Using Autosave in Crystal Reports

Sunday 17 October 2010 @ 6:56 pm

Autosave is a nice feature that has been around since v8.5.  So you may wonder why have I never mentioned it before?  I think it is because I started using CR before the autosave was introduced.  So I learned to save from experience.  Now have a solid habit of saving early and often, usually after any major change and before I refresh a new version of a report.  So when a customer complained that he couldn’t find the autosave files I had to turn the feature on for the first time, just to see how it worked.  I found three things that might confuse a user:

1) Once you exit Crystal Reports any autosave reports that you had are deleted.  The assumption is that you saved everything you needed before you exit.  The autosave files will only remain when Crystal crashes.  I know that this is pretty standard for autosave, but some users still expect the file to be there after they close Crystal.

2) If you do crash, and then restart CR, you won’t get a notification of files that you can recover – even when they are there.  This is different from the MS Office feature and can make you think the autosave didn’t work.

3) To recover your files you have to know where they are.  Searching for the exact file name you were working on won’t work because Crystal Reports changes the name (i.e. from orders.rpt to orders.autosave.rpt).  I found this article helpful because it gave the path to the folder where these files are stored.  I could simply copy and paste this path into Windows Explorer (and putting in my user name).

C:\Documents and Settings\[your user name]\Local Settings\temp

I recommend that you make a shortcut to this folder, because on Vista or Win 7 you won’t be able to start at C: and step down through these folders to get to the temp folder.  Some of the folders in the path are restricted.  And, if you use the default Windows view options, then these folders won’t even appear because they are hidden system folders.  But if you paste in the path you will go directly there.

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