Formatting is exceptionally important when it comes to your report. It's very, very important to keep the end user in mind. Think about the purpose of your report, what question are you answering? Make sure that, that answer is easy to find. It should be highlighted in bold near the top, whatever it takes so that your user can find the answer to their question. Very often when we publish reports we put too much detail in. The report is 100 percent accurate but I can't find my answer, that's why we always want to think of the end user. Let's talk about how easy it is to do this formatting. Whatever you select on the screen is what you're going to be formatting. In this particular example, notice how only the company name is highlighted? As a result, if I change my font size down to nine, only that particular field was effected. Now there is an Undo Button, so I can go ahead and select it. Now when you're on that particular command, notice that, in Crystal, Alt Backspace is your Undo. The commands are slightly different than you might be accustomed to in your Microsoft programs. I'm going to go ahead and Undo. When I undo, you will notice that its' going to go ahead, and take me back to my Aerial 10. Now I'm going to go to the margin, when I'm in the margin, I am simply going to grab all of my fields going across. Now you'll see all three are in blue. When I go ahead and decrease my font, I'm decreasing them for all of the fields. I'm also noticing that I'm still cutting off some of the data in one of my fields, of course all I need to do is grab that field. I click on it, the blue bar now has an edge to it, that allows me to go ahead and drag it out, very easy to work with. Keep in mind I could do the same thing in Design. Some things are actually a little easier to do in Design. I prefer to adjust my height in the Design Area. It allows me to clearly see the spacing in between each field. I go back to Preview, it will of course show me the difference right on the screen. It's personal preference, as to how you set up your report. Do remember though, you really want to try to avoid going smaller than a ten point font, it really gets hard to read. There are times however, where we do go to nine, because of the length of the report, it's your decision. Consider putting a summary memo on top when your data is that small though. Now if I want to change the color, of course, the same procedures. Highlight my data, I'll go to my Font Color, and I can go ahead and select the coloring on it. If I select one row, one row only is changed, if of course I select all of them, then all of the rows are selected. I'm going to once again go back, and just change it to black. Now very often, we like to also put lines underneath each of the items. Here I'm going to right-click on any one of the fields. Now when I do, you'll notice that I can format the field. If I format an individual field, by placing a border on the bottom, I am only placing that border on that one field. You'll notice here, only the city has the line. I'm going to right-click, go back to Format Field, back to Border, and I'm going to remove that border. If you would like a line going all the way across, you will want to be in Design Stage. In Design, I am going to go to Insert a Line. Here I'll take my line, and I can draw my line all the way across. When I do, I'll go back to Preview, and I can see the effect of that line going across. Again, if you'd like the line on an individual field, use your right-click, Field, Border. If you'd like it all the way across, I prefer to do it in Design, Insert, Line. Now of course, you do have the ability, to underline just the writing itself. The different here, if I choose an underscore, it is only on the words themselves, not the width of the entire field. Let's go ahead and take off that underscore. Now one more item, I'd like to mention, very often when we're looking at the report, we would like to change this company name. If I go to a field, I'm going to click once to select it, and then I'm going to click a second time to get into the field iteself. Sometimes it needs a double click, sometimes it's going to be easier to be inside of Design Mode, be flexible when you're working with your computer. Once I see the cursor flashing, I can now highlight this information, and I can change it to anything I want to. Now do keep in mind, this is for headings only. Our field data is coming directly from our database, I cannot change that, and of course, if we do not want those lines, back in Design View, I'll select my line, and simply delete it. Again, it's one of those items I find easier to do in Design View. Back to Preview, and they're gone. The key with your formatting, toggle between Design and Preview, utilize all the components that are on your Toolbar, which are very similar to our other Microsoft programs. Know that a right-click, Format Field, gets you to any of the individual commands within a field. If I want to add something to the complete background of the section. Then I'm going to insert the individual component. Formatting again, is a key component. We'll be talking about this further, but take some time, make sure you're comfortable with all the different components that are part of the formatting of a Crystal Report.
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