Crystal Reports - An Introduction
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Crystal Reports - An Introduction

How to create reports quickly and easily, and then get deeper to improve. For Crystal Reports 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016
4.1 (40 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
235 students enrolled
Created by Phillip Burton
Last updated 6/2016
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  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Have a good knowledge of Crystal Reports, having installed it on your laptop.
  • Know about the different types of data sources, and how to create a report from scratch, including grouping, sorting and filtering/selecting.
  • Be able to format dates, numbers, text and other fields, insert and format graphics and other objects, and know when and why to insert additional sections.
  • Find out why hard-coded figures do not give the best interaction to the end-user, and use parameters to overcome this problem.
  • Add all manner of graphs, from bar charts to pie charts, radar charts and more.
  • Create subreports and drill-down reports, including using Cross-tab (PivotTables) in these reports.
  • Know what types of formulas are available, and how they can be used.
View Curriculum
  • You just need a positive attitude for this course - nothing else!
  • It would be helpful if you had a computer on which you could download the free trial of Crystal Reports, but it is not essential.

Hello, and welcome to Crystal Reports 2008-2016 - An Introduction.

In this course we'll be looking at SAP Crystal Reports, and how to use it.

This course starts right at the beginning, and so is good for absolute beginners, but would also be useful for you if you have previously used it, perhaps viewing reports or making basic reports, and would like to improve your skills.

You don't need to have Crystal Reports on your computer, as first of all we will install a trial version of Crystal Reports for free, so that you can use it on your computer free for 30 days. This way, you can practice with your new skills, experiment with your own data and create your own reports.

This course is separated into 7 levels, each getting progressively more deeper into Crystal Reports. They are:

  1. Creating your first report,
  2. Adding grouping, sorting and filtering, also known as Selecting.
  3. Formatting,
  4. Adding user interaction through parameters,
  5. Graphs and charts,
  6. Subreports, and
  7. Formulas.

All of this will be taken at a fairly leisurely pace, so you can really get familiar with the menus and icons.

By the end, you will be able to develop your own reports, and start to explore other people's. And there's a Certificate of Completion available if you complete the course.

Who is the target audience?
  • You should take this if you want to learn about Crystal Reports 2008, Crystal Reports 2011, Crystal Reports 2013, or the new Crystal Reports 2016
  • No prior experience in reporting programs is required, although it would be helpful if you have previously created reports in other reporting tools.
  • If you already have some significant experience in Crystal Reports, this introductory course is probably not for you. However, there may be some things, such as subreports and drill-down reports, that you might help you.
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Curriculum For This Course
50 Lectures
2 Lectures 07:38

I'll say hello, and briefly introduce the course.

Preview 01:36

Let's go through what we are going to learn.

Preview 06:02
Level 1: Creating our first report
4 Lectures 22:49

We'll find the official website, and install Crystal Reports.

Preview 06:36

Let's now run Crystal Reports for the very first time, and have a quick look around. Afterwards, let's start creating our very first report, by selecting a Data Source.

Running Crystal Reports, and adding a Data Source

Let's go through quickly the rest of the Create Report wizard, and actually create our first report.

Creating our first report

We'll find out the difference between design and preview, and then alter our report by adding another field. We'll then save our report and close Crystal Reports - job done.

Altering our report, and saving it.
Level 2: Diving in deeper
8 Lectures 01:20:52

We'll move our data source, then open our previously saved report, and then see the danger/advantages with saving the report as we have done, and how to update the location of our data source.

Opening and saving, and updating data source location

Let's create a new report from scratch. We'll start from getting a data source, but we'll have a look in more detail at the choices available.

Data sources - in detail

We'll create a new report from scratch, and see how not very different it is from using the wizard.

Creating a report from scratch - adding fields

We'll look at the order that our report is currently ordered in, and see if we can sort it in another way.

Sorting results

We'll discuss why we might want some grouping, and then add some grouping to our report.


Suppose we wanted to make changes to our grouping. Let's find out how to manage groups.

Preview 06:28

Sometimes you might not want all of the records to show - maybe you want to limit it to big order amounts, or specific Ship Via providers. Let's see how to do that

Filtering (or Select Expert)

Let's bring this all together in an exercise, and use the Orders Details table that I added a while ago to create a new report.

Exercise - Creating a detailed, filtered, sorted, grouped report
Level 3: Formatting
11 Lectures 01:19:10

Why would you want to format anything? Let's discuss it, and see how we can open the formatting dialog box.

Formatting dialog box

We also need to be able to format the colors and fonts used, and add and customise borders. Let's find out how to do this.

Formatting - colors, borders and fonts

In addition to borders and font, there are some formatting features which are common to multiple types of field. Let's explore them, including Suppress and Suppress when duplicated.

Common formatting, including suppress

Text, just like numbers and dates, have some unique basic formatting objects. Let's see what they are - and while we're at it, let's look at boolean fields (Yes/No or True/False values).

Formatting text (and boolean fields)

Numbers can be formatted in all sorts of ways. Let's find out how to format numbers, and how to change them throughout the report.

