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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    British Columbia, Canada

    Unanswered: Create a Customer Invoice with Access or Word?

    My employer would like to be able to print a customer invoice like the rough example I've attached.

    I've started implementing this feature as a report in Access, but I'm wondering: would it be better done if it could be done as a mail merge or something of the sort in Word? I would like to be able to edit a lot of the fields on the invoice, so designing it as an Access report has been a journey so far.

    If you've implemented something similar or if you have any ideas, please share!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails InvoiceExample.png  
    nfw04 uses Access 2007

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    out on a limb
    Provided Answers: 59
    y'can do it in either
    personally I prefer doing invoies and the like in Access, it saves having develop in Access and Word, reduces the amount of developer time especially when the version of office changes. its also a single step to produce the invoice, which means you can do the invoices as part of overnight processing.

    the one downside of doing it as an Access report is that you willhave to capture the data before generating the invoice. so thats going to be q problem if
    I would like to be able to edit a lot of the fields on the invoice
    it may mean that you have to refine your design to handle that.

    however bear in mind that if you save all that data then you can regenerate the invoice whenever, mind you I tend to encourage customers to save a PDF of the Invoice.

    another advantage of doing it in Access is consistency.... there's less chance a user can tinker with the design leading to problems at a later stage. bear in mind that an invoice is a legal document whereas a letter or report is merely ink/toner on a piece of paper
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Sydney Australia
    You can use a form for printing which means you can edit data while the form is open. However, a report allows data to be arranged in a way that forms can't do.

    But you could open a form for editing that was based on the same record source as the report and you trigger printing the report when the form is closed. In fact you could make a Print label or button on the form which would print the report and close the form.

    I use Access/Word a lot and the formatting afforded by Word is the reason and I use Bookmarks to take the Access data. You can make a macro in Word which will copy the data in the Bookmarks back to Access. In other words, if you alter the data Access inserted in the Word doc you can have the macro send it back to Access.

    Bookmarks are tricky if your invoice will have more than one item (or row) and your code needs to allow for that.

    You can also insert a linked query into Word and when the formatting is done correctly in Word and the headers on the query are not shown it looks like you just type the data in. However, you can't edit it from Word and the layout of your invoice with the Office Only Use column may cause difficulities.

    But as healdem said adding Word into the equation increases what has to be done and the extra work can be considerable. Although if it is only for your own use as opposed to making applications for others then it is not so hard.

    If a Report will allow you the formatting you desire then I would edit and print the Report via a Form.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Provided Answers: 15
    Several applications I wrote use this technique. However they use Excel instead of Word (probably because I know the Excel object model better than the one of Word).

    I use Automation to create the documents in Excel from an Access front-end (data stored on a SQL server) and, up to now, never had problems with version changes (from Office 97 in the beginning to Office 2007 now).
    Have a nice day!

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