On the left-hand side of the Report Designer, there is a box called Standard Controls.
This is your primary toolbox in creating your report, as it contains all the tools you will use to build out the individual elements you want to appear in your report, not to mention the tools you’ll use to make the report look great! Let’s take a closer look at each one in detail.
Moving forward in this guide, any object you can add to your report (listed below) will be referred to as a control, and the “advanced options” we reference below can be accessed by clicking on the arrow button within a control that has been selected.
- Pointer: Choosing this option will let you access the pointer - this is the standard tool to navigate around the Report Designer environment and allows you to select controls on the page (e.g. a label) and change certain options associated with them.
- Label: A label is a basic text box you can make larger or smaller once it’s inputted into the report.
- Check Box: This option works the same way as a label, only it includes a left-aligned check box you can later mark as checked and associate with particular data.
- Rich Text: This option works the same way as a label, only it offers rich text formatting (which means you can change the font, size, and style of the text in the label).
- Picture Box: If you want to include a picture in your report, you can! The advanced options in a picture box will allow you to upload a picture either from your desktop or from a website (via image URL), resize and center the picture, and bind it to data from a table.
- Panel: If you want to move multiple controls all at once without moving them individually (say a label, a picture, and a table) you can group them together in a Panel and move them as a group without changing their proximity to one another.
- Table: This option will insert a simple three-cell table into your report. You can alter the information and layout of this table using the advanced options.
- Line: This option allows you to add a line into your report. By default this line is horizontal, but the line’s attributes can be altered once the line is in place, including its direction, style and width.
- Shape: This option will add a simple shape into your report. By default the shape is an ellipse, but you can change its attributes in the advanced options: choose a different shape (everything from a rectangle to an arrow to a bracket), change the fill and line colors, the line width, and the angle at which it appears.
- Bar Code: This is a unique option that allows you to add a bar code onto your report, which can be coded to impart specific information when scanned. This is done through the advanced options, which also allow you to add text, bind data, and change the orientation of the bar code.
- Zip Code: This is a specialized label that allows you to add a zip code in text format and have it appear as a standardized zip code on your report. You can change the text, alter the width of the segments, and bind data from tables in the advanced options.
- Chart: This is a particularly special tool that, when added to the report designer space, opens the Chart Wizard. Please see the Chart section for more information on this dynamic tool.
- Pivot Grid: Users familiar with programs like Microsoft Excel will have an understanding of what a pivot grid is - basically, it is a table that allows you to summarize, sort, and do basic arithmetic on groups of numbers within the report itself. This saves you the trouble of, for example, manually tallying total sales for the month. This section is very involved, and more information can be found in the Pivot Grid section.
- Page Info: This option allows you to include page information like page numbers for multiple-page reports, or current date information. While it can be placed anywhere in the details section, you’ll traditionally find this sort of information in a header or footer.
- Page Break: Much like page breaks in word processing documents, this will create a standardized space between controls within the details section.
- Cross-band Line: This option allows you to add a line in your report that will appear across multiple bands (e.g. from the header to the details section to the footer).
- Cross-band Box: Like the cross-band line, this option allows you to add a box in your report that will appear across multiple bands.