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Formatting report elements

From: SQL Server Reporting Services in Depth

Video: Formatting report elements

So far I've just let Report Builder provide fonts and colors. We can of course change what we are seen here, but there are a couple tricks to doing this successfully. So I am going to switch back to Design view. I'm in this previous example, the products grouped by category layout, and this was a table where I just used the generic color scheme, which is as close to neutral as you can get. First let's take a look at the larger report. Now, looking at it, I can see there seems to be a difference between some areas of regular static text, like the title of the report here, and then there are some areas that are using the square brackets, like for product category name and product name. These are dynamic, meaning it will change when the report runs and inject the product name in the category name multiple times. And a main clue for the dynamic sections of the square brackets around them.

Formatting report elements

So far I've just let Report Builder provide fonts and colors. We can of course change what we are seen here, but there are a couple tricks to doing this successfully. So I am going to switch back to Design view. I'm in this previous example, the products grouped by category layout, and this was a table where I just used the generic color scheme, which is as close to neutral as you can get. First let's take a look at the larger report. Now, looking at it, I can see there seems to be a difference between some areas of regular static text, like the title of the report here, and then there are some areas that are using the square brackets, like for product category name and product name. These are dynamic, meaning it will change when the report runs and inject the product name in the category name multiple times. And a main clue for the dynamic sections of the square brackets around them.

However, we can format any of this. So lets I wanted to select the title and changed the formatting here. I can just grab and select the text. An easier way is to click on the surrounding part of the actual text box. Sometimes it's a little difficult to grab. The clue is if you have the grab handles here we have got the entire thing selected. You can of course use the Standard home tab on the Ribbon just like in most Office applications, but one thing that's much more useful to have when you're working with formatting is to make sure that your Properties window is open on the right-hand side. If it's not, you can get it from the View tab of Report Builder, just toggling it on and off. And with that selected, we have a lot more options than you'd just on the Home tap. You can either view them in the Properties window itself--things like Padding and Spacing and so on--or you can click this button here to open up the Property pages for that selected element.

And you have a larger window here to step through different formatting options like Alignment and Border options and Fonts. Towards the bottom, there are some more complex options like Visibility and Action, which we will get into later. I'm just going to make basic change here to the font and take that down to 14 points. And that should change the title. And although it's looked as if the table has actually been matched right up with the title, that's not really the case; the table is considered an independent visual element on this report, and we can move it around and format it as we see fit.

But when formatting a table, or any of the other data regions that we will see, you need to pay attention where you click. So notice that if I click into one section of the table I also get these surrounding gray bars, and these are really helpful when formatting or manipulating a table. If I click in the top I can select the entire column. If I click on the left-hand side, I can select the entire row, and I can apply formatting to that entire row if want to. If I select in the top-left corner, but it will disappear, but I will have the entire table selected.

And with those grab handles, I can actually see that I could move that down and into the middle of a report a little bit; it's not actually tied to the title. Now right now this table does have a very basic row at the top which is just text. It's the heading for our category name product name, and I can just type in here and change it, because that's a little more than I need. I can have this just say Category and Name. But I can also click on the left-hand side here to grab that entire row and if I want to do something easy, just use the Home tab of the Ribbon and set that to bold and 12 points.

Other options I could have is to say click in this area which is currently showing Product Name, and with that selected, either use the Property pages or just the Property window itself and say change the background color. We'll just do a light gray here just to prove the point. Go over here and run it, and we are starting immediately to see any of the changes that I've made. It looks like I could really move this title around a bit, move it something towards at the center, and you actually see as well when you're moving things around you will see the lines appear to help you line them up with other elements on the page.

Go ahead and run this. It looks a bit more presentable. And notice that when I open this up we are actually seeing the background color of the product name elements. Now right now you probably noticed that is that kind of missing row for each of these entries, and the idea here is that you might be putting in some kind of aggregate function, a count or total of something. And we are going to see how to do that a little later on and of course see a bunch more formatting options, because as we go through the course, will see things like working with page breaks and working with page width issues, but we really need a few more visual elements to add to our toolkit first.

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This video is part of

Image for SQL Server Reporting Services in Depth
SQL Server Reporting Services in Depth

40 video lessons · 9834 viewers

Simon Allardice
Author

 
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  1. 12m 6s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. What you need to know
      1m 36s
    3. Exploring SQL Server Reporting Services components
      4m 17s
    4. Reviewing SQL Server versions
      5m 4s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. The elements of a report
      3m 10s
    2. Creating a report with Report Builder
      12m 11s
    3. Grouping table regions on a report
      6m 1s
    4. Joining data from multiple tables
      4m 33s
    5. Formatting report elements
      4m 34s
    6. Using functions in a report
      11m 0s
    7. Displaying data in a matrix
      8m 12s
  3. 24m 9s
    1. Filtering data and adding parameters to a report
      5m 35s
    2. Customizing report parameters
      5m 4s
    3. Sorting data in a data region
      4m 7s
    4. Applying interactive sorting
      4m 57s
    5. Creating a drillthrough action to connect reports
      4m 26s
  4. 49m 57s
    1. Introduction to charting in Reporting Services
      4m 16s
    2. Creating a column chart
      8m 35s
    3. Adding a generated average to a chart
      4m 5s
    4. Creating a pie chart
      8m 19s
    5. Using sparklines
      6m 38s
    6. Adding a sparkline to a drilldown matrix
      14m 34s
    7. Adding data bars
      3m 30s
  5. 21m 48s
    1. Adding indicators to a report
      7m 52s
    2. Using and configuring gauges
      5m 30s
    3. Using maps in Reporting Services
      8m 26s
  6. 38m 14s
    1. Creating modular reports with report parts
      4m 36s
    2. Adding and updating report parts
      4m 37s
    3. Using subreports and nested regions
      4m 28s
    4. Configuring headers and footers
      3m 9s
    5. Printing and exporting reports
      3m 45s
    6. Using page breaks
      5m 37s
    7. Creating and using shared data sources
      8m 11s
    8. Creating and using shared data sets
      3m 51s
  7. 27m 20s
    1. Organizing reports in Report Manager
      3m 1s
    2. Adding users and configuring report security
      5m 24s
    3. Configuring subscriptions
      5m 13s
    4. Creating a linked report
      4m 8s
    5. Using Report Designer in SQL Server Data Tools
      9m 34s
  8. 1m 2s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 2s

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