Archive for November, 2010



Export to a PDF that allows for drill-down

Tuesday 30 November 2010 @ 5:25 am

Would you like to export your reports to PDF format and still allow users to have drill-down functionality? I just learned that you can.  Ido Millet of Millet software recently sent me a Sample PDF that was generated using Visual Cut and Crystal Reports. The PDF shows a 1 page summary and allows you to drill down on any one of 8 product categories to see the products within that category. Then you can drill down again on a single product to see the details for that product.  I am impressed by the fact that this was all contained within one PDF.  You can request a zip file that has the PDF and source files or you can watch a 5-minute video that gives an overview of the process.

So how does it work? Inside this single PDF file there is one main PDF document and many other Continue Reading »
Export to a PDF that allows for drill-down




Does IsNull() let you filter a Left Outer Join?

Thursday 25 November 2010 @ 12:27 am

Here is a summary version of this article:  No.

But twice in the past 2 months I have read people giving this advice to users online.  Before I give the detailed explanation let me provide some background for those who are less familiar with SQL:

When you link two tables in Crystal, the default join between the tables is called an INNER JOIN.  This means that you will only get records that are included in BOTH tables.  So if you link the Customer table to the Order table you will only get customers who have orders (and orders that have customers).  A customer with no orders would not show in a report using an INNER JOIN.

When you want to include all customers, even those without orders, you have to use Continue Reading »
Does IsNull() let you filter a Left Outer Join?




Grey background when printing an image

Thursday 18 November 2010 @ 2:05 pm

One of my readers was having trouble with a signature image (bmp) on a report.   It looked fine in preview but when printed the white background of the image printed as grey.  After some research he found this post which showed him a relatively simple solution.  He opened the bmp in an image editor and changed the colour depth of the image by reducing it from 24-bit to the simpler 256 colour depth.  Apparently the background wasn’t quite white and the change forced the grey to ’round down’ to the nearest available colour in the palette which was white.  If you use this method and you don’t get white you could go further.  MS Paint goes down to 16 colors, and even down to monochrome (black and white).

Thanks to Jan Rymarz, a Crystal developer in the UK, for this tip, which is why I am writing about the colour grey instead of the color gray.




Crystal Reports Function Libraries Compared

Sunday 7 November 2010 @ 10:13 pm

Crystal reports formulas are very good at manipulating data within the report.  And, you can often expand these capabilities by installing a User Function Library (UFL) that adds formula functions not already provided by Crystal Reports.  This article will introduce you to several powerful UFLs that will give your formulas the ability to read, write and run files outside the normal boundaries of your reports.

These UFLs are available from four sources and sometimes the same function is found in multiple UFLs.
The vendors are: Continue Reading »
Crystal Reports Function Libraries Compared




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