Crystal Reports 6 for Dummies


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Seagate's Crystal Reports is one of the best-kept secrets on the software market today. Often bundled with other software (such as Microsoft Visual Basic and several popular accounting programs), Crystal Reports is the missing link between complex relational databases and presentation-quality reports packed with colorful graphics, tables, and charts that make readers sit up and take notice.

Now that Crystal Reports is sold as a stand-alone product for Windows, Mac, and UNIX users, you need a copy of Crystal Reports 6 For Dummies at hand to convert your drab-looking databases into stunning, professional-looking reports smoothly. Here are all the tips and tricks you need in order to format, sort, group, and print database records to company reports or Web sites, plus tried-and-true techniques for adding pictures, logos, and OLE objects to jazz up your reports.

Even Seagate Executive Vice President Greg Kerfoot agrees that "this is the book Seagate Crystal Reports users everywhere have been waiting for!"

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764501784
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/5/1997
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.47 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 16

Ten Questions to Ask before You Create a Report

In This Chapter

  • Finding the special purpose for your report
  • Determining what to include in your report
  • Getting your report out to the audience

Your boss comes in to your office in a rush stating that she needs asales by salesperson report right away! Now what do you do? Remain calm. You need to ask the person, boss or not, requesting a report the following ten questions. Ten is not a magic number, but Dan Gookin made the Part of Tens famous in Dummies books, so here I go.

What is the purpose of the report?

Is the person requesting this report allowed to access the data? Does the report contain any confidential information?

While writing down the purpose of the report may seem like a useless exercise, it is very important. Doing so allows you to focus on what should or shouldn't be in the report and how the information should be displayed. This question also allows report recipients to know if this is the report that they want to see or if they should go look for another one.

Anytime you write a goal or purpose, you know where you are going with the report. If you don't know where you are going, how do you know if you have arrived?

More and more, companies and institutions are careful about security issues, such as who sees what data. In a hospital, a corrections facility, a school, or a business, some information may not be available to all people. In a company, a person may have to have a security clearance to see certain data. Some financial data may only be distributed to certain people. Some information may be company private or proprietary. Keep these security issues in mind when you create a report.

From what databases, views, or tables do you need to include information in this report, and what fields do you want to include in the report?

Data for a report may come from different sources. Record the databases, tables, or views that hold that data you need. You may need to know the exact directories that hold information. You may need to know what network to access. You may need a password to obtain access to some data.

If you have more than one table involved, linking will be needed.

Do you want all the records in the report or a subset?

Women only? Over 60 years old? Transactions for March?

Many reports are run on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. You need to know this information before you create your report. If you don't know, you may be in a position where you are waiting for 15 minutes for a report preview to display because you are looking at data for the last ten years. Whether you are looking for data from a certain region, a certain gender, or a certain time period, you're better off if you can reduce the number of records in your report. The Select Expert can be helpful to you.

How do you want the data grouped?

Find out if the data should be grouped by region, by date, or by alphabet. Some reports may have several groups. A report could be grouped by state, then by gender, and then by age.

How do you want the data sorted?

Usually the two choices are ascending order or descending order. In addition you will want to know if the data should be sorted in ascending or descending order by amount, alphabetically, or some other criteria. As with groups, you may sort alphabetically by state and then sort by amount within those groups.

Another feature of Crystal Reports is that you can create your own style of grouping called custom groups. For example, if you want to group regions by their geographic location, feel free. For more information on this feature, please see the online help.

What summary calculations do you want in the report?

Monthly totals? Grand totals? Averages?

Find out if you need to count the records in the report, get a running total, add summaries at the end of the groups, and other information. Consider whether you want summaries after every group.

What text do you want to appear in the:

  • Report Header?
  • Page Header?
  • Page Footer?
  • Report Footer?
  • Other Text?

Record the text you want to display in each of these report sections. Decide on which pages you want this text to display. You may want to display some text on the first page, but not on the others. Find out if any other text is required. You may need to describe some of the summary calculations. You may need to add some quotes or expressions.

