How to Create and Print a Report in QuickBooks 2016 - dummies

How to Create and Print a Report in QuickBooks 2016

By Stephen L. Nelson

After you decide what QuickBooks report you need, all you have to do is select it from the appropriate menu or from the Report Center window. To create a standard profit and loss report, for example, choose Reports → Company & Financial → Profit & Loss Standard or select it from the Report Center. Or, double-click the report image in the Report Center window.

Depending on how much data QuickBooks has to process, you may see a Building Report box before the report appears onscreen in all its glory. Here is a standard profit and loss report, or an income statement.

A standard profit and loss report.
A standard profit and loss report.

If you see a Customize Report dialog box instead of a report, you can tell QuickBooks to change this option. To do so, choose Edit → Preferences and then click the Reports & Graphs icon in the list on the left. Click the My Preferences tab, if you have one and it isn’t already selected. Remove the check mark from the Prompt Me to Modify Report Options Before Opening a Report check box.

You can’t see the entire onscreen version of a report unless your report is very small (or your screen is monstrously large). Use the Page Up and Page Down keys on your keyboard to scroll up and down, and use the Tab and Shift+Tab keys to move left and right. Or, if you’re a mouse lover, you can use the scroll bar.

To print a report, click the Print button at the top of the report and choose Report from the drop-down menu that appears. QuickBooks displays the Print Reports dialog box. To accept the given specifications, which are almost always fine, click the Print button. You’ll never guess what happens next: QuickBooks prints the report!

The Print Reports dialog box.
The Print Reports dialog box.

The first time you print a report, QuickBooks displays a Printing Features dialog box that explains a few things about the mechanics of choosing and printing reports.

You can select the File radio button in the Print To panel to tell QuickBooks to save the report as a file instead of printing it. You can then choose the file format: ASCII Text File, Comma Delimited File, or Tab Delimited File. You can use either delimited-file format if you want to open the file later with a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel. After you click Print, use the Create Disk File dialog box that appears to specify the filename and storage location.

Both the File menu and the report window’s Print button’s submenu provide a Save as PDF command, which you can use to create a PDF version of the report that shows in the report menu. Just choose the command and provide a name for the PDF when QuickBooks prompts.

The Orientation settings tell QuickBooks how the report is supposed to appear on the paper. The Page Range settings specify the pages that you want to print. The Fit Report to xx Page(s) Wide and Fit Report to xx Page(s) High check boxes enable you to shrink the report so that it fits on the number of pages you specify. The purpose of the Print in Color (Color Printers Only) check box is pretty self-evident.

QuickBooks includes two page-break options for creating easier-to-read reports:

  • Select the first check box (Smart Page Breaks) to keep items that belong in the same group on the same page.

  • Select the second check box to give each major group its own page.

  • You also can preview the report by clicking the Preview button.