The ribbon at the top of the Report Layout Designer window provides functions to save the layout, edit the selected object, and change the view of the window.

The ribbon consists of four tabs:

  • Report Designer: this is the tab you use to edit the layout of the report.

  • Print Preview: this tab allows you to see how the report looks when run, complete with data.

  • HTML View: this tab is similar to Print Preview but shows what the report looks like in a browser.

  • Toolbox: this tab displays the controls you can add to the report, similar to the Tool Box at the left edge of the Report Layout Designer.

Each tab consists of several sections, indicated by the names at the bottom of the ribbon. A tool tip, which is a small window containing information about a control, appears when you hover your mouse over a control in the ribbon.

Report Designer

The Report Designer ribbon has the following sections:

  • Report. This section has one button, Save, which saves the layout.

  • Edit. This section has buttons to cut, copy, and paste, and to undo or redo your last action.

  • Font*. This section has controls to change the font name, size, style, background color, foreground (or pen) color, and the alignment of the selected object. These controls are only enabled when an object with font properties, such as a label, is selected. If more than one such object is selected, the properties of all of the objects are affected.

  • Alignment. This section has controls that affect the alignment of one or more objects. Only the first one, Align to Grid, is enabled if just one object is selected. The others affect how multiple objects are aligned to each other, such as aligning their left edges, so they're only enabled when more than one object is selected.

  • Layout. The controls in this section affect the layout of one or more objects. Size to Grid, Center Horizontally, Center Vertically, Bring to Front, and Send to Back are enabled when only one object is selected. The others affect the size and spacing of multiple objects so they're only enabled when more than one object is selected.

  • Layout. The controls in this section allow you to zoom in or out. Zooming in is handy, for example, to see the exact alignment of objects better.

  • View. Click the Windows button to display a menu of windows in the Report Designer. Choosing one hides or displays that window.

  • Scripts. Click the Scripts button to display the script code for the report. Click it again to return to the layout.

Print Preview

The Print Preview ribbon has the following sections:

  • Print. This section has buttons to print the report with or without a Print dialog. The Options button is always disabled. The Parameter button is only enabled if there are any visible parameters for the report; clicking it displays a panel where you can specify values for the parameters.

  • Page Setup. This section controls the page setup of the report. You can change the scaling, margins, orientation, and paper size as necessary. The Header/Footer button is always disabled.

  • Navigation. The buttons in this section allow you to move around in the report. The Find button displays a dialog in which you can enter text to locate in the report. The Bookmarks button, which is only enabled if there are bookmarks in the report, displays a panel where you can select a particular bookmark to jump to it. The other buttons move to the appropriate page in the report.

  • Zoom. The Zoom controls allow you to zoom in and out or display multiple pages at once.

  • Page Background. The Page Color button allows you to set the background color of the page. The Watermark button displays a dialog allowing you to choose a "watermark" image, one that appears behind the other objects on the page. There are two types of watermark: text and image.

    The options for text watermarks are:

    • Text: the text to display. You can either type the desired text or choose from some pre-defined items, such as "Confidential," in the drop-down list.

    • Direction: the direction of the text: horizontal, vertical, forward diagonal, or backward diagonal.

    • Color: the color of the text.

    • Font: the font to use.

    • Size: the size of the font.

    • Bold: turn this on to use bold text.

    • Italic: turn this on to use italicized text.

    • Transparency: the transparency of the text. You can either type a value or move the slider with your mouse. The bigger the number, the more transparent the text is. The range is 0 to 255, with 0 being completely opaque and 255 completely transparent.

    The options for image watermarks are:

    • Load image: click this button to display a dialog that allows you to choose the image file to use.

    • Size mode: the choices are Clip, which leaves the image at its original size; Stretch, which stretches the image to fill the page; and Zoom, which enlarges the image to fill the page but maintains the relative dimensions.

    • Horizontal alignment: aligns the image at the left, center, or right horizontally.

    • Vertical alignment: aligns the image at the top, middle, or bottom of the page.

    • Tiling: turn this on to display multiple copies of the image.

    • Transparency: the transparency of the image. You can either type a value or move the slider with your mouse. The bigger the number, the more transparent the image is. The range is 0 to 255, with 0 being completely opaque and 255 completely transparent.

    For either kind of watermark, you can also specify the position, either in front of or behind the other objects on the page, and on which pages the watermark should appear.

  • Export. The buttons in this section allow you to export the report to a file or email it to someone.

HTML View

The HTML View ribbon only has one section, Navigation, with the following buttons:

  • Back: navigates to the previous page.

  • Forward: navigates to the next page.

  • Home: navigates to a blank page.

  • Refresh: refreshes the current page.

  • Find: displays a dialog in which you can enter text to locate in the report.

Toolbox

The Toolbox ribbon displays the controls you can add to a report:

See the Tool Box topic for information about those controls and how to add them to a report.