Put the knife down and take a green herb, dude.
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|Saturday, February 08, 2003|
Welp, I'm back to doing whatever the boss tells me, and right now that means use Windows about nine hours a day, five days a week. Right now I'm learning the products' database schemas so that I can create custom Crystal Reports and write little custom shindigs with vba & VB6.
Crystal really isn't that bad. It's not fun, mind you, but as far as making quick reports that easily export to pdf, Excel, and something that looks a little like html, it's pretty efficient. And do note I'm not using Crystal's tools to set up the data for my reports. My typical set-up is using VIm to hack up and save some SQL statements that I'll slap into a Crystal query that I'll then slap into a report. If your SQL's good enough, you won't spend much time in that horrible, mouse-o-centric Crystal Reports environment.
So we start with VIm, which eliminates a lot of mouse-strokes. Here are some key ways in Windows to get rid of others. Some of these I only recently found out, embarassingly enough.
Windows-M: Minimize all windows to the taskbar.
Windows-E: Open Windows Explorer [without expanding your home drive to your preferences directory]
Windows-F: Open the Windows search screen.
Alt, space, n: Minimize the current Window (doesn't always work, like with many Java apps, for some reason)
Alt, space, x: Maximize the current window
Alt, space, r: Something I can't remember offhand (on Mac at home, thankfully)
And, of course, if you somehow can read this (it being online) and you don't know what alt-tab does, well, try it.
Select a widget. Shift-arrows make it bigger and smaller. Control-arrows move it. If I could only tab from one to the next, I'd be in business! Overall, though Crystal's keyboard transversal support is some of the worst I've seen. That GUI -- and probably the whole app -- really needs a facelife. I have not tried version 9 yet, and hopefully there's an improvement there.
WIth all this, I only have to grab the mouse to do a few things in Crystal Reports, and most of my day I have my hands right where they belong -- on the keyboard.
posted by ruffin at 2/08/2003 07:07:00 PM
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