Do you want certain data to stand out?

You can make data stand out by using flags, special formatting, or conditional formatting. If the person for whom you're creating the report wants the data to stand out, find out how.

This step is for the more sophisticated presentation quality report. Will the report be printed? Will the report be distributed on a network? Do you have a color printer? You can make totals greater than 10,000 appear in red. If you are presenting in black-and-white, then you want to make totals greater than 10,000 appear in reverse image. Based on the report's purpose you can make the critical data stand out.

How should the report be distributed and to whom?

You may have a network, where all the reports are distributed to an Exchange folder or to Lotus Notes. You may want reports uploaded automatically to a company Intranet page. Perhaps you are distributing a report to a group who does not have access to Crystal Reports. Find out if you want to send them a compiled report or if you need to export the report so it can be read by another software product. Table 16-1 gives you some ideas for report format and distribution.

Table 16-1 Report Distribution or Showing Your Brilliance to the World!

Report Format Distribution
Crystal Report* Exchange Folder
Compiled Report** Uploaded to HTML (Web site)
Excel Spreadsheet E-mail
An Existing Application E-mail
Word Document Other

* Receiver has access to Crystal Reports.

** Receiver does not have access to Crystal Reports.

Again, the security issue raises its head. Can anybody see the information in this report, or is it company private, proprietary, or confidential? You're better off to find this information out before you distribute the report.

When do you need to see this report, and when should it be distributed?

You should get into the habit of finding out the due date for activities assigned to you. The person requesting the report may want to see and approve the report before you send it out. Find out if the report has a critical deadline.

Is this how the report should look?

Before you start creating the new report, draw a picture of the report with all the titles, columns, groups, and so on. Get the drawing approved. Then you will have a guideline made for creating the report. Here is how you might make the report look:





                           Summary Data    XXXXXXX 


If you follow these steps, even in an oblique way, the stress and strain of creating reports is greatly reduced...

