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How to properly vertically align elements in Crystal Reports XI

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2013-01-03
CrystalReportIssue.doc

I cannot get rid of unnecessary columns .. and have the report more readable in XLS.
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Question by:djbeam
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Kurt Reinhardt
ID: 33718028
If you go into the cross-tab expert to the Customize Style Tab, you can uncheck the "Show Cell Margins" setting.  This provides a much cleaner export to Excel.  I just created a simple crosstab based on the Orders table in the Xtreme Sample Database.  With default settings, the 5 column crosstab (including rows and the total colum) occupied at least 9 columns in Excel.  After turning off cell margins, only 5 columns were exported, as desired.

The downside is that it doesn't look great in Crystal Reports.  So, do you need the report to look good in both?  If so, you might want to add a parameter to allow the user to select Crystal or Excel format at run-time and then conditionally suppress two different versions of the same crosstab, based upon the parameter selected by the end user.

~Kurt
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Author Comment

by:djbeam
ID: 33718113
Thanks .. two issues

1 - I do not seem to be able to get the Customize Style tab active when I highlight the current Xtab .. where would I find this .. (sorry I do not use Crystal every day so I spend a lot of time search for things that are obvious to active users)

2 - why is the process to get "Total" to display nicely and a single column .. different for the individual columns.

tanx.. Don
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Kurt Reinhardt
ID: 33718536
1)  Right-click the crosstab and select crosstab expert
2)  Because it allows one to format the total columns separately (bolded text, shading, different colors, etc..)

~Kurt
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Author Comment

by:djbeam
ID: 33718724
Thanks .. we are getting closer .. however .. not the brass ring ...

We now have some columns that are displaying and exporting okay .. but not all ...
Column "0" takes up 2 columns ..columns 1-5 take up 1.. 6 and 7 take up 2 . .but 8 to Total take up one.

???????

Don
CrystalReportIssue.1.jpg
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Author Comment

by:djbeam
ID: 33720647
anyone with any suggestions how to make all the numbers use only one column .. ?
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Kurt Reinhardt
ID: 33720764
The reason you're running into continued issues most likely has to do with the fact that you're exporting header information, too.  If you exported just the crosstab, with no cell margins, it would probably come out formatted properly.  Remember, Excel is very different than Crystal in terms of formatting.  The export wizard basically tries to export things as WYSIWYG as possible.

~Kurt
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Author Comment

by:djbeam
ID: 33724438
I can appreciate that .. but what I find interesting is that the bulk of the export is aligned .. and where the header is as well .. .My 40+ years in IT look for things that are unique to cause issues .. this does not make sense .. but welcome to IT .. .

So other than exporting only the matrix .. you see no other solution .. is so thanks for the help .. .Don
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

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Kurt Reinhardt earned 500 total points
ID: 33725649
When I'm asked to build a new report, one of the first questions I ask during the requirements gathering process is "What are you going to do with it after it's done?"  If the intent is for the report to be exported to Excel, I think ask "Why?"  This helps me determine exactly how I'm going to design the report.  When exporting to Excel, which is trickier than .pdf or Word, due to the cells, there are limitations. You've run into some.

In your case, why does the data need to be in Excel?  Are they going to manipulate the results?  If so, how?  Why can't you give them the metrics they need in the first place so they don't need to manipulate the data?If they provide the business rules, you can most likely do what they need in Crystal. Remember, Crystal Reports are best presented in Crystal Reports format.  On top of that, the data isn't one step further removed from the source.  When you deliver a report and x number of people export it to Excel for their own purposes, x number of people can all show up at a meeting with different results...

~Kurt
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Author Closing Comment

by:djbeam
ID: 33758389
I did not get an answer .. but it could be because there is not one.
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