LJZsoft's PTReportGen turns Microsoft's PowerPoint into a powerful tool for preparing and generating reports. If you can write a simple SQL statement, you can use PTReportGen to create just about any kind of customized report. By using PowerPoint for reports, you can save money by eliminating the need for extra software, as well as increase productivity by making use of a familiar tool. Using PowerPoint also helps ensure your reports will be readable when they're delivered.
LJZsoft specializes in tools that add features or functionality to Microsoft Office applications. However, unlike most add-ins, PTReportGen has its own user interface, a simple yet efficient dialog that opens with an optional tool tip. With just a file menu and a few icons atop a main window, it's about as sparse as Windows applications come, though it does have a full Help file as well as tutorials. We tried the Quick Start option, My First Report. Following the tutorial, we created a new PowerPoint document, saved it, and then created a .ptr file in PTReportGen. This is much easier than it sounds; anyone who can type in an Internet address can create the file, following a few simple instructions. Inputting the SQL function is a little trickier and might be daunting for some users, but it's really not difficult, thanks to clear explanations, and it gives the software an unusual degree of flexibility. Nevertheless, users should be aware that this isn't a one-click utility. However, you can run it from the command prompt via a wide range of programs and languages; for instance, you can write a PTR file in C, perl, or DOS and use it to run PTReportGen, even in batch files.
Users familiar with PowerPoint and SQL will have no trouble generating accurate, attractive reports with PTReportGen. Even inexperienced users can master it quickly, though, thanks to its overall simplicity and effective guidance.
Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of PTReportGen 2.9. The trial version is limited to 30 days.