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Table of Contents

How to Use This Book
If You Have Used Crystal Reports Before
What Is in This Book
Part I: What You Need to Know to Survive
Part II: Manipulating Records
Part III: Formatting and Formulas for Success
Part IV: Putting On Some Finishing Touches
Part V: Creating Specific Types of Reports
Part VI: Disseminating Reports without a Hitch
Part VII: The Part of Tens
Icons Used in This Book
Off You Go!
Part I: What You Need to Know to Survive
Chapter 1: Setting the Table
In the Beginning, a Table
Form Follows Function
Table for . . . One or More?
Plan the Report
What makes a report?
Report distribution
Chapter 2: Creating a Simple Report
Starting Crystal Reports
The Report Design Tab
Inserting Data Fields
Taking a Preview
Inserting a Second Field
Browsing Data
Changing the field length in the Design Tab
Changing field length in the Preview Tab
Moving a Field in the Preview Window
Using a Guideline to Position Objects
Aligning a Field Name with a Field
Using Guidelines in Preview
Other guidelines using grids
Turning on the grid
Using the Report Gallery Experts
Stepping out with an Expert: A Standard Report
Why you should use an Expert
Chapter 3: Crystal Reports: Basic Skills
Opening a Saved Report
Inserting Text Objects
Adding a text object
Previewing the text object
Editing a text object
Adding a border and drop shadow to the title
Adding other fields
Moving a field in a report
Adding a Number Field
Aligning Columns and Headers
Getting the Numbers Formatted
Moving from Page to Page in a Report
Magnifying the Page
Part II: Manipulating Records
Chapter 4: Selecting Records
What Is Selecting Records?
The Select Expert
Saved or refreshed data
Refreshing the report on demand
Select Expert options
Selecting records on more than one field
Removing Record Selection
Chapter 5: Sorting and Grouping Records
Sorting Records
Breaking Ties
Inserting Groups
Viewing Groups in the Design Window
Deleting or undoing a group
Deleting a group
Inserting a Total
Inserting a numeric grand total
Inserting a grand total for text
Defining other calculations
Changing a Group
Doing a TopN Sort
Part III: Formatting and Formulas for Success
Chapter 6: Graphing Data
Creating and Inserting a Graph
Creating a Group Graph
Modifying a Graph
Moving the graph to the header (no change)
Moving the graph
Resizing a graph
Adding a border
Customizing your graph with PGEditor
Using the PGEditor (Crystal Chart)
Changing graph colors
Changing a font size
Detaching a slice of pie
Undoing changes
Saving the pie chart
Deleting a graph
Drilling Down on a Graph
Adding a special effect
Changing the Graph Type
Applying the graph gallery
Looking at graph examples
Using a Graph Template
Saving a graph as a template
Applying the template
Applying Graph Templates Stored in PGEditor
Chapter 7: Using the Crystal Formula Language
What Is a Formula?
Acquainting Yourself with the Parts of a Formula
Opening the Formula Editor
The Fields box
The Functions box
The Operators box
The Formula text box
The Select button
The Check button
The Accept button
The Browse Field Data button -- for accuracy
Syntax 101
Going Down the Road to Creating a Formula
Eliminating Blank Records
Creating a Formula
Check please!
Accepting the formula
Editing a Formula
Adding a Formula That Totals by Group
Adding a Formula That Calculates a Percentage of Total
Working with Text Strings
Changing Numbers to Words
Going on a Date
Using If-Then-Else Formulas
Modifying an if-then-else formula
Nested if-then-else formulas
Understanding Boolean Formulas
Creating a Record Selection Formula
Chapter 8: Using Conditional Formatting
Absolute versus Conditional Formatting
Using On or Off Properties
Using Attribute Properties
Another conditional format
Still another conditional format
Deleting a conditional format
Part IV: Putting On Some Finishing Touches
Chapter 9: Formatting Sections of a Report
Changing the Size of a Section
Automatically sizing a section
Looking at the shortcut menu
Formatting Sections with the Section Expert
Using the Common tab
Free-Form Placement
Hide (Drill-Down Okay)
Suppress (No Drill-Down)
Print at Bottom of Page
New Page Before
New Page After
Reset Page Number After
Keep Together
Suppress Blank Section
Underlay Following Sections
Format Groups with multiple column
Using the Color tab
An example of a conditional format formula
A conditional formula to color group results
Chapter 10: Creating Presentation-Quality Reports
Quickly Formatting a Report
Zooming In on the Report
Working with Special Fields
Undo command
Special fields defined
Inserting a Special Field
Adding a Record Number field
Adding information to the Report Footer
Formatting Special fields
Formatting a Date field
Combining a text object with a Special field
Inserting Lines and Boxes
Formatting a line
Boxing records in a group
Adding a drop shadow to the title
Drawing a Box around an Object
Text Objects Extra
Adding the Can Grow option
Editing text within a text object
Inserting a Picture or Logo into the Report
Inserting an OLE Object
Using Auto Arrange to Format Reports
Part V: Creating Specific Types of Reports
Chapter 11: Creating a Cross-Tab Report
Identifying the "By" Word
Creating a Cross-Tab Object in a New Report
Inserting a Cross-Tab into an Existing Report
Removing the grid
Adding a second summary field to the example Cross-Tab
Creating a Cross-Tab using the Cross-Tab Expert
Chapter 12: Creating a Summary Report
Creating a Summary Report
To Drill or Not to Drill, That Is the Question
Chapter 13: Linking to Other Databases
Linking Concepts
Normalizing a database
Keying primarily
Working with Links
Moving a table
Looking at field properties
Browsing through the fields
Closing the Table Description dialog box
Looking at the links
Exploring the Visual Linking Expert buttons
Using link options
Creating a new report
Creating links
Deleting a linked table
Adding tables in the Visual Linking Expert dialog box
Creating the report
Using SQL Joins
Adding tables via ODBC
Using SQL join types
Using the equal join
Using a left outer join
Using a right outer join
Using a greater join or greater or equal join
Using a less join or a less or equal join
Using a not equal join
Part VI: Disseminating Reports without a Hitch
Chapter 14: Distributing Reports
Understanding an Export File
Exporting Reports
Choosing a file format
Choosing the report destination
Exporting a report with saved data
Opening a saved report
Exporting to a Lotus Notes Database
Exporting to an Exchange Folder
Exporting to Excel format
Exporting to Microsoft Word
Canceling an export
Comparing the Word Document with Crystal Reports
Exporting to an ODBC data source
Setting up an ODBC Data Source
Mailing Your Report
Faxing Your Report
Compiling a Crystal Report
Using the Report Distribution Expert
Printing a Compiled Report
Web Reporting
Exporting to HTML
Checking your Web page
Chapter 15: Setting Your File Options
Environment Settings: The File Options Dialog Box
The Layout Tab
View Options
Grid Options
Preview Pages
Field Options
Free-Form Placement
The New Report Tab
The Fields Tab
The Fonts Tab
The Reporting Tab
The Database Tab
The SQL Tab
Part VII: The Part of Tens
Chapter 16: Ten Questions to Ask before You Create a Report
What is the purpose of the report?
From what databases, views, or tables do you need to include information in this report, and what fields do you want to include in the report?
Do you want all the records in the report or a subset?
How do you want the data grouped?
How do you want the data sorted?
What summary calculations do you want in the report?
What text do you want to appear in the:
Do you want certain data to stand out?
How should the report be distributed and to whom?
When do you need to see this report, and when should it be distributed?
Is this how the report should look?
Chapter 17: Ten Tricks to Enhance Reports
Use a predictable format
Allow generous white space
Position report headings and page numbers in the same place for every report
Make data easy to understand
Place and align columns appropriately
Keep columns consistent
Use column headers strategically
Visually group data
Add graphs to make your reports more descriptive
Add graphics to your report to make it visually interesting
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First Chapter

