“Sticky” Buttons for the Format Painter and other controls

Wednesday 28 May 2008 @ 11:11 am

Starting with Crystal Reports version 11.5 (also known as XI r2) there are several tool bar buttons that can be made “sticky”. This means you can double click the button to make it stay on until you turn it off. This is especially handy if you are using the Format Painter, because it allows you to format many objects at once, without having to re-click the tool bar button in between.

To use the format painter you highlight the field that is formatted correctly. Then you click the Format Painter button (the paintbrush) on the tool bar. Then you click another field and the formatting properties of the first field are transferred to the second field. At this point the paintbrush normally turns off.

If you want to “Paint” multiple fields with the same format you double-click the paintbrush and it stays on. You can now click on as many individual fields as you want. Each click transfers the formatting attributes to that field. When you are done you click the paintbrush again to turn it off, or you can hit the escape key.

There are several other buttons that can be stuck in this way, such as the buttons for lines and boxes. If you are using version 11 (XI) I am pretty sure that you can still get a free upgrade to version 11.5. There is still a page for the free trial download of XI, which I believe actually is version 11.5. Last I heard a valid keycode for XI could be used to install XI R2.


I just heard from Jackie Kashman at Jape Consulting Ltd who pointed out something I didn’t know. The Format Painter can be made sticky in versions 10 and 11 by holding down the ALT key. Press the ALT before or after clicking the Format Painter button and you can click as many fields as you like. Release the ALT key and the Format Painter turns off after the next click (or by hitting escape).

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