i made a simple change to a crystal report in the VS designer, by changing the text format for a text box to crHtmlText instead of crStandardText. little did i realise this would break the report altogether and cause it to fail when i try to export as a PDF. i had forgotten i did this change at all and thought it was a permissions issue, but not at all, crystal reports is just crap.
my advice is don't use crHtmlText
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