Chapter 4

Selecting Records

In This Chapter

  • Understanding selecting records
  • How Crystal Reports handles data requests
  • Using the Select Expert
  • Working with saved or refreshed data

When you create a report, you may or may not want every record in the database to be in the report. You can limit the number of records, and you can specify which records to include. This chapter gives you the lowdown on selecting records.

What Is Selecting Records?

When you are generating a report, you have to access an existing table in order to create the report. A problem arises when the table consists of thousands of records. You may want a report that consists of records from a specific geographic area, records from a certain sales division, or records only of the products in which you are interested. That is the primary reason to use record selection. This load is not so noticeable in the Design Tab, but a large number of records greatly affects performance in the Preview Tab. The folks at Seagate Software anticipated your needs and built in a way for you to select only a few records in order to design the report or to have only the records that fit the report criteria.

The Select Expert

The Select Expert is a tool that walks you through the process of selecting the records you want to include in the report. Think of the process as filtering the data in the field. If the data is of a certain size, it passes through the filter to be included in the report. If not, it is not included in the report.

Open the Select Expert by clicking the Select Expert button on the toolbar. You can also open the Select Expert by choosing Report-->Select Expert. The Choose Field dialog box then appears, as in Figure 4-1.

If you have a database field selected prior to clicking the Select Expert, you bypass the Choose Field database and go directly to the Select Expert by using the field you highlighted.

Notice two things in this dialog box. First, because I have a report open on the screen, Crystal Reports lists the fields that are part of the report, as possible candidates for record selection. Second, Crystal Reports also displays field names from the source database table, with good reason. The record selection process is not restricted to the fields in the report. You can use any field from the table as the filter. So even though your report may include the fields you want, you can restrict the records included using an entirely different field. Most of the time, though, you use a field that is in the report as the record filter.

In the following example, I have opened a report that includes a field that has sales numbers. I am going to use that field to restrict which records are included in the report.

