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  1. #1
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    Access Report date fields change size

    The system has been functioning for a client for years through several Access versions. The front end (with forms, queries, reports) is now 2007/2010 format. I brought a copy back to my office, and made a working copy. I'm finding many report date fields are now too small in my working copy - the dates are displayed as #########. Neither font nor font size has changed. I can open the original copy and the dates display properly.

    The reports have not been altered, yet they display differently in the two files, on the same computer. Can someone suggest a reason?

    Thank you.
    Sanora

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  3. #2
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    Hi

    You say nothing has changed, but something clearly has, but what?

    First, you say display but do you mean print? Microsoft are not good at the WYSIWYG thing. You might get different results on display and print.

    Next, I may be wrong, but as far as I know in Access if a date field is too small it shows just part of the date, like any text field would. So it looks as if the ##### is actually a bad date. Which might be a clue. What happens if you alter the report to make the field bigger? Older versions of Access used their own setting for date format, not the PC's international ones, the copy file might have picked up a different format somehow. Access doesn't tell you before it saves some things, just opening the file can change it.

    Alternatively, if #### IS caused by a short field, with anything printed in Microsoft there's an issue with the printer. Is the default printer for one copy different to the default printer for the other? One might be substituting a wider font for the one you designed the form with.

    Just things to look at, otherwise I'm as mystified as you.

    Ian.

  4. #3
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    The steps taken were to 1. copy the file from a thumb drive to computer. 2. Make a copy of the file just copied - so there is now a file and copy of a file. 3. Make some modifications to some objects in the copy. Generally these are tweaks to forms and queries. NOW open some of the reports, even reports whose source queries had not been changed. Date fields display (on screen) in some reports has changed. Example: a column of dates may show 9/8/2013, but where the date should be 9/10/2013, it displays #######, because the field seems just a little too short to display that additional digit. By display, I mean on screen. Enlarge the field size and it fixes the problem.
    If I return to the original file, the one copied to the computer in step #1, the same data is displayed properly. There is room for all the dates.
    The default printer is the same in both files.
    ?
    Thank you for taking the time to look and contemplate. By now, the reports have been fixed, by enlarging the date fields slightly, but it would be very nice to know why the problem occurred in the first place, and whether it will come back to haunt me.
    Sanora

  5. #4
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    I piled in here because I've often had trouble in the past with previously big enough fields becoming just too small, but never really investigated closely as mostly the cause is obvious. When it isn't it is fastest to do what you did - make the fields bigger!

    The printer thing is often to blame, sometimes the international settings, sometimes the fonts installed on the computer. A common issue is that someone creates a report with their favourite non-standard font, then distributes it to people who only have mostly standard Windows fonts - it works for some people, not for others, depending on what fonts they have installed and how their printer handles missing fonts. The lesson is, only use Windows standard fonts, and with a lot of people still on XP that means Arial or Times New Roman.

    My comment about bad dates was prompted by trying to break one of my own reports that had a date field. It simply truncated the date, like [21st August 20]. Starting with Access 2010 and a brand new 2010 database I find it will only truncate up to 1 character, then flips to ####. Something going on there but I'm not going to spend the time chasing it down!

    Good luck

  6. #5
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    I'd bet your printer guess is right. In this case, the client does not have the knowledge nor inclination to fiddle with or fix anything. Only standard fonts have been used. However, client printer(s) and printer here in the office are not the same. Thank you for taking the time to experiment for me and I shall quit worrying about it.
    Sanora

  7. #6
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    It might be worthwhile unticking 'Check for truncated number fields' in File > Options > Current Database > Application Options - should stop the #### display.
    Ian

  8. #7
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    Hi Sanora,

    Quote Originally Posted by sanora View Post
    However, client printer(s) and printer here in the office are not the same.
    You can install the printer driver for your client's exact model of printer, without actually having the printer. Just don't attempt to print a test page. After installing the print driver, temporarily set this phantom printer as your default. Then compare your reports in the two copies.

    Also, to help determine if there are other differences, you can use the undocumented SaveAsText method. Open the Immediate Window (<Ctrl><G>). Then enter a command similar to that shown below:

    Application.SaveAsText acReport, "ReportName", "C:\Temp\ReportName_Copy1.txt"

    where ReportName is the name of the report in question. In copy 2, perform a similar export, again using the Immediate Window:

    Application.SaveAsText acReport, "ReportName", "C:\Temp\ReportName_Copy2.txt"

    Of course, you need to have a folder named "Temp" off of your C:\ drive, and you need to have write privileges to this folder. If not, make the appropriate substitutions to a different folder on your system. When finished exporting the two reports to text files, try opening them in NotePad to compare them. Or, if you have a file comparison tool, such as Beyond Compare, you can use that as well. Look for any differences in the report definitions.
    Last edited by tgw7078; 2013-09-19 at 04:04. Reason: Minor English corrections
    Tom Wickerath
    Microsoft Access MVP
    4/1/2006 - 3/31/2012

  9. #8
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    Could also be the default font set for the database or Access in general. Newer versions started using Calibri, and I think they might have user a slightly larger default font. Also I believe that the later versions allowed you to adjust the "padding" in the cells and actually add it by default, thus taking away space. And yes, the standard default for numbers and numeric dates is the "###..." when it just can't squeeze itself in.

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