Excel Database has one Column with Numbers and String Values - Crystal assigns the Column the Number Field Type

Posted on 2004-10-08
Last Modified: 2006-11-17
I am using Crystal Reports to print a report from data in an excel sheet. One of the columns in the excel sheet has the follwoing values (for example):

Col A

the word "unkown" is what is giving me problems.
When I connect the excel sheet - Crystal automatically makes Col A - Number - Field Type.
Question 1: How can I tell crystal to force the field type to : String [255]

Question 1: If I leave the field type as Number - how can I detect a blank value. In my report the data for the "unknown" value is just left blank - no zero - no NULL value - it is just blank. what value is that? Can I write a formula to detect it?


Question by:Callis_Ogles
  • 5
  • 3
LVL 100

Expert Comment

ID: 12265096
Do you have any control over the spreadsheet?

What version of Crystal?

I am not sure if you can have Crystal detect the empty cell
Try setting convert null to 0 in the options


Author Comment

ID: 12269304
Crystal Version
I do not have control over the spreadsheet.

The cells in ColA are not empty. I have 20% of the cells with numbers, 20% empty and then 20% with the word "Unknown".

When crystal imports the data it decides that ColA = FieldType of Number. When I browse the data in Crystal it shows me all the numbers but it does not show me anything else.

I tried to detect it using the isNull() function but it did not work.
I set Convert Null to Zero and it does work - but it does not solve my problem.

I need to be able to see all the data (including the word "unknown"). So the real question is - how do I tell Crystal to treat ColA as all string values - and then I can convert the strings to numbers when I need to.

Is there a way to force Crystal to set the FieldType for ColA to 'string' rather then 'number'??
LVL 100

Expert Comment

ID: 12271073

Author Comment

ID: 12293841
This link is ok but it still leaves me with the same problem.
I connect to the Excel database in Crystal using
-- Database Expert
---- Create New Connection
------- Access/Excel (DAO)                  //Note - then I select the Excel 8.0 type and browse to the excel file and connect.

After I am connected I see the following in the field exploror (in crystal)
Field Explorer
-- Database Fields
---- Sheet1                                                                // Note - right click on the sheet and select 'Show Field Type'
------- Customer Name: String [255]
------- Customer Phone Number: String[255]                //Note - the 'String 255' is the field type
------- Customer ZipCode: Number                              //Note - here the field type is 'Number'

Is there a way to force Crystal to categorize the ZipCode column, imported from Excel, as 'String 255'

Find Ransomware Secrets With All-Source Analysis

Ransomware has become a major concern for organizations; its prevalence has grown due to past successes achieved by threat actors. While each ransomware variant is different, we’ve seen some common tactics and trends used among the authors of the malware.

LVL 100

Expert Comment

ID: 12294816
I don't know.  If you could put a DUMMY record as the first line of the spreadsheet with a format for the fields then have the report import it but suppress it you might get what you want.


Author Comment

ID: 12348296
Well, inserting a dummy record as the first row of the Excel File does work. In this way I can apparantly force Crystal to set the field type to: String[255] for every excel column.

However I am not really happy with this solution. Would upgrading to a newer version of Crystal make a difference?

Note: I am using Excel 9.0.3821, and when I attach to the excl sheet - the highes excel version crystal shows in Excel 8.0. I tried saving the excel file as Excel 5.0 and then attaching Excel 5.0 in crystal - that did not help.

I am very disapointed that crystal just assumes that this column is a number field - just because the first cell happens to contain a number.

The raw data comes to me in a comma delimited text file. And then I copy and paste the data into excel. Maybe I should copy and paste in an Access database. Any comments?

Otherwise this call is done -
LVL 100

Accepted Solution

mlmcc earned 500 total points
ID: 12354421
Could be done that way and you could set the field to be text

LVL 100

Expert Comment

ID: 12479121
Glad i could help


Featured Post

How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

Join & Write a Comment

There have always been a lot of questions related to when Crystal Reports evaluates report components (such as formulas, summaries, cross-tabs, charts, to name a few examples). Crystal Reports uses a two-pass reporting process to provide greater …
Hello everyone, Hope you find this as helpful as we did. We have on the company I work for an application built in Delphi V with Crystal Reports 8. We all know that Crystal & Delphi can be temperamental sometimes and the worst thing is, nearly…
In this seventh video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFfonts utility, which lists all the fonts used in a PDF file. It does this via a command line interface, making it suitable for use in programs, scripts, batch files — any pl…
Polish reports in Access so they look terrific. Take yourself to another level. Equations, Back Color, Alternate Back Color. Write easy VBA Code. Tighten space to use less pages. Launch report from a menu, considering criteria only when it is filled…

760 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

18 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now