This is an index of our Crystal
Reports Basics articles.
These articles explain basic concepts, primarily
for the benefit of beginners.
here for the Main Article menu.
Always be thinking of the next evolution of your
Crystal Reports skills. We can help you there, with our other articles and with
the tools we sell.
Here are some steps to work on, once you're comfortable with using Crystal
Reports and understand the basics of the program:
Now, it might be tempting to skip all this work and just rely on the various
"experts" provided in Crystal Reports. Don't do that.
- Develop your own system. Write down the rules, as you go. The more you work
your system, the more second-nature it will become. Developing a system keeps
you from reinventing how you do things, and it keeps things consistent. It also
saves you time and reduces errors.
- Seek feedback. Ask users what they like and don't
like. The more you tailor the reporting system to the people whose opinions
matter to your boss, the better your job security is.
- Train and educate. You don't need to conduct formal
classes to train users. Just as you get their feedback, give them input.
Provide helpful tips, let them know some things the system can do that it
isn't doing now, and help them make the best use of the information it
- Evolve. Keep in mind that report design is an ongoing
process. Once you know the basics of Crystal Reports, you’ll want to add
functionality offered only by third-party vendors. Take a look
at what some of that functionality is and what some of those offerings
The wizards and
experts in software programs are like training wheels. They help when you
are just getting used to the idea of being on a bike. But after you get a
little experience, they start to be more of a drag on your performance than
You want to get rid of the need for training wheels as soon as
possible. Here are some tips:
- Keep a running journal. Amazingly, paper works well for this. The
mere act of writing things down helps you learn, and makes a huge
- Read books on Crystal Reports. You don't have to spend huge amounts
of time doing this, and there really aren't all that many books
available. Just buy one and set aside 15 minutes each day to read
something in it. If the book has a practice problem, schedule some time
to do that.
- Join a local user group. If there isn't one, start one.
- Read articles like the ones on Crystalkeen.
- Ask users what they want in their reporting system. Then refer to
the Crystal Reports books you've been reading to see how to do that.
This immerses you in your learning, rather than making it purely
- Read the help files. Seriously. Keep a running Outlook appointment
(or use some other time scheduling tool) to read one or two per day.
Don't forget to read about our Crystal Reports