Transparent cells in ListBox?

I’ve been using TurboReports for several years only because it was the best report generator I could find at the time. Recently I started thinking that a simple ListBox would be an easy to use report generator if I could make an empty cell transparent so the cell to its left could overwrite it. This would make writing things like invoices very easy to do. Unfortunately, I have not found a way to make one cell expand into the next cell’s space.

You could probably do that using CellTextPaint.

I ended up buying the BK Shorts reporting tool from BKeeney software, on the Xojo Add-ons page. Required a little hands on at first, but once I saw how things worked from the included demo, it was easy to build whatever reports I wanted. Money well spent.

The Listbox can’t merge cells without a ton of work. The only control that I know that has that built in is the StyleGrid control from Einhugur. However, I think this is just lipstick on a pig since those types of controls, while they can be repurposed as a reporting tool, were not designed to do so. The few times I’ve used them for reporting I’ve been sorely disappointed. Drawing those controls into a graphics object (for printing) is usually a poor experience.

FWIW, I helped convert a TurboReport’s client over to BKS Shorts about a month ago. It wasn’t all that hard to do and the reports turned out nice and crisp. The PDF export was considerably better (note that the PDF export requires the DynaPDF plugin) since it exports native PDF text and not as a graphic. Text was selectable and the output very clear.

You could also try out my sbPrinter class.

I have done the work to merge listbox cells both across columns AND rows


I changed the link to my main page and that works
Just in case I will post it agin here

I am posting from a 5 year old iPod touch as I am on vacation, so please forgive any errors

I thank everyone for their replies and suggestions. I tried all the samples. All work well. I was very impressed with what Karen’s listbox can do and the ease of using Simon’s report writer (after I added UseGDIPlus = True so it would run on Windows). Because so many of my reports are already in listboxes, I decided to go with dynaPDF because it has an example that converts listbox data to a pdf. A few years ago, I would not have used a pdf as a report, but everyone now expects reports coming from the cloud to be in pdf format so why not from the desktop too. BKS Shorts also uses dynaPDF and makes it a lot easier to generate an invoice type report, but the same reports can be generated within dynaPDF. Since I don’t do a lot of this type of report and I already have samples from the old fpdf program, I have chosen not to spend the money on Shorts right now. A greater need in the future will likely change my mind on that one.