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I am currently creating a Crystal report, but having difficulty on how to align certain columns. I have a Social Security, employee_name, Check Number and Amount.

I understand that the amounts should be right aligned so the decimals line up, but how should the Social Security column be aligned? I understand it is a 'Number' but it doesn't seem like a normal number that should be right aligned. I also am concerned about my Check Number column. This does have check numbers that are 10 characters long, but there is a chance my column can have "DIRDEP" for direct deposit. Should this be left align, or right aligned?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

    SOCIAL SEC      EMPLOYEE          CHECK      AMOUNT
    000000000     JOHN SMITH     0000001122      123.12
    000000000     JOE SMITH      0000001123      321.21
    000000000     JIM SMITH          DIRDEP      123.21

or

    SOCIAL SEC     EMPLOYEE       CHECK           AMOUNT
     000000000     JOHN SMITH     0000001122      123.12
     000000000     JOE SMITH      0000001123      321.21
     000000000     JIM SMITH      DIRDEP          123.21
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I would align...

  • SSN on center - always 9 numbers (11 with hyphens) so widths vary only slightly based upon characters. Center alignment would provide the least visual disturbance in my opinion
  • Name to left - Only real "text field" so left align leads to easiest ingestion of data.
  • check to right - Critical aspect is often the last 4 or 5 digits so right align seems best.
  • amount on decimal.

I could be incorrect, but as far as I know there are no rules about anything more than dollar figures. It all comes down to what looks pleasing to you and makes scanning the data easiest.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you I appreciate the answer. I have been creating reports that are pleasing to the eye, but wanted to see if there were standards. Thanks. – John Janssen Apr 29 '14 at 16:29

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