How to get large amounts of text to look good on a report

David MeegoI have seen a number of occasions where a consultant has been asked to add a paragraph of text to a graphic report and has found it almost impossible to get the text to display nicely in both screen and printer outputs. 

For example: a Purchasing Terms and Conditions section on a Purchase Order.

The reason is that static text fields are limited to 79 characters and so to enter more than 79 characters on a line you would have to place more than one static text field on a line.  The problem is that the spacing when laying out the report might differ from the spacing when the report is printed to screen and differ again when the report is printed to the printer.

A possible solution to this issue would be to enter the paragraph into Word and get it displayed on the screen. Then use the PrintScreen to capture a screenshot to the clipboard.  Then you can use your favourite graphics tool to crop and reduce the number of colours to the lowest number of bit planes that still looks good.  You could probably go to 16 colours (4 bits per pixel) and black text on a white background will still look good, even if using shades of grey to smooth the edges of the fonts. You need to get the file size for the image when saved as an uncompressed bitmap to be less than 32KB as this is the limit for pictures in Dexterity.

This image can then be used in a report instead of actual text and would avoid the issues with spacing between static text fields on the same line.  Just remember to look at the Knowledge Base (KB) article below for hints on avoiding pixelation when using graphics in Report Writer. 

How to prevent the image quality of a graphic from being reduced when you print a graphic from Report Writer in Microsoft Dynamics GP (KB 854470) Secure Link

This might take a couple of trial and error attempts to get the sizing correct, but this method can produce better results that using static text.

Post a comment to let me know if you find this information useful.


Comments (3)
  1. This example shows how you can call a Dexterity report from Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). The

  2. Dave,

    I think this is an excellent suggestion, especially for “once in a while” type texts that need to be on invoices, sales orders, bill of ladings, purchase orders, and other docs. Is the same concept of a logo, but with texts.

    This method will ensure you get the same consistent printing result each and every time you print. Very good idea!


    Mariano Gomez, MVP, MCP

    Maximum Global Business, LLC.

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