How to add a summary field

A Summary Field is a type of calculated field that can be added to bill or statement templates to summarize any of the columns of data in a bill or statement. The most common use of a summary field is to add up and show the total of all values in a column (e.g., the total of all billable hours on a bill), although they can be used to perform other kinds of calculations as well.

To create a summary field, you can start with a field, label, or table cell that already exists in your template, or you can add a new label or text box.

For example, if you wanted to create a summary field at the end of a bill which displays the total number of hours that were billed, you could drag 2 new label items onto the report footer section of the template. In one of the labels you might type "Total billed hours." The other label would then be used as the summary field.

Next, click the label, text box, or table cell and then click the ">" which appears at the top-right of the selected item. This will cause the tasks pane to appear. (Shown below is the task pane for a label.)

In the section labeled Summary click on the "..." button to open the Summary Editor.

In this window you can control how the summary is calculated. First, you'd select the bound field - this is the name of the field whose values will be summarized. For example, if you wanted to add up the total number of hours billed, you'd select the hours field.

Next you'd select the summary function - the most common function is the sum function, which adds up the values, however there are other functions you can use as well. For example, you might use the count function to create a summary field that counts up and displays the number of items on a bill, or use the average function to display the average length of work.

Next you'd select the format string - this controls how the result of the summary is displayed. For example, if your summary should display a dollar amount, you'd set the format string to one of the "currency" formats. Likewise, if you're displaying a number, you can choose a numeric format and control how many digits after the decimal point should be shown, and so on.

The "Ignore null values" checkbox allows your calculation to ignore any "null" (or "empty") values. In most cases this option is not used.

Finally, you'd set the summary running option. This controls how often the summary is calculated (or "run"). For the example of adding up the total number of billed hours and displaying it at the end of a bill, you'd choose the Report option - the summary will be calculated once per report (or bill, in this case).

Alternatively, you could choose the Group or Page options. The Group option will cause the summary to be calculated once for each group - this is only useful if you have placed your summary field in the Group Heading or Group Footer section of the template. An example of a group summary would be adding up and displaying a subtotal - such as the subtotal of all time billed and the subtotal of all expenses billed.

The Page option will cause the summary to be calculated once for each page - for example, if you wanted to count and display the number of items on each page, you could choose this option.

Once you have made all your selections, you can click OK and your summary field will be created.

You can follow these same steps to go back and edit a summary field later if needed.

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