O'Reilly logo

Crystal Reports® 2008 For Dummies® by Allen G. Taylor

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 3. Report Design Guidelines

In This Chapter

  • Defining the purpose of your report

  • Deciding what your report should include

  • Linking a report to a database

  • Laying out a report

  • Conveying the right message

No book can tell you in a step-by-step manner exactly how to build the report you want. However, in this chapter, I show you some general principles of good report design as well as some common types of reports. From those general principles and examples, you can decide how best to design reports that meet your specific needs.

Defining an Effective Report Design

An effective report design depends on many factors:

  • The data that the report draws from the database

  • How the database is structured

  • The level of detail that the users of the report require

  • The purpose of the report

  • The capabilities of the computer that displays or prints the report

  • What the users of the report really need (understanding this is critical)

Defining Your Audience

Every report has a definite audience. Here's a key question to ask when you begin to develop any report: "Who will be reading this report?"

Some potential audience members might be familiar with the information that the report contains. These people might prefer a streamlined presentation of the data. Other audience members might be unfamiliar with the report content, so you might have to translate terms, use graphical devices (such as charts), and include explanatory text. If you have two such divergent audiences, consider producing two reports. Both contain the ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required