Benefits of Cross-Tabs
Cross-tabs deliver data in a familiar spreadsheet format. They also summarize both vertically and horizontally, have a grid format, and can change
Several of the most compelling reasons for using cross-tabs are
Because cross-tabs are grouped and summarized both vertically and horizontally, they are incredibly efficient at saving space as compared to a typical grouping report. They are very good at showing key information if the information required has at least two levels of grouping.
Here's an example: quarterly sales figures for the customers in a sales report. These need to be grouped by customer and quarter. If the report were shown in a standard grouping layout like you've worked with previously, it could be several pages long. Figure 10.1 shows a typical Crystal Report in which nine pages display only the USA customers grouped by customer and quarter.
Figure 10.1. Standard grouping style used on a typical sales report.
Cross-tabs replicate the information contained in a sales report while resembling a spreadsheet. Managers get a
Figure 10.2. Sales shown in a cross-tab.
Leveraging Experience with the Spreadsheet Format
Another benefit of the cross-tab format is its
Cross-tabs, like spreadsheets, expand both vertically and horizontally. In Crystal Reports, cross-tabs are one of only two object types that expand across horizontal pages. Crystal Reports handles this expansion automatically. If there is more data to display than the original size of the cross-tab allows for, Crystal Reports doesn't cut off any critical data from the cross-tab area.
Cross-tab objects are also highly customizable in terms of formatting. Everyone has different needs from their data, so Crystal Reports allows for a great deal of changes to the formatting of these objects. Some of the most highly useful formatting features that are used in cross-tabs are
Using the Cross-Tab Wizard
Start with an example for the Xtreme Mountain Bike Companythe fictitious company that corresponds to the sample database provided with Crystal Reports.
Xtreme management needs a summary report to provide a quick glance at its shipped orders. The managers want to know how much has been spent by country for every six-month period, but they only want to see the top 10