To use the Select Expert:

  1. Open the report for which you want to select records.
  2. Click the Select Expert button, or choose Report-->Select Expert.

    If you had a database field selected prior to clicking the Select Expert, you bypass the Choose Field database and go directly to the Select Expert by using the field that you highlighted.

  3. In the Choose Field dialog box, click the field you want to use as the record filter. (Click Browse to view the data in the field.)

    The Select Expert dialog box appears.

  4. Enter the filters you want by using the drop-down boxes.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Refresh data.

    Crystal Reports asks you whether you want to use saved data or refreshed data. In most cases, select refreshed -- which means that Crystal Reports rereads the data in the table you are using for the report.

  7. Click OK.

Those are the basic steps. Now see what happens to a report when you use the Select Expert. In my report, which includes four fields, one is named Last Year's Sales. Say that you want to restrict the records to those that have a number greater than $50,000 in Last Year's Sales. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the report.

    In my case, I have opened the report named ch3.

  2. Click the Select Expert button.
  3. In the Choose Field dialog box, click the Last Year's Sales field.
  4. Click OK.

    The Select Expert dialog box opens, as shown in Figure 4-2.

  5. To make sure that the field has the data upon which you want to filter, click Browse, as I have done in Figure 4-3.

    Browsing data here lets you double-check that this is the field on which you'd like to base your record selection. Press Done when finished.

    So looking at the next drop-down list, find the option to make the selection work. Figure 4-4 shows the drop-down list opened.

  6. Okay, remembering that you want the records that have sales greater than $50,000, click the greater than syntax, which is inserted into the field.

    At this point, the criteria reads LAST YEARS SALES IS GREATER THAN.

    Note: If you select the greater than or less than option, notice you get a check box or equal to. When this is selected, you will also include on your report all records that match the value. In this example, when you turn on the or equal to check box, you include on the report records that have Last Year's Sales amount of exactly $50,000 or higher.

    So far so good. When you enter the greater than syntax, Crystal Reports opens an edit box to the right. This box is for entering a number, completing the criteria. Crystal Reports allows you to take a look at the data again: Click the down arrow at the far right of the edit box. (This method is the alternative way of getting browse data.) The data appears, as in Figure 4-5.

    The final step is to enter the number. You have two ways to do so.

  7. Simply type the number you want in the box, or reveal the field data and click a number there.

    In this example, no number is exactly 50,000, so I type the value. In Figure 4-6, I have entered 50000 into the field. Note that you should not include a comma as a separator. Crystal Reports does not interpret the comma as part of a number. Notice that Crystal Reports adds the cents!

    The criteria reads LAST YEAR'S SALES IS GREATER THAN 50000. The subject-verb agreement may be suspect, but the criteria syntax is correct.

  8. Click OK.

    Crystal Reports pops up a dialog box that asks an important question. In a moment, I explain the reason for what I tell you to do here. The dialog box you see asks whether the report should use the current set of saved records, or refresh the data. Figure 4-7 shows this dialog box.

  9. Click Refresh Data.

    If you are in the Preview Tab, pressing Refresh does just that and no further input is required from the user, but if you are in the Design Tab, we don't ask you if you want to save or refresh until you ask to go to the Preview Tab.

  10. Click the Preview button to see the results.

    Figure 4-8 shows the new, highly filtered report.

Saved or refreshed data

In order not to burden the computer system where your data resides and to speed up report creation, Crystal Reports only reads the data from the tables you have included in a report when necessary. Now, on your home computer, you may not think that this feature would be a big deal. It probably is not. However, in a setting in which you are creating reports from a shared database, such as a network with SQL servers, having Crystal Reports reading the shared database at every turn would slow your report-building process.

So why does Crystal Reports sometimes ask the immortal question: Use saved data? Crystal Reports has some built in smarts and won't bug you for an answer to this question when it knows it is necessary to get more data for the report by going back to the database. It is only when Crystal Reports is not sure if rereading the database is necessary that it asks you to decide. And how do you determine how to answer the question?

