Using Crystal Viewer to Display your Crystal Reports
Published: 27 Sep 2007
In this article Eric shows how to use the new Crystal Viewer to help distribute reports.
by Eric Landes
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For many Crystal Report creators, there has not been a good way to distribute your reports without additional programming. You can programmatically export to PDF then in your program email it or use BusinessObjects Enterprise to set up your report to a distribution list using a particular format. Now there is a free viewer called the Crystal Viewer that you can utilize to allow others without a version of Crystal Reports to view your report. The beauty of this viewer is how you can use many of the natural features inherent in Crystal for other users.

System Requirements

·         Crystal Reports XI

·         SQL Server 2005

How to distribute Crystal Viewer?

Giving your consumers immediate access to Crystal Reports Viewer XI is fast and easy. You can send the link to download the viewer to your consumer in an email or on the web page displaying the viewer. So let us say you email a sales report every week as an email attachment. In the body of that report place the link to with some text saying something to the effect of "If you cannot view this report, follow the instructions from this link to download the viewer."

This allows consumers to access the viewer enabling them to explore the report information interactively on their desktops both on and offline.

Using the Viewer to view a report

Let us assume you have emailed a report in email. This report is a summary report and someone wants to view this. It is quite simple once you have downloaded and installed the Crystal Reports Viewer XI. Once this viewer is installed in your system, the customer that receives your distribution can simply click on your report. The report opens up and the customer can then view it and do more.

Besides viewing reports, using the new viewer software allows you to share reports online on the site. Using the On-Demand option, select the "Share Report on-line" and you can save your report to If you are looking to have a place to store your reports, this may be an option for you.

You can also save reports to your Business Objects Enterprise Server. To do this, go to your Edit menu then to your configure server connections. From this menu click the Add button to add a server. You need to know the name of the business objects enterprise server and the log on credentials. Once you set this up, you can open your reports to the Business Objects server and save reports to the Business Objects server. 

Once the report is open the consumer can view the report properties that have been set up. For instance, keywords, Author, the title, comments and a subject are available to view. Also, the consumer can export this report to Excel, RTF formats or pdf from within the viewer.  For me this is a key feature to make available to consumers of the report. This makes the viewer valuable for more than just report developers. 

If the report designer has set up the report to allow drill-downs, the consumers also will be able to drill down into the reports. This is up to the designer, so make sure you select drill down on grouped sections when designing your reports. Selecting drill down in design makes the drill down feature available to consumers of your reports. Of course we assume those end users or consumers utilize the Crystal Report Viewer XI.

On the File menu there are options to print either the currently selected report or the entire report including hidden sections. For large reports if the end user needs to find something, you can use the Search option. Simply use select Edit from the menu options. Then select Find from the Edit menu and enter your text. You can also select options to match case or not match it from the drop down under the textbox for entering the search text.



In this article we have gone through the new Crystal Report Viewer XI.  It is a nice new development for end-users who do not have the full Crystal Reports XI software installed on their machine. The viewer can be installed individually or on your intranet you can make this a mandatory installation.

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