Base catalog project

Years ago, I used Appleworks religiously, and in it I could create a database of information that acted much like a spreadsheet. I could then create a custom layout and attach different columns to the different fields in my layout. I want to do something like this, taking a spreadsheet of my Board Game collection, creating a custom layout for an entry about a game (showing a photo, name, description, and other information) pulling from the fields of my spreadsheet, such that I can print a catalog of my collection with 4 entries per page, sequentially pulling the data from the rows in my spreadsheet.

I’ve run into a few issues as I’ve tinkered with this off and on. First and foremost, it appears that once I have generated a Table in Base from my spreadsheet data, that Table is barely editable. I can edit individual the data in individual fields, but with nowhere near the flexibility I have within Calc. It appears that if I later want to copy new entries over (as my collection expands), there is no easy way to just add the new lines to the end of the Table. Is there any way to get the Tables in Base to function with more flexibility such as a Calc sheet, or even better, is there any way to have it pull the data FROM a Calc sheet?

Second: One of my fields would look really neat if turned sideways and running down the length of the entry. There appears to be a control in the Form generation to allow me to designate a field as rotated (right-click on the field, select Position and Size) but it always displays the text without rotation.

I’m really trying to stop short of begging someone to hold my hand through this, but I’m to the point where I’m literally considering finding an emulator, running Appleworks, and working to solve the ability to print to PDF from within the emulator later.

Update: Alright, found how I can change the Table the Form looks at, and then if necessary change the Field each individual TextField looks at. Still can’t get rotation. When I Paste a Calc in, there’s an option to “Append”, though I’m scared about screwing that up and I’m not sure what it thinks it’s going to append to since I’m pasting in an altogether new Table.

Update: Not entirely sure Base will allow me to print multiple Forms on one page, but I also haven’t looked to see if there’s more to Reports than simple gridless spreadsheets. Wish I could get the Header and Footer items out of my way. No, I have both disabled in the Page Style. Doesn’t stop the “Header (Default Style) +” tab to show up and block my work.


First there are no sideways (rotated text) controls.

Aside from learning macro code (large undertaking), it is copy/paste when going from Calc to a table. You could create a “Form” in Calc, but this means entering the data in those form fields just as in a Base form. This where ‘Append’ is very handy. The key (more than just here) is to have a backup whenever undertaking something new and a major change. It is easy to copy a Base file or even a table. It you don’t like the result, scrap it!.

All is not simply cut and dry in Base. There are many methods to accomplishing similar tasks which means a lot to learn in the nuances. SQL is critical and what database you choose is a priority. HSQLDB embedded is very low on the list. It is old and under certain situations data can be lost - backup, backup, backup!