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

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Chapter 8. Enhancing Your Report's Appearance

In This Chapter

  • Comparing absolute and conditional formatting

  • Enhancing readability with Highlighting Expert

  • Inserting a picture into a report

  • Working with preprinted forms

  • Importing text-based objects from a file

  • Using the Formatting Options dialog box

  • Adding special fields to a report

  • Emphasizing important information with Report Alerts

  • Speeding development with report templates

Formatting is the primary reason for the existence of Crystal Reports — or any report-writing software, for that matter. Any ol' database management system (DBMS) can retrieve results from a database and then display or print them. The primary purpose of a DBMS is to maintain data. Putting retrieved results in the most understandable form isn't the DBMS vendor's job.

Crystal Reports offers you a comprehensive, creative array of tools that you can use to excel at transforming the raw data retrieved from a DBMS into a report that communicates your data to your desired audience. To achieve your goals, use the full power of formatting in Crystal Reports to shape the appearance of any report you generate, which allows you to create the desired impression for your readers.

In this chapter, I compare absolute and conditional formatting, showing you the advantages of using one or the other. I go on to describe the Crystal Reports formatting tools at your disposal, including Highlighting Expert, Report Alerts, and Report Templates.

Absolute Formatting

Absolute formatting is the regular ...

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