When you start Report Designer for the first time, a blank report will be opened ready for editing. The Report Designer screen consists of a large workspace surrounded by several groups of tools and dockable palettes. The parts of the screen are described below:

Menu Bar

The Menu Bar is a standard Windows component which appears at the top of most applications. Report Designer’s Menu Bar includes commands for opening, saving and modifying your reports. The commands found in the menu are described in detail in here.

Speed Buttons

The Speed Bar contains buttons that provide single click access to several often used Report Designer commands.

Tool Palette

The Tool Palette contains a selection of tools that you will use to design your reports. Every element (database fields, text, pictures, etc.) added to a report is considered an object. Once created, objects can be selected, moved, resized, edited and deleted. The Tool Palette is described in detail in here.

Text Style Palette

The controls on the Text Style Palette are used to modify the alignment and appearance of the text used in your report.

Object Style Palette

The controls on the Object Style Palette are used to modify the appearance of the objects that make up your report. Controls are available for changing an object’s fill color and border attributes.

Work Space

The Work Space occupies the largest portion of Report Designer’s screen. This is the area where you will create and edit your reports.


The Rulers along the left and top of the Work Space can be used for the precise placement of objects.

Page Tabs

The majority of your reports will contain only a single page, but should you need to create multi-page reports, you can use the Page Tabs to move between them.

Status Bar

The Status Bar displays the position of the mouse pointer relative to the edges of the report page. When moving or sizing objects, the Status Bar displays the position and size of the object. An indicator here also shows the current status of the report's database connection.

Customizing Your Workspace

You can customize your Report Designer environment by positioning the palette windows anywhere on the screen, or by docking them to the left, right or top edges of the main program window. Docked palettes can be repositioned or undocked by dragging the small bar at the top or left of each palette window. Unneeded palettes can be hidden by clicking the small close box at the top of the window or by deselecting the appropriate item from Report Designer’s View menu. (Note: The Tool palette cannot be closed.)