Design address labels

A common reason for using labels is to print addresses, which have specific layout requirements.

Before you begin

You should be familiar with designing a basic label report. See Design labels.

About this task

The number of lines required for an address can vary, depending on the complexity of the address. Many database tables contain multiple fields for storing address information, such as addr1, addr2, and city. When an address record is created, the fields that are not needed for the address are set to NULL.

When these NULL fields are printed on an address label, they appear as blank lines, which you might want to remove. In addition, you might want to print information, such as a postal code, after the last non-blank address line.

Follow this procedure to answer these address issues.
Note: Field names used in this example have been simplified. Use the full field names as they exist in the Data View.
  1. Create your address label report.
    1. Use a Vertical Box (Layout Node) to contain the label data.
    2. Add all the lines of the address as children of this node, using relative positioning.
      Figure: Address Label Report

      The address label in the report with four Word Boxes containing the fields.
      Tip: To add the lines, select the container on the report page and double-click each field in the Data View in the order in which you want them to display. This ensures that the report elements use relative positioning and are in the correct order. It also ensures that the report elements are of the correct type for the field; for example, a String field under 30 characters creates a Word Box, and a Numeric field creates a Decimal Format Box. For further information, see Absolute or relative positioning and Adding fields from the Data View.
    When the report is run, the report prints an address label. If one of the lines is empty, a blank line is printed, as in Figure 2.
    Figure: Address label with blank line

    Screen shot of the address label with the 3rd line blank.
  2. Identify which lines might contain empty values.
  3. For each line that might contain an empty value, edit the Visibility Condition to specify that the line does not print if the content is blank.
    For example, if the line contains the data value addr2, set the Visibility Condition to addr2.trim().length()>0.
    When the report is run, the address is printed without blank lines, as in Figure 3.
    Figure: Address label with no blank lines

    Screen shot of the address label with no blank lines.
  4. To append a field to the end of the last non-blank line, use a conditionality expression to test whether the subsequent lines contain a value.
    For example, consider an address label containing three Word Boxes: addr1, addr2, and city. You want to print an additional field, postcode, after the last non-empty line.
    • For the Word Box containing addr1, test whether addr2 and city are empty by setting the value of the Text property to: city.trim().length()+addr2.trim().length()==0?addr1.trim()+postcode.trim():addr1.trim()
    • For the Word Box containing addr2, test whether city is empty by setting the text to: city.trim().length()==0?addr2.trim()+postcode.trim():addr2.trim()
    • city only prints if it is not empty (assuming the Visibility Condition is set correctly). Therefore, set the text to: city.trim()+postcode.trim()
    When the report is run, the last non-empty line has the postcode at the end, as in Figure 4.
    Figure: Address label with postcode appended to the last non-blank line

    Screen shot of the address label with postcode appended to the last non-blank line.