Formatting numbers

Sometimes you only want the date (or part of a date) to show; other times, it might be the time. And you may want them to be shown in a specific format. Let's find out how to do it, and how to change them globally.

Formatting dates and times

You may need a logo on your documents, add missing text boxes, and use a line or box to separate groups. Let's do that now.

Adding objects

Let's format the graphic that you have just added.

Formatting graphics

Having objects mal-aligned and badly sized can take all the pleasure out of reading a report. Let's make sure we can put things where they belong.

Aligning and resizing objects

Sometimes you need to separate fields out vertically. Let's find out why (e.g. Can Grow) and how you solve this problem.

Adding additional sections

Now that we've got these sections, did you know we can format them? Let's find out how.

Formatting sections
Level 4: Parameters
4 Lectures 27:56

We have currently used a hard-coded filter. Let's change that filter, and see how easy it is to do.

The problem

That wasn't so easy. Let's find a way to give the user more control. Let's introduce and create the parameter.

The solution - Introducing the parameter

Let's see how we can limit the range of values that the user can type, and change the prompt and other things.

Parameter Options

Let's add another parameter - this time on a string field - and see what parameter options would be useful.

Text parameters
Level 5: Graphs, charts and all manner of diagrams
5 Lectures 43:02

Sometimes a chart communicates better than a thousand words. Let's insert a bar chart, and have a look at the options.

Let's insert a chart

Did you know that there was so much you can format in charts? Let's have a look at a few examples.

Chart Options

Now that we've seen how to insert a bar chart, let's change the type of chart. We'll investigate bar, line, area, pie and doughnut charts, both in their side-by-side, stack and proportional varieties.

Different types of charts 1

Let's complete our view of all of the different types of charts, by looking at a few of the more esoteric varieties.

Different Types of Charts 2

You don't have to have a chart summarise the entire report. Let's see what happens when we put it into a Group Header, and show the information for that day or month only.

Context of charts
Level 6: Subreports
4 Lectures 24:35

Why do you need subreports? Why can't you just have everything on one big report? Let's find out why not, and how you can aid the user by not displaying everything at once.

Subreports - an introduction

Drilling down allows you to focus on a subsection of the report, perhaps with additional detail. Let's see how to do it, and how you use to with various levels of detail.

Preview 08:48

Now we need a bit of thought about subreports. Let's think about what we need, and do it. Also, let's find out how to do the equivalent of a PivotTable.

Designing a subreport using a Cross-tab

Now we've got this subreport, let's link it to the main report, so that it only shows the Ship Via that we are interested in. Also, let's try and add the date component to it as well.

Creating linked subreports
11 Lectures 52:19

What are these formulas, and why might you want to create them? Let's look into some of the reasons why you might need them, and how you can start creating them. The simplest formula isn't really a formula - it's just the name of a field or parameter. Let's find out how we can pass fields and parameters into formulas.

Preview 04:08

Let's make a small detour into special fields, such as inserting the page number in the footer, and see how it swings right back to formulas.

Special fields

Returning different values based on different criteria is one of the most powerful things in formulas. Let's see how this is implemented in Crystal Reports.


True and false. Lots of formulas return these, such as AND and OR. Let's look at a few. We'll also explore a few alternatives to IF, such as IIF, SWITCH and CHOOSE.

Boolean logic and other Control Structures

Sometimes a string parameter needs altering, or used in an If formula. Let's see what's available, including the String function.

Text functions

I was told there would be no math! Sorry, sometimes it's necessary. Let's see how we can manipulate the fields and parameters with mathematical functions.

Mathematical functions

Closely related to mathematical functions, let's find out about some summary functions - a good summary might be worth a thousand pages.

Summary functions

I'm late. I'm late, for a very important date. No time to say goodbye - hello - I'm late, I'm late, I'm late. Or am I. Let's use some date formulas to see.

Date formulas

Going back to Level 6, we had the problem where not all of the entries in a particular month were shown. Let's correct that now.

Solving our subreport problem

Now we have done all of this work on formulas, we can finally link our subreport correctly, so that it shows all of the month's transactions.

Using parameters for conditional formatting

Maybe you want to filter for all transactions last year to date. Let's have a look at some advanced filtering topics, and how they relate to formulas.

Advanced Filtering
1 Lecture 01:18
About the Instructor
Phillip Burton
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Phillip is a Computing Consultant providing expert services in the development of computer systems and data analysis. He is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. He has also been certified as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert for Business Intelligence, Microsoft Office 2010 Master, and as a Microsoft Project 2013 Specialist.

He enjoys investigating data, which allows me to maintain up to date and pro-active systems to help control and monitor day-to-day activities. As part of the above, he also developed and maintained a Correspondence Database in Microsoft Access and SQL Server, for viewing job-related correspondence (110,000 pdfs in one job) by multiple consultants and solicitors.

He has also developed expertise and programmes to catalogue and process and control electronic data, large quantities of paper or electronic data for structured analysis and investigation.

He is one of 9 award winning Experts for Experts Exchange's 11th Annual Expert Awards and was one of Expert Exchange's top 10 experts for the first quarter of year 2015.

His interests are working with data, including Microsoft Excel, Access and SQL Server.