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Crystal Reports: Customize Group Name

This is one of the features of version 8 (and later) that we’ve found very useful. You can group by a field, but display a different value in the Group Name and Group Tree. For example, group your orders by Customer Code, but display the Customer Name in the heading.

Yes, you could always do this with a formula, but the nice thing version 8 (and higher) does is to display the customized group name in the group tree. The other place this is really useful is in a cross-tab report, where you can display a custom value in the row or column heading.

You can use a field from your database or write a complex formula to calculate the string you’d like to display. It could even be the original field, just displayed with a different format.

Some other thoughts on groups

Put some thought into how you define your groups. Several things happen if you have large groups in your report. One of those is particularly irritating: you get a blank page at the start of your report, or in the middle of your report you get a page with a group heading, and the rest of the page is blank.

The cause is the way a group has been defined. "Keep Together" is the property you want to check, and in this case make sure it is not ticked. Keep together says: "When I start the group, see if there is enough room on the rest of the page, and if not, start the report on the next page."

A large group will cause a page break. Then you get too many blank pages.

What if you want to group by the same field more than once? Can you? Yes. And this technique could be useful if you've used Specified Order for the higher level group, or the report is TopN and you would like the "Others" group to show totals by the original field at the next level down.

Buy if you use that summary in a formula, interesting things happen. The summary is referred to in the formula as


There's nothing in that formula to distinguish which of the two levels summaries you want. Not one thing! So the formula will always display the higher level total, regardless of what you actually want In fact, you can’t use the lower level summary in that form in the report.

If you want the lower level summary in a formula, create a formula to calculate the original group field. Then create the lower level group by the formula instead of the field. You can use this summary in a formula.

Crystal Reports 8.5 and earlier won't allow you to create a group if the field is already used for grouping. However, our formula field solution lets you group by a field more than once for any version of Crystal Reports. And the summaries don’t get confused when you use them in formulas.

Can you group on pages? Absolutely.

Why would you want to? Suppose you have a large group that flows over to a subsequent page. How do you control the report so the headings re-appear on each page as the group continues?

Here's what you do. When you create the group, select the option "Repeat Group Header on Each Page." This will cause the group header to appear on each new page. If you have forgotten to set this, you can change an existing group, and set it later when you need to.



This article is copyrighted by Crystalkeen, Mindconnection, and Chelsea Technologies Ltd. It may be freely copied and distributed as long as the original copyright is displayed and no modifications are made to this material. Extracts are permitted. The names Crystal Reports and Seagate Info are trademarks owned by Business Objects.


Except where an author's name is given at the start of the article, all of these articles were written by Mo Naughton or Bruce Ferguson and edited by Mark Lamendola. Mo is a Crystal Reports consultant, trainer, and developer for Chelsea Technologies, Inc. Bruce Ferguson is a Crystal Reports consultant, trainer, and developer for CrystalKiwi, Inc. Mark Lamendola is a writer and editor with over 15 years experience in professional and trade publications.




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