If you are narrowing your record selection, click Use Saved Data. For example, perhaps when you first built your record selection you included all records with sales greater than 0. If you change the record selection to sales greater than 50,000, you can select Use Saved Data because you are narrowing the record selection.

If you are not positive that you are narrowing the record selection, click Refresh Data just to be safe.

  • Select the Refresh data on every print option by choosing File-->Options and then the Reporting tab (see Figure 4-9)

Crystal Reports considers printing to be of any kind: Print previewing, actual printing to hard copy, or saving the report to a file.

Refreshing the report on demand

Because Crystal Reports saves the records with the report, and time may pass between the time you create the report and the time you plan to use it again, Crystal Reports provides a button to cause it to re-read the records for the report. To refresh report data, do one of the following:

  • Click the Refresh button on the toolbar.
  • Choose Report-->Refresh Report Data.

Crystal Reports provides an indicator for you so that you know exactly when you last refreshed your report data. In Figure 4-10, you can see the numbers that indicate the most recent update.

Record selection and case sensitivity

Record selection is case sensitive. What does this mean for your reports? If the abbreviation for California is entered as CA, ca, or Ca in your database, what records would be included in your report if your record selection is Equal to "CA"? The report would only include those records where the Region is exactly "CA" and won't include any other version (ca, Ca, or cA). This is one reason you may want to use the Browse Field Data button in the Select Expert -- to find out how the data is stored.

When working with SQL/ODBC data, you have the ability to select whether or not you want record selection to be case sensitive or insensitive. By default the option is not selected and your SQL/ODBC record selection will be case sensitive. The Case-Insensitive SQL Data option (available under File-->Options-->Database or from File-->Report Options) is where you set whether you want a case-sensitive or case-insensitive record selection. This option will only be available when your database server supports case insensitivity.

If the report was refreshed several weeks ago, Crystal Reports displays the date and time of the last refresh exactly.

Select Expert options

Now that you have an idea of how the filtering process works, Table 4-1 presents other ways in which you can filter records. Remember, you do not have to use a field that is in the current report; any field in the database table works.

Table 4-1 Filtering Parameters


What It Does

any value

When you see this option, you have no record selection for the field. It's the same as saying, "Give me all records on the report, I don't care about the sales amount."

equal to

Filters records so that only an exact match passes through. For example, if you want to see only records that are from California, the field data is equal to CA (assuming the name for California is entered as an abbreviation).

one of

Allows you to specify records that match values from a series. So you can enter one of CA, MN, or BC. This filter only allows records that are from CA, MN, or BC to pass through to the report.

greater than or less than

Allows you to filter records in which the field value is less than a value you choose, or greater than a value of your choice. So you can use this filter to cut off records that are at the extremes.

or equal to

With either the greater than or less than, you will get a check box where you can determine if you want to include the equal to value itself on the report.


Selects those records that fall into a range that you want. You can enter between 20,000 and 75,000 to get only those records.

starting with

Selects records using a text field. So if you want all records that have a field entry beginning with the letter S, this is the filter to use. Further, if you want to find records that begin with SON, you can do so by entering the three characters.


Although the world now sees computers through Windows 95, in the background are still ways to use tricks that are from the DOS era. For example, the entry D*G (an asterisk) filters records that have any entries in the field that begin with D and end with G. So the words DOG, DOUG, DARING, and DECIDING all pass through this filter. The asterisk is called a wildcard character because it matches any character and any number of characters. This works with text data only. Another type of wildcard is the "?" which is a question mark. It will match any character, but only one at a time. So, the D?G filter would retrieve records like DOG, DIG. The word DOING would not be retrieved because more than one letter appears between the D and G, not just one.
formula Creates complex filters or filters that do not fit the format of the other filter tools. Chapter 7 is devoted to the Crystal Reports formula language, and the lessons there can be used here to select records. Figure 4-11 shows the formula for a filter. The Formula Editor portion of the dialog box is opened by clicking Show Formula (which then changes to Hide Formula). Even if you have not specified a formula overtly, Crystal Reports creates a formula for every type of record selection that you create. Note in Figure 4-11 that you have a button to access the Formula Editor. In Chapter 7, I explain the concepts of using formulas.

