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Saving a Report as PDF with the Access 2010 GUI

by on Jun.29, 2012, under Access

One of the newer, and extremely useful, features of Microsoft Access is the ability to save reports as PDF (or XPS) documents. Introduced originally in Access 2007, this functionality was exposed though the Access GUI (Graphical User Interface), in Access Macros, and in VBA code. However, it seems that although this functionality is now available, it has been somewhat difficult for customers to find and I have been asked about it several times recently. So, I thought it would be helpful to write a short tutorial about how to create PDF files from Microsoft Access Reports.

The simplest method of outputting an Access Report to PDF is to use the Access GUI. Although saving an Access Report to PDF is slightly different between the Access 2010 and Access 2007 versions (because the Access 2010 Backstage is different), the overall steps for creating a PDF from a Report are more-or-less the same in both versions. For this example, we’ll be using Microsoft Access 2010.

Step-by-Step

  1. Start Microsoft Access 2010 from the Windows Start menu.
  2. Once Microsoft Access 2010 has been opened, click the “Sample templates” button in the in the Access Backstage.
  3. Figure 1 - Select the Sample Templates in the Backstage

    Figure 1 – Select the Sample Templates in the Backstage

  4. Once a list of the sample templates is shown in the Access Backstage, click on the “Northwind” template to select it, optionally choose a path for the new application, and then click the “Create” button to create a new database application from the template.
  5. Figure 2 - Select and Create the Northwind Template

    Figure 2 – Select and Create the Northwind Template

  6. Once the new database application has been opened, click on the “Enable content” button at the top of the start form. This will enable code and unsafe macros in the database and reopen the database application in trusted mode.
  7. Figure 3 - Enable Code within the Application

    Figure 3 – Enable Code within the Application

  8. The “Login Dialog” will be opened, so just close it by clicking the “X” button on the top right of the dialog. Then expand the “NavPane” by clicking on the bar that says “Navigation Pane” on the left side of the Access screen.
  9. Figure 4 - Close the Login Dialog and Expand the Navigation Pane

    Figure 4 – Close the Login Dialog and Expand the Navigation Pane

  10. Once the Navigation Pane is expanded, notice that it says “Northwind Traders” at the top of it, which is a custom group for the Navigation Pane. Click on the down arrow to the right of the group name to show the Navigation Pane’s context menu and choose the “Object Type” option. This will show groups based upon the type of each object in the Navigation Pane.
  11. Figure 5 - Change the Navigation Pane Grouping to Object Type

    Figure 5 – Change the Navigation Pane Grouping to Object Type

  12. Next, expand the Reports group in the Navigation Pane and double click on the “Customer Address Book” report to open it in the Access window.
  13. Figure 6 - Open the Customer Address Book Report

    Figure 6 – Open the Customer Address Book Report

  14. Once the Report has been opened in the Access window, you can use the Access GUI to save it as a PDF file. Click on the “File” tab on the Ribbon to open the Access Backstage. Then click on the “Save & Publish” tab on the left side of the Access Backstage.
  15. Figure 7 - Select the Save & Publish Tab in the Access Backstage

    Figure 7 – Select the Save & Publish Tab in the Access Backstage

  16. Once the “Save & Publish” tab has been selected, there will be several new options opened in the Access Backstage window. From the “File Types” section in the center pane of the Access Backstage, choose the “Save Object As” option. This will change the right pane in the Backstage to show several options.
  17. Figure 8 - Choose the Save Object As Option

    Figure 8 – Choose the Save Object As Option

  18. Then, in the right pane of the Access Backstage, choose the “PDF or XPS” option and click the “Save As” button.
  19. Figure 9 - Choose the PDF Option and Click Save As

    Figure 9 – Choose the PDF Option and Click Save As

  20. This will open the “Publish as PDF or XPS” file dialog, so choose a name a location for the file. In the “Save as Type” drop down menu on the dialog, ensure that the “PDF” option is selected, and then click the “Publish” button.
  21. Figure 10 - Choose a File Name and Location

    Figure 10 – Choose a File Name and Location

  22. Once you click the “Publish” button, the Report will be saved as a PDF file in the selected location and then opened in your default PDF reading program.
  23. Figure 11 - The Report Saved as a PDF File

    Figure 11 – The Report Saved as a PDF File

And creating PDF files from a Microsoft Access Report is JUST THAT EASY using Microsoft Access 2010. Best of all, this does not require any additional tools or programs to be installed on your machine. This functionality is now included in the Access 2007, and higher, versions!

Submitted By: Geoffrey L. Griffith – June 29th, 2012


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