Adding Text Boxes to a Report

Add a text box to a report when you want to display literal text for titles, descriptions, and labels, or dynamic text based on expressions. An expression can contain literal text, point to a field in the database, or calculate data. All expressions are shown as placeholder text so that you can format numbers, colors and other appearance properties. You can also combine placeholders with literal text in order to format text with multiple fonts, colors, styles, and actions. For more information, see Formatting Text and Importing HTML.

Every cell in a Tablix data region contains a text box, which can be formatted in the same way as stand-alone text boxes in a report. To show repeating text boxes in a free-form layout, arrange multiple text boxes in a List data region. Use a list when you want to repeat the form for multiple values, for example, a customer information sheet repeated once for each customer. Use a rectangle container when you want to control the text box layout and white space below the last text box. For more information, see Working with Data Regions.

By default, text boxes are a static size. If you want to expand a text box vertically based on its contents, open the Text Box Properties dialog box and change the Allow height to increase option. If you want to allow the text box to shrink based on its contents, change the Allow height to decrease option for the text box. You can change the CanGrow or CanShrink properties in the Properties pane.

Orienting text boxes can help you create more readable reports, support locale specific text orientation, fit more columns on a printed report with fixed page size, and create reports with more graphical appeal. A text box can be oriented in different directions: horizontal, vertical, or rotated by 270 degrees. The vertical option is most commonly used for east Asian languages that are written top to bottom. In most renderers the vertical option handles the glyph rotation property so that the text is written top to bottom but the characters are not on their sides. For other languages, the vertical option text is written sideways.

You can apply orientation to text boxes that contain literal text, fields from a report dataset, or calculated data. The text box can be standalone in the report body, in a table or matrix, or in a report header and footer..

The following picture shows three versions of a table report that groups data by month. The text box that contains the month value uses a different text box orientation. The vertical text is in Chinese.

Horizontal, vertical, and 270 degree orientations

The WritingMode property, which use to specify text orientation, is not available in the Text Box Properties dialog box. To set the property, open the Properties window and set the property there. The available values for the WritingMode property are: Horizontal (text reading left to right), Vertical (text reading top to bottom), Rotate270 (text reading bottom to top). You must manually size the column width and the row height to accommodate the text.

WritingMode is set on the text box and applies to all the text in the box. You cannot specify a different orientations for parts of the text.

For more information about setting WritingMode, see How to: Set Text Box Orientation (Report Builder 3.0) in Report Builder 3.0 Help on msdn.microsoft.com.

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