in the period

Conducts date range searches. Suppose that you are trying to create a report for a recurring date range. This selects records for which the value in the date field falls within the date range specified. When you select this condition, the dialog box displays a scroll list of all Crystal Reports date ranges. Select the range you want from the list. Include all records in which the date falls within the calendar first quarter of the year. Dates from January 1 to April 30 (including January 1 and April 30) will be included; all other dates will be excluded. Note: The in the period option always evaluates the record selection relative to your computer's current date. For example, the LastFullMonth option will give you the preceding calendar month. If you preview your report on April 1st, 1997, you will see all data for March 1997.

is not

But what if you want to include all records except those where the region is CA? After you choose an option in the second box other than Any Value, you can go back to the first box and change is to is not. This option is available for any option other than any value and formula. Remember this; you'll use it at some point.

Selecting records on more than one field

With a beginning grasp of the record selection process on a single field, the next question is how to use two or more fields to create a compound record selection. An example is a report that includes only records from a certain region and with sales over a certain amount. You have two ways to approach this type of selection. You can create the first filter and execute it, and then reopen the Select Record Expert and add the second filter. Or you can create both filters in one step. The advantage of the two-step process is that you can check your work step-by-step by previewing the records at each step to make certain that they are what you want.

To create both filters in one step:

  1. In an open report, click the first field you want to use for a filter.
  2. Click the Select Expert button.

    The field name already appears in the dialog box.

    Note: You may have noticed that this is a different way of getting to the Select Expert with the field you want to work with. If you have a database field selected on your report when you go to the Select Expert, Crystal Reports assumes that is the field you want to work with. A great little shortcut.

  3. Enter the filter criteria.
  4. Click New at the top of the Select dialog box.
  5. Select the field you want to use for the second filter.
  6. Enter the filtering criteria.
  7. Click OK.

In this example, filter the records so that the report includes only CA (California) with sales from last year greater than 10,000:

  1. In the Design Tab, click the Region field.
  2. Click the Select Expert button.
  3. In the dialog box, select equal to and CA.
  4. Click New.

    Crystal Reports opens the Choose Field dialog box, from which you can select a field already in the report or any field from the table.

  5. Select Last Year's Sales, select the greater than filter, and enter a value of 10000.

    The completed two-field criteria appear in Figure 4-13.

    In the Select Expert, click the Show Formula button to see the entire record selection. I've let Crystal Reports do most of the work. I just dropped down a few boxes, and Crystal Reports has translated this into a formula your database will understand. Sometimes you will want to view this formula to see the Big Picture -- how the record selection looks as a whole.

  6. Click OK.

    Crystal Reports filters the records and displays those meeting the criteria in the Preview Tab as shown in Figure 4-14.

This tool is powerful and can be used in many ways to fine-tune the reports you create, so that only the records you want are included. Adding a third or fourth filter follows the same procedure as adding a second.

Removing Record Selection

After selecting records for a specific report you can save the report or print it. If you want to use the same table to create a different report, but need to have access to all the records, you can remove the filter. To remove a Select Expert filter:

  1. Click the Select Expert button.

    The Select Expert dialog box appears.

  2. Click the filter tab that you wish to remove.
  3. Click the Del button, which deletes that filter.
  4. Continue deleting filters until the records you want can be part of the report.
  5. Click OK.

    Crystal Reports asks you if you want to use saved data or refresh the data.

  6. Click Refresh Data.

    Crystal Reports re-runs the filter and adds back any records that were previously excluded.

The Select Expert is meant to make your life simple. Just point and click to create your record selection. This will probably be sufficient for most reports, but you can get more sophisticated if you need to. See Chapter 7 for more info.

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