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Format the Table in Reporting Services

Formatting the table

Producing a functional table that displays basic data is quite straightforward, but displaying data straight from the database doesn’t always look very nice.

The content of table cells can be formatted to make text appear bold, underlined, a different size or font etc. To select a cell for formatting, click the mouse pointer on an empty part of the cell while the pointer is still an arrow. If you click on the text contained within a cell, you might select the contents instead. This doesn’t always matter, but you will get different options available when you right click.

If the cell gets a thick border, you’ll know you’ve selected the cell and not just its contents.

To set the font style and size, attributes such as Bold and Italic, and colours used in the cell, you can either use the formatting toolbar at the top of the screen,

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or select the cell and edit its properties in the Properties panel on the right of the screen. The Properties panel is visible by default, but if it’s been closed press the F4 key to display it.

Tip: You can give text boxes a meaningful name using Text Box Properties. Then this name will appear at the top of the Properties panel to either confirm that you have selected the correct item on the report, or to allow you to select it from a list. This can be useful if the item you want to select is very small, or hidden behind something else.

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Try it

1. In Design view, right click on the empty data cell and choose Delete columns to remove the redundant column to the right of the data.

2. Click anywhere on the table to make sure the row and column selectors are displayed. These are the grey boxes that form a border to the left and above the table.

3. Select the Header row by clicking on the grey border to the left of the row. This should highlight both header cells with a thick border.

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4. Use the Properties panel on the right of the screen to set the background of the header row to a light shade of blue. If the Properties panel is not visible, use the F4 key to display it.

5. Click onto an empty area of the report, outside of the table. This will make the Report menu visible at the top of the screen.

6. Open the Report menu and choose Add page header, and then from the Toolbox (click the tab if it’s not visible, or use CTRL-ALT-X) drag a Textbox on to the report, and position it in the header.

7. Click into the text box and type Sales Summary by Month.

8. Click away from the text box and then select it by clicking on its edge. Set the format of the text in the textbox using the formatting buttons on the toolbar. Make the text Bold and set the size to 20pt.

9. The positioning and sizing handles should still be displayed. if not, click on the edge of the text box again. Use the mouse to resize the text box as necessary.

10. Preview the report by clicking the tab at the top of the window.

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