The RTG Bills Report Editor

Overview

RTG Bills and RTG Timer provide many built-in reports. In addition, many custom reports have been created for other firms. They are listed on the Custom Reports page.

If you would like a report which RTG Bills does not provide, let us know by sending a message to RTG. If the report you want is close enough to an existing report, it may be possible to create it with RED, the RTG Bills Report Editor. RED makes formatting changes to RTG Bills and RTG Timer reports. It is free and you can download it as an update to RTG Bills.

RED is very similar to LAYOUT, the custom bill formatting program. Using RED or LAYOUT is very much like writing a computer program -- you can do a lot but you can also make mistakes very easily.

 

Limitations

RED can be used to create a new report with different formatting than an existing report. Please note that RED is not a full-fledged report writer, which would let you create a new report from any data in the RTG Bills database.

Each report you create in RED is based on an existing report in RTG Bills and RTG Timer. You cannot change the way that items are selected from the database (e.g., by date, matter, or timekeeper), nor can you change the order of items.

For instance, the Fees and Expenses by Matter report shows fee and expense transactions grouped by matter, with the transactions in chronological order within each matter. It allows selection of a matter range and a date range. These same features will apply to any new report you create based on this built-in report.

What you can do is change the fonts, the headings, the arrangement of the data, and the level of detail. For example, you can create a summary report from a report that shows individual transactions, just by removing the commands that display the transactions.

In general, if the original report does not show a data item (a field in the database or a calculated number), you will not be able to add it to the report.

For example, if the original report shows the timekeeper's initials, and you would like to show the timekeeper's full name, you probably cannot do that. Although RED will allow you to enter the commands to display the full name, it is likely to show a blank space on the actual report. For the most part, you are limited to rearranging the data on the original report.

There are some exceptions. Occasionally, RTG Bills or RTG Timer will be able to show a data item which does not appear on the original report. The only way to be sure is to try it. If it appears as a blank space, then the program doesn't provide that data item. Some calculations are also possible with RED.

However, the report capabilities of RTG Bills and RTG Timer go beyond what you can do with RED. We may be able to create a custom report for you even if RED cannot handle the task.

 

Installation Instructions

RED is installed as an "update" using the built-in update feature of RTG Bills.

Start RTG Bills by right-clicking the icon and choosing Run as administrator. When RTG Bills starts, choose File > Update from the menu. Click Yes to proceed. You should see the Update RTG Bills dialog box.

Assuming you have an active Internet connection, click the Check The Internet For Updates button. Wait while the update program gets a list of updates from the RTG Web site.

You should see the Internet Update dialog box. The list should contain a line that says RTG Report Editor. Check the box at the beginning of this line, then click Install. The update program will download and install RED.

 

Getting Started

As an example, we will create a simplified client list that only shows the client number and client name.

  1. To start RED, start RTG Bills and choose File > Tools. Look for Report Editor in the list and click to select it, then click OK.

  2. In the Report Editor window, check the Show Standard Reports box. You should see a list of the reports in RTG Bills and RTG Timer. Click on the report you want to change. Let's assume you want to change the Client List. Click on 002 Client List and then click Edit.

  3. In the Edit A Report window, choose File > Save As from the menu.

  4. You will see the Save As New Report window. Enter a report number. For this report, enter 901 and click OK. A message says the report was saved. Click OK.

    For RTG Bills: Custom reports can be numbered from 901 to 999. Custom reports created by RTG are numbered starting at 950, so we suggest you select a number from 901 to 949 to avoid conflicts.
    For RTG Timer: Custom reports can be numbered from 801 to 899. Custom reports created by RTG are numbered starting at 850, so we suggest you select a number from 801 to 849 to avoid conflicts.
    For RTG Reports: Custom reports can be numbered from 701 to 799. Custom reports created by RTG are numbered starting at 750, so we suggest you select a number from 701 to 749 to avoid conflicts.
  5. You are back at the Report Editor window. However, if you scroll down the list, you will see the new report, 901 Client List. Select it and click Edit. (You can also double-click a report to edit it.)

  6. In the Edit A Report window, you can edit the report name. Change it to Brief Client List.

  7. Click the Sections button.

  8. In the Edit A Section window, choose One item from the drop-down list. You will see the commands that create the entry for each client.

  9. Click on Client phone to select it. Click Delete Row to delete it. Click Yes to confirm that you want to delete that row.

    Repeat this procedure to delete all of the remaining rows.

  10. The Skip column tells RTG Bills when to go to the next line of the report. At the moment, the Client number and Client name rows have zero in this column. As a result, all the client numbers and names will be printed on the same line. This is not a good thing to do.

    Click on Client name to select it. Click the Edit Row button. (You can also double-click a row to edit it.)

  11. In the Edit A Row window, change the number in the Skip box from 0 to 1. Click the Close button.

  12. In the Edit A Section window, choose Section A from the drop-down list. This section prints the column headings for the report.

    We want to delete four lines: "Phone", "Alpha", "Address", and "Fax". For each line, select the line and click Delete Row. Click Yes to confirm.

  13. Once again we need to change the Skip column. Double-click the "Name" line to edit it. In the Edit A Row window, change the Skip box from 0 to 1. Click Close. In the Edit A Section window, click Close.

  14. In the Edit A Report window, click the Labels button. In the Labels window, click the first item in the list, Client List. Click the Edit button. Change this to say Brief Client List. Click Save. This label is the report title.

    Click the Close button.

  15. In the Edit A Report window, notice the Sample Report frame. Click the View button inside this frame. If you were successful, the sample report should only include the client number and client name. (The sample report only shows a single client.)

    Press Esc to leave the RTG Viewer.

  16. In the Edit A Report window, click Save. A message says you have saved the changes. Click OK.

  17. In the Report Editor window, click Close to exit the program.

To see your new report, start RTG Bills and click the Reports button. Check the Show Custom Reports box. Your new report, *Brief Client List, appears near the top of the list. Click to select it, then click View or Print to create the report.

 
 
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