Report customization nightmare

Tommy Trussell tommy.trussell at
Wed Jun 30 16:55:33 EDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM, Anthony Dardis <adardis at> wrote:
>> Yes that is one part of the problem. E.g. I wanted recently a report
>> on all transactions of one specific account in the current year
>> sorted by date with sums after each month. I simply couldn't find
>> how to do and ended by doing the sums manually.
> I happened to need this last week also, and (after some poking around) found
> the Transaction Report; you can select the account you want, and the period,
> and it will sort by date and sum by month.

I'm going to agree with this and try to build on it -- I have done
exactly the same thing. I find that I need these reports once or twice
a year. That's long enough to forget which report to use because the
name doesn't necessarily communicate.

On the other hand, when I have saved customized reports, I have been
confused because (please correct me if I am wrong in any of this) the
regular un-customized report no longer appears. SO if you use GnuCash
with more than one data file as I do, you end up with a custom report
that matches one set of accounts, but may not work as expected with
another, and the un-customized standard report is no longer visible
for any of the data files.

And woe be unto you if you ADD new accounts to a data file, because
the new account data may not appear in the custom report.

SO last year I quit saving custom reports and deleted my .gnucash
directory (to make the old ones go away) because they seemed to come
back and bite me later. I may have done something totally wrong, so
please correct me (or point me to the latest documentation) to help me
sort it out. I was just now looking for a concise write-up of the
current standard reporting features and haven't found it, but I'm
probably looking in the wrong place.

Here are some things that might help me. Are any of them worth
pursuing with enhancement bug reports?

1) A way to mark my own "favorite" standard reports from among all the
reports available, linked to a particular data file. (So I don't keep
choosing the ones with the name similar to what I expect, and only
once it renders do I see that it's not what I'm looking for.) In
practice, I probably only use about three of the reports, EVER. But
they don't necessarily have the names I, as a non-accountant, think of

2) A way to save a customized report that doesn't make the standard
one disappear and/or a way to associate it only with a particular data
file. (For example I don't want to see the customized reports that
have been saved for the organization with a non-calendar fiscal year
when I'm looking at a data file for an organization with a calendar
fiscal year.)

3) Some sort of indication that the accounts tree has changed since a
customized report was saved, so I at least know to go back and
re-select my accounts list. (This may have been due to a consequence
of #2 above, so it may not be a problem with customized reports per

4) A simplified procedure to tinker with guile (or ghtml) reports and
have the experimental reports show up on a special menu without having
to fiddle with the existing files at all. Maybe a preferences field
where you can identify a directory that is to contain your
experimental reports?

I admit I have not experimented lately so maybe some of this has
changed in the latest trunk.

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