Fix: Crystal Reports 2008: “Default printer is not available” and/or Un-expandable Collapsed Sections [Field Notes]

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In Crystal Reports 2008, when opening up a report that came from elsewhere (usually another user’s machine), I see:

default printer is not available.

Oftentimes, this will be accompanied by a strange behavior that will cause reports (or sub-reports) to look completely collapsed, like the following image:

Collapsed Crystal Reports

“Oh”, you say to yourself, “I’ll just expand those sections manually and carry on.” Well think again, renegade – Crystal Reports will have none of it. The sections appear frozen in place forever.

Han Solo Ice Image

Your report sections. It is as painful as it looks.


Luckily, per usual, StackOverflow was a big help here.

This solution has two different parts – you may only need one or the other, but I’ve found them both to be a pretty effective one-two punch in this situation.

Part 1: Change Your Printer Settings

  • While in the report, click File > Page Setup...
  • Check the box labeled No Printer (optimize for screen display).
  • Check the box labeled Dissociate formatting page size and Printer Paper Size.
  • The box should look like below:

Crystal Reports Printer Options That should do it.

Part 2: Change Display Options

In case you have some sub-reports, etc. that didn’t quite get the message to thaw out, bro, it’s likely because they were hidden before or hidden as a result of the printer situation being screwy.

Try the following:

  • While in the report, click File> Options...
  • Click the Layout tab (usually visible by default in my experience)
  • In the Design View section, check the “Show hidden sections” option. This will cause any unwieldy sections to fall in line and become visible.


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