The Properties Panel displays the properties, or settings, for the objects in a report. You can change the values of the properties as necessary.

Selecting an object in the Layout Area makes that the selected object whose properties are displayed in the panel. You can also select an object from the drop-down list at the top of the Properties Panel. The properties displayed vary depending on the type of object selected; see the various help topics under the Objects heading for information about the properties.

Properties are ordered by category, such as Appearance and Behavior. To expand the list of properties under a category, click the arrow to the left of the category name. Click it again to collapse the list.

To change the value of a property, click its value. With some properties, you type a new value. For example, for Border Width, type the desired width. Some properties have a drop-down list of values. For example, when you click the value for Background Color, a color picker control appears. Some properties consist of sub-properties; such properties have a small right-pointing arrow beside their names. Click the arrow to expand the list to show the sub-properties. For example, Font consists of Name, Size, Bold, and several other sub-properties.

The heading for a value that hasn't changed from its default setting appears in normal text while one that has been changed appears in bold. You can reset the value back to its default setting by clicking the small square to the right of the value and choosing Reset from the shortcut menu; this item is disabled for some properties, such as collections.

For each object type, the most commonly used properties appear in the Actions section in addition to the usual section they belong in. For example, for Label objects, Data Binding, Summary, and other frequently used properties appear there. In addition, the Actions section contains a toolbar of buttons for object alignment:

  • Align to Grid (): moves the object so its top and left edges are on grid lines.

  • Size to Grid (): sizes the object so it fits between grid lines.

  • Center Horizontally (): centers the object horizontally.

  • Center Vertically (): centers the object vertically.

  • Bring to Front (): brings the object to the front of the object order so it's on top of any objects it overlaps.

  • Send to Back (): sends the object to the back of the object order so it's behind any objects it overlaps.

If multiple objects are selected, alignment and sizing options appear: aligning left, right, top, and bottom edges, aligning centers vertically and horizontally, sizing to the widest or tallest control, and adjusting horizontal and vertical spacing.