Formatting chart dates (part 2)

Saturday 19 March 2011 @ 11:13 pm

Last week I wrote a post to complain that Crystal didn’t give you a way to directly control the format of dates along the bottom of a monthly bar chart. So, of course, this week I find something in Crystal Reports that I had never seen before, and which shows that I was only half correct.

A customer sent me a chart to troubleshoot and he had used a chart type called “Numeric Axis”.  This type of chart is down the list pretty far, below Radar charts and Bubble charts so I have never experimented with them.   But when I changed the chart to a normal bar chart it became obvious why this type was used.  The number series along the bottom of the chart had changed to show decimals, and I now had no way of changing the format so that the decimals didn’t show.  I hit undo and saw that this chart type allowed me to directly control the format of a series of numbers at the base of a series of bars or lines.

My first thought when I realized this was that it was a shame they hadn’t done the same thing for dates.  My next thought was that maybe they had so I went back into the options for these Numeric Axis charts.  Hidden in there were three options for date axis charts – Line, Bar and Area.   These options only give you 8 date formats to pick from, so you don’t have as much control over the format as with the methods I described.  But they are worth mentioning, since they will probably work well enough in 80 percent of cases.

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