IDEA Tech Tip: Using the Multi-Line Option in Print Report Reader

June 13, 2017

Q: Since I started working with CaseWare IDEA, I’ve faced some similar situations each day. One occurs when I’m importing PDFs: one of the columns is filled with text values that sometimes fill more than one line and do not have a pattern. In this case, it's very hard to match each line with the correct field. Here is an example of my problem:

Date ID Fiscal Number Comments
12/07/2014 1 1 any comment of one single line 
12/07/2014 2 1 any comment of one single line 
12/07/2014 3 1 any comment of one single line 
12/07/2014 4 1  
    2 any comment of more than one single line in this case
12/07/2014 5 1  
    2 any comment of more than one single line in this case
12/07/2014 6 1  
    2 any comment of more than one single line in this case
12/07/2014 7 1  












A: What you need to do is use the Multi-line option in the Print Report Reader. Here is your example, recreated, to walk you through it:  

Open your file in the Print Report Reader. Select the first line that contains some information to use as the base layer.

Select the standard layer option.

You will now have to select a trap to show the Report Reader which lines to bring into IDEA. I used the fiscal number as it appears on every line and it is numeric, so in this case it’s a good trap.

The lines have been selected, but you can see that Multi-lines has not been selected. I will fix that in a few minutes.

Next, we start selecting the fields; the first is the date, so highlight the date information.

In the field details, enter the name, enter date for type, enter the mask, and for blank cells enter use value from previous record.

Enter the information for the ID and Fiscal Number. For the Comments field, highlight the information, making sure that it is long enough to take in any additional fields.

In the Field details, enter the name, comments, and under the attributes select the Multi-line option.

You will then have several options for ending the field on, namely a blank line, a defined field or a specified line length, such as three lines. In this case, select the defined field as the comments end when a new record is hit.

All the comments are now highlighted:

There is one final option to select: at the bottom of the attributes you can decide how you want to handle extra spaces. The options are space to one, in which if there are multiple spaces the Report Reader will delete them only leaving one space. The alternative is to leave all the spaces in. In this example, select the space to one.

Save the layer. Then if we select the preview option, you can see how all the lines are now being imported.

Finally, import the file into IDEA.

– Brian Element, CPA, CIDA, CISE, CFE – IDEA Certified Instructor and Financial Advisor at Public Works and Government Services Canada 

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About Alain Soublière:

Alain Soublière has many years of experience working with computer audit software. He worked in a senior management role as the IDEA Product Manager for many years before becoming Director of Product strategy for CaseWare Analytics and more recently the Chief Product Strategist.   

Connect:    Alain Soublière

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