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Tablix

A Tablix report item is a data region similar to Excel Pivot Tables. The tablix condenses bound data records into groups and arranges unique values of these groups, known as Group Instances, in horizontal(Column Groups) and vertical(Row Groups) directions. The intersection of a Row and Column Group displays one or more summary values. For example, in the report output from the Get Started With Summary Reports walkthrough, Row Groups display store names, Column Groups display years and their intersections show the Net Sales for each store in each year.

Table Designer

In addition, the Tablix can sort and filter the data based on pre-defined conditions or user input.

Adding a Tablix

You can add a Tablix into a report by either double-click the corresponding item in the toolbox or drag-and-drop it to a report page area.

Expand to watch adding the Tablix in action

Adding tablix

If you set up the Data Binding, which we recommend beginning any report creation with, then after adding a new tablix, it displays the dialog, known as Tablix Wizard that allows you to instantly configure Row Groups, Column Groups, Summary Values, and various layout options.

Tablix Wizard

Tablix Wizard

Available data sets are displayed on the left side of the wizard dialog. You can drag-and-drop fields from one of these data sets into the Row Groups, Column Groups, and Values areas.

Unique values of Rows and Columns fields generate row and column Group Instances, respectively. You can sort group instances and apply formatting to their values using the corresponding drop-down buttons on a field name's the right side. The Swap button exchanges row groups for column groups.

You can add more than one field into Row and Column groups creating the hierarchical structure. For instance, the Drill-down Tablix has the following configuration.

Multiple Row Groups

Consequently, the report output displays Year rows expandable into Month sub rows.

The fields placed in the Values area determine the summary values displayed in the intersections of row and column group instances. You can specify the aggregate function, such as Sum, Count, or Average and the formatting of a summary value using buttons on the right side of its name.

Summary values can be arranged horizontally, which is the default option, or vertically, which can be achieved by turning on the As Rows switch. For instance, the Tablix with Multiple Values has two summary values to display sales channels' contribution to the sales of product categories using the absolute value and the percentage share. To achieve that, we've added the SalesAmount in the Values area twice and then modified the second value so that it displays the percentage of the current column group's total.

The Totals tab in the Layout Options section lets you quickly set up the appearance of Grand Totals and Subtotals for column and row groups:

  • The Totals For Row Groups checkbox enables the additional Row that is inserted at the beginning or at the end all the Row Group Instances and shows the Grand Total for each instance of the innermost Column Group.
  • The Subtotal For Row Groups checkbox enables the additional Row that is inserted at the beginning or at the end each instance of the outermost Row Group and shows the SubTotal for each instance of the innermost Column Group. This option is only applicable in the case of row group hierarchy.
  • The Totals For Column Groups checkbox enables the additional Column that is inserted at the beginning or at the end all the Column Group Instances and shows the Grand Total for each instance of the innermost Row Group.
  • The Subtotal For Column Groups checkbox enables the additional Column that is inserted at the beginning or at the end each instance of the outermost Column Group and shows the SubTotal for each instance of the innermost Row Group. This option is only applicable in the case of column group hierarchy.
  • The Show Totals Before Groups checkbox determine the placement of Grand Totals and Subtotals for those above options.

The Organization tab in the Layout Options section lets you configure the interactive features of a tablix.

  • The Expand/Collapse Groups checkbox enables the drill-down functionality of hierarchical row and column groups. For example, the Drill-Down Tablix uses this option to create drill-down grouping by Year and Month.
  • The Collpased Groups checkbox determines whether a drill-down row or column group should initially hide inner group instances.
  • The Stepped Row Groups checkbox determines the layout of row groups hierarchy. By default, each row group prints in a separate column. The stepped layout prints all row groups in a single column applying padding to nested group instances. The Drill-Down Tablix uses this option.

In most cases, after you finished the initial configuration of a tablix and closed the Wizard Dialog, you can re-open it later to adjust the settings. However, for advanced scenarios the Wizard can't handle the tablix structure and displays the corresponding warning.

Tablix Warning

Tablix Designer

Once you closed the Wizard Dialog, the tablix configuration can be set up using the designer. The following diagram depicts the default structure of the Tablix Designer that appears if you click anywhere inside its bounding box.

Tablix Designer

General Tablix Configuration

You can use one of two methods to load the general tablix configuration into the Properties panel

The general configuration includes Base Report Item properties, Common Style Properties, Data Region properties, Visibility, Page Break, and the following specific properties.

  • The Layout Direction property determines the direction of column groups:
    • Ltr: Columns groups start at the left and progress to the right.
    • Rtl: Columns groups start at the right and progress to the left.
  • The Groups Before Row Headers number indicates how many columns should be printed before row groups appear. Try setting this property to 2 for the Tablix With Multiple Values to see its effect.
  • Column groups of a tablix could span multiple pages horizontally. If that's the case, the Repeat Row Headers flag indicates whether a Tablix should print row groups on each page.
  • Row groups of a tablix could span multiple pages vertically. If that's the case, the Repeat Column Headers flag indicates whether a Tablix should print column groups on each page.
  • The New Section flag indicates whether a Tablix has its page numbering. Check the Global References documentation for more information.
  • The Keep together flag determines whether a Tablix always appears on a single page if it fits.
  • The Page Name String Expression sets the name of a sheet that shows the tablix in an exported Excel file.

Tablix Corner

A Tablix Corner is located in the upper-left corner, or upper-right corner if a tablix has the Layout Direction is set to Rtl. The layout direction applies at preview-time only, though. This area is automatically expanded horizontally or vertically when you add new column or row groups. You can merge cells inside the tablix corner and insert a data visualizer such as a TextBox or Image. To merge cells, select them holding the Ctrl button on Windows or Cmd on Mac OS, then right-click the selection and choose the Cells > Merge Cells item in the context menu.

