The third way to split a section

Friday 23 November 2012 @ 11:34 pm

Most users know that you can split a section in Crystal to get subsections (e.g. Report Header a, Report Header b, etc.).  The standard ways to create a subsection are to:

A) Go into the section expert and hit the INSERT button at the top of the window.

B) Right-click on the name of a section and select “Insert Section Below”.

Not everyone knows the third way, which is the one that I find the most useful.  It is especially useful when you need to put some additional space in the middle of a large section.

Say you are working on a full page form and the section has lots of objects in it like fields and labels, lines and boxes, etc.  Now say you need to make some new space in the middle of the form.  Using the options above you would have to drag the bottom of the section down and them move half of the objects to new positions.  If you have ever had to do this you know how easy it is to mess up the alignment when you move groups of objects.

So try this instead.  Go into design mode and put your cursor along the right edge of the ruler.  You should see Split Tool appear with arrows pointing up and down.

If you click at that point and drag up or down just a bit you will see a line appear across the section.  Place that line where you want to split the section and let go of the mouse.   Your section will split in two along that line.  Any fields that are above the line will stay in the top half.  Fields that are bisected by the line will also stay in the top half.  All of the other fields will go in the bottom section.  Once you split the section you can add space in the middle by moving the new border down as much as needed.

And if you don’t want the split to be permanent, you can right click on name of the new upper section and select “merge section below”.  This puts the sections back together but maintains any space adjustments that you made while they were apart.

Some users discover this tool by accident when they are trying to change the size of a section.  This happens because people who want to change the size of a section often think the best place to do this is along the edge of the ruler.   This is actually the worst place to try and size the section because the sizing tool looks very much like the split tool described above.  It is very easy to be off a bit when you try to size the section, and end up splitting it.  I recommend that you use the sizing tool away from the ruler, and also away from any fields.  That way if you are not squarely on the border it will be obvious from your cursor.

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