Printing Columns Across-Down

Multi-columnar layouts for tables are quite popular for newspaper or phone book style reports. Whenever you have just a few actual columns in the table it's handy to use the page's real estate by splitting it in multiple columns. This feature has been around for ages, however it was missing one important setting until LL25.

The way it worked so far, the first column was always filled to the bottom of the page before touching the second column. While this makes much sense for a phone book, the result sometimes is not optimal in terms of whitespace on the page. A typical example with LL24 might look like this:

Note the huge amount of whitespace in the right column. So a frequent request has been “can we get to print columns across-down as well?”. In LL25, the answer finally is “yes”.

The column configuration got a new switch “Fill horizontally”:

The result is then as expected and often requested, of course:

The whitespace underneath can now be used e.g. for the next table item.

Another use case for this feature is horizontal subreports, e.g. printing the order numbers for a certain product. Sub tables now also have a column count that was not available before. Thus is this configuration

you can switch the column count for the Order Details table (which contains the order number as 1:1 relation):

Note that you don’t need to change the column alignment to horizontal in this case – sub tables are always printed like this. The result then is a compact view of products and their respective order numbers:

While seemingly a small change, this enables a whole lot of new reporting scenarios. For technical reasons, the feature is currently limited to the report container, that means you need to use a report container.

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