Tablix Rows

A Row is a horizontal group of Cells within a Tablix. If you left-click a row handler, it automatically selects all the report items in the row's cells and the Properties panel shows two tabs. The Row tab exposes the Height in Length units that determines the initial height of tablix cells within a row. However, cells can grow or shrink in height at preview-time. Check the CanGrow and CanShrink properties of a TextBox report item for more information.

The additional tab lets you modify the properties of all the row's report items simultaneously. In the most common scenario, the extra tab is called TEXTBOX and changes all the row's textboxes' properties.

Tablix Columns

A Column is a vertical group of Cells within a Tablix. If you left-click a column handler, it automatically selects all the report items in the column's cells and the Properties panel shows two tabs. The Column tab exposes the Width in Length units that determines the width of tablix cells within a column.

The additional tab lets you modify the properties of all the column's report items simultaneously. In the most common scenario, the extra tab is called TEXTBOX and changes all the column's textboxes' properties.

Tablix Groups

The tablix designer marks row and column groups with square brackets. If you click the cell on the right side or underneath a square bracket, the properties panel loads the configuration of the corresponding row or column group in the Tablix Member tab.

Group Configuration

  • The Enabled flag is on by default for row and column groups. You can switch it off to make a column or row group print only once per tablix. It could be useful for layouts similar to the Tablix with Static Columns
  • The Name is the group Id displayed in the Group Editor.
  • The Group Expressions is the collection of bound field references or more advanced expressions. Unique values of group expressions generate Group Instances.
  • The Label expression determines the text of a group instance link in the Report Map.
  • The Filters Editor of a group allows you to filter out certain group instances. For example, if we want to exclude the Online sales channel from the Tablix with Multiple Value output, we can add the following filter for the SalesChannel group.

Group Filter Designer

Group Layout Configuration

  • The Keep together flag ensures that the group instance always appears on a single page if it fits.
  • The Page Break property determines the location of page breaks generated by group instances.
    • None - no page breaks are generated.
    • Start - each group instance inserts the page break before printing its content.
    • End - each group instance inserts the page break after printing its content.
    • StartAndEnd - the combination of the Start and End options.
    • Between - each group instance starts on the new page.
  • The Page Break Disabled expression allows you to conditionally prevent page breaks from being inserted by the aforementioned property.
  • The Visibility property determines static or dynamic visibility of group instances. The Drill-Down Tablix sets the dynamic visibility of the SalesMonth group to implement the drill-down interactivity.
  • The New Section flag determines whether each group instance has its page numbering. Check the Global References documentation for more information.

Sorting Group Instances

The Sort Expressions property of a row or column group is the collection of items that allows you to sort group instances. Each item consists of the expression and the sort direction. For instance, the Group_SalesYear row group in the Advanced Tablix, group has the {SalesYear} sort expression and ascending order. Consequently, years appear chronologically at preview time.

Group Layout

Initially, a tablix group consists of the single cell on the intersection of a row and column. You can add new columns and rows inside or outside a group. In the former scenario, newly added cells repeat once per group instance. In the latter, they repeat once per group.

For example, to add column headers into the Tablix with Multiple Values we could take the following steps.

  • Right-click the {ProductCategory} cell enclosed with the square bracket on the top.
  • Select the Row -> Insert Row Inside a Group - Below item in the context menu.
  • Set the padding, border, and text alignment for the newly added cell.
  • Right-click the newly added cell and select the Cells->Split Cells item in the context menu.
  • Set the %%% and $$$ text for the textboxes of newly created cells.

As a result, the output looks like this:

Column Headers

Insert adjacent, child or parent groups

Row and Columns groups can be arranged hierarchically. For example, in the Tablix with Static Columns, the Group_SalesChannel row group has the child Group_ProductCategory group. Also, groups can be adjacent as the Group_SalesYear and Group_SalesChannel row groups in the Advanced Tablix. To insert a child, parent, or adjacent group right click the cell on the right side or underneath a square bracket in the tablix designer and select the corresponding item in the Row Group or Column Group menu.

Group Context Menu

The same menu allows you to delete or disable a group.

Alternatively, you can use the Group Editor to insert remove, disable groups or load their configuration into the properties panel. The group editor displays the hierarchy of items known as tablix members. Row and Column groups are marked with square brackets. Other items in the hierarchy marked with vertical lines are static tablix members and they point to cells that contain a static text or total values.

For example, here is the tablix members structure of the Advanced Tablix

Tablix Group Editor

Static Tablix Members Properties

In most cases, static tablix members are TextBoxes that you can modify by left-clicking inside the containing tablix cell. The Properties panel displays the TextBox and Tablix Members tabs. You can use the latter to modify the following properties.

  • The Enabled flag is off for static members and on for dynamic members.
  • The Repeat on New Page flags determines whether a static member prints on each page taken by the tablix content.
  • The Keep together flag ensures that the static member always appears on a single page if it fits.
  • The Visibility property determines static or dynamic visibility of the static member.

Displaying Totals

A tablix could display two types of totals.

  • The Grand Total appears at the beginning or at the end all the group instances. For example, the Advanced Tablix displays the grand total of columns in the last three rows.
  • The Subtotal appears at the beginning or at the end of each group instance. For example, the Tablix with Static Columns prints the subtotal for each SalesChannel.

To insert a total row or column in both scenarios, right click the cell on the right side or underneath a square bracket in the tablix designer and select the Total->Add Total Before or Total->Add Total After menu item. If a group does not have the parent, then the grand total will be inserted. Otherwise, the subtotal for the parent group will be created.

To insert additional totals, you can add rows and columns as described in the group layout section and set summary expressions for the newly added cells.