Expanding the design area in Crystal Reports

Wednesday 9 May 2007 @ 1:17 pm

The width of the design screen in Crystal Reports is taken from your default printer settings; including the paper size and orientation. These settings can be changed using the menu options “File – Printer Setup”?. The maximum width for most printers is about 13.5 inches, achieved by using legal size paper in landscape orientation.

But some reports are never sent to a printer. They are only exported or previewed to the screen. This can be frustrating because even these reports are limited to the width of that specific printer.

If you need a wider design area for an exported report, you need a to setup a printer driver that supports wider paper sizes like Ledger or A3. Even if you don’t actually own a wide carriage printer, you can still add one to your list of available printers. Selecting the (non-existent) wide carriage printer, will give you a wider design area, a wider preview area and will widen your export space. Keep in mind that if you must also use this report on another PC, this PC will also need to have the printer installed, or else it won’t maintain the wide format. If you use the same printer name as on the design PC, it will find this printer automatically on the target PC.

On my workstation I have installed an HP Plotter printer that allows more width than you are likely to ever need. I set up a 500 inch paper width just as a test. The model I used is a HP Designjet 4500 series but there are dozens of other wide format printers that you can use. You can download many of these drivers for free from the HP web site. The download process may ask you to register but you can choose to skip the registration.

2 Responses to 'Expanding the design area in Crystal Reports'

  1. zingzog - May 11th, 2007 at 5:08 am

    Try using PDFCreator, it gives an A0 paper size with a width of 48inches and others. PDFCreator is an OpenSource PDF converter that “…easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows application. ”

    It may also solve another issue (not tested): if you open a report developed by someone else, Crystal goes looking for their printer and this can take some time. If all developers use, say PDFCreator as default printer, Crystal would always find it, no delays.

    Greetings, Andy

  2. Ken Hamady - May 11th, 2007 at 6:18 am

    Thanks Andy,

    Good point. I often use PDF Creator simply to create PDFs of my reports. It often provides a more accurate PDF than the export feature within Crystal Reports. And you can’t argue with free.

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