup.
  • Number of decimals if it is a numeric field
  • Aggregation of the field if it is of a type that can be aggregated.
    • Typically this lets you display maximum, minimum, total or average value of all the records that might appear on a consolidated letter
    • It is only effective on a document designed to display multiple records in a table
    • Note: If a field has aggregation set on it, it appears yellow in the document
In many cases, the only thing you may wish to change is the formatting.

Adding a calculation containing one or more fields

The one time you may wish to change all the options available for a field is when you want to have a calculation occur between multiple fields. The example below shows calculating the net deductible donation amount based on the difference between the actual donation amount and the benefit. In this case, the sample shows the calculation changed and all other items in the screen changed to reflect it on the document.

An obvious question is how to get the names of the fields for a calculation. You can use a simple trick:

  • Insert each the fields onto the form letter that you might want to put in the calculation
    • Double click on those fields
    • Write down the name of the field from the 'evaluation' field
    • Close the window
  • Insert one of the fields a second time (or copy/paste it). This is what we will use as the calculated field.
    • Change the Database/System Field area to contain a calculation based on multiple variables. In this example, the field

      DD_AMOUNT_ACTUAL was changed to be the calculation


    • hit the tab key and the Database/System Field will change to Calculation if it contains valid fields to let you know that Theatre Manager recognizes the calculation
    • You may wish to change the name and description to indicate what you've done - and the next person to edit the letter will know from the name of the calculation what it means.
  • Print some samples of the letters - reviewing the date on the letter to see if it is right
  • Then remove any fields from the letter that you don't really want the patron to see, but you added to the letter to get the field names

Once you've created a calculation, you should also be able to use it to create a custom field and do conditional printing.