Hot-swapping fields

Saturday 11 September 2021 @ 8:27 pm

I just started a project of reading through my old blog posts from the very beginning. I am deleting things that are obsolete and updating posts with newer links and information. I even expected to find a few useful things that I had written and forgotten.  I found one in my 3rd post.

In August of 2006 I wrote about some new features introduced in Crystal Reports v11.5 (XI r2). One of them I don’t remember at all: hot-swapping fields.

Say you have a field on your report.  It is the right size, in the right position and with all the right formatting. Then you realize that you should have used a different field. Crystal allows you to hot-swap another field into that place. All you have to do is drag the field onto the report from the field explorer and hold down the shift key.  When the new field gets to be over the old field the new field will snap into place and you will see two gray arrows pointing in opposite directions. If you release the mouse at that point the new field will take the place of the old field, keeping the same size, position and most formatting properties. You can swap any type of field with any other (but not text objects).

I say most formatting properties because it will not keep conditional formatting formulas. But it will keep the formatting properties you can set from the toolbar (font, size, underline, color, etc.).   If you want to apply the conditional formatting properties to the new field, you can copy the original field and paste it somewhere else before you swap it out. Then after the swap you can use the “Format Painter” (paint brush) to apply all the original properties to the new field.  Then delete the extra copy of original field.

One other issue has to do with column headings. Some fields are tied to a column heading that were automatically generated by Crystal Reports. This happens when you start a report using the report wizard or if you place a new field on the details band. When you hot-swap a field tied to a column header the header will automatically change to the field name of the new field.  If you prefer the original column heading you can make a copy of the heading before you hot-swap and place it somewhere else on the page. Then after the hot swap you can delete the new column heading and add the original one.

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