Applying a format to a field changes the way in which the data stored in the field is displayed. For example, the phone number field may contain the value 7015551234. By applying a format that adds parentheses around the first three digits and adds a dash between the sixth and seventh digits, the value will be readily recognizable as the telephone number (701) 555-1234.
You can apply formats created with the Format Definition window to string, currency, composite, and numeric fields that appear in the report layout. To apply a format to a field, click the Format lookup button in the Report Field Options window to display a list of formats that can be applied to the field. Select a format in this list, or click New to create a new format. When you have finished, the name of the format applied will appear in the Format field in the Report Field Options window.