ActiveReports 17 .NET Edition
Report Authors: Designer Components / Report Controls / Page/RDL Report / Chart / Plots / Column and Bar Charts
In This Topic
    Column and Bar Charts
    In This Topic

    The Column and Bar charts present the comparison of data values across categories. The plot settings of these two charts are similar, however, they represent the data differently.

    Column Charts

    Column Charts plot the data values as vertical columns against the categories that are arranged horizontally. The y-axis values determine the heights of the columns, while the x-axis displays the category labels. The Column charts are vertical versions of bar charts and use the x-axis as a category axis.

    Clustered Column Chart

    A Clustered Column chart is used to compare different values across different categories. See Create Clustered Column Chart walkthrough to learn how to create this chart.

    Clustered Column Chart

    Clustered Column Chart

    Stacked Column Chart

    A Stacked Column chart is used to display the relationship of specific items to the whole across different categories and plot values. This chart stacks the data series vertically. The Create Stacked Column Chart walkthrough showcases plotting the Net Sales for each Product Category by Sales Channels.

    Stacked Column Chart

    Stacked Column Chart

    Stacked Percentage Column Chart

    A Percentage Stacked Column chart is used to perform comparisons of percentages that each of the values are contributing to the total, across all your categories. This chart stacks the data series vertically and also equalizes the plotted values to meet 100%.

    Percentage Stacked Column Chart

    Percentage Stacked Column Chart

    Bar Charts

    Bar charts compare categorical data through horizontal bars, where the length of each bar represents the value of the corresponding category. In bar charts, categories are organized along the vertical axis and data values along the horizontal axis. For example, sales of various product categories can be presented through a bar chart. The Bar charts are preferred when the number of categories is too large to be used on an x-axis.

    Clustered Bar Chart

    A Clustered Bar chart can be used to display the comparisons of values across different categories. The Create Clustered Bar Chart walkthrough showcases plotting the chart comparing the Sales for different Product Categories and Sales Channel.

    Clustered Bar Chart

    Clustered Bar Chart

    Stacked Bar Chart

    A Stacked Bar chart is used to display the relationship of each category to the whole.

    Stacked Bar Chart

    Stacked Bar Chart

    Stacked Percentage Bar Chart

    A Percentage Stacked Bar chart is used to display the comparisons of the percentage that each value contributes to the total across different categories. The Create Stacked Percentage Bar Chart walkthrough showcases the Net Sales for each Product Category by Sales Channels with the percentage contribution of each subcategory within a category.


    Percentage Stacked Bar Chart

    Percentage Stacked Bar Chart

    Column and Bar Plot Properties

    The Column and Bar Plot properties discussed below can be accessed from the Properties Panel on selecting the Chart > Plot from the Report Explorer. You can access some of the important properties from the Plot's Smart Panel too. See Chart Smart Panels topic for more information. Both the Properties Panel and the Smart Panel can be accessed by right-clicking the plot in the design area.



    The action to perform when a column or a bar is clicked. The action can be a hyperlink, a bookmark, or a drill-through. 


    The data labels for each column or bar.


    The line style for the column and bar borders.


    The name of the plot. By default, a chart containing a single plot has the plot name as 'Plot1'.

    Tooltip Template

    Contains the tooltip template settings. You can choose from the list of predefined settings or set your own in the Expression Editor.



    The BarLineStyle settings are applied when the ShowBarLines property is set to True.

    Bar line (default settings) Bar line (custom settings)
    BarLineStyle-Default BarLineStyle-Custom


    The Clipping Mode determines how a plot (columns or bars) extends within the plot area. The ClippingMode can be set to


    The Offset is the percentage relative to the single-column width or a single bar height, by which the column and bar plots should move to the right or the bottom side, respectively.


    The Opacity is the percentage value of the opacity of the plot fill color. 100% opacity means the columns or the bars are opaque while 0% opacity means that they are completely transparent.


    Overlays property is a collection for superimposing the data trend on the column or bar plot data points. For more information, see Trendlines topic.


    Rules control the appearance of plots based on specified conditions. For more information on conditions, see Rules topic.


    Determines whether to show the connecting lines between the columns or the bars of the same Details Encoding or the same Category Encoding (if the Details Encoding is empty) across different categories.


    Represents how null or empty values should be shown in the plot - Gaps (default), Connected, or Zeros.


    Determines whether to display multiple data fields as a single data field. In other words, if this property is set to 'True', the columns or the bars appear stacked in case they represent multiple data fields. By default, the property is set to 'False'. 



    The BarSettings property specifies the percentage relative to the column width or the bar height that should be specified in order to change the shape of the columns or bars.


    Values Encoding

    The Values encoding specifies the data values. The Values property is the collection of items and each item includes the following properties.


    The Type property provides 'Simple' and 'Complex' options to choose from. However, for Column and Bar plots, 'Simple' is acceptable.


    The Value property is the collection and usually takes a bound field. However, the Column and Bar plots take the first item from the collection.


    To show aggregated values such as Average, Count, and Sum instead of individual values, specify an Aggregate function.

    If multiple data values are added in the Values encoding, a clustered plot is created.

    Category Encoding 

    The Category Encoding for Column and Bar plots forms the axis of the plot across which distinct categories are arranged. The Category encoding includes the following properties.


    The Values property is the collection and takes the field as a category.


    The SortingField defines the order in which the categories are displayed. It takes the default same as the Values field, but you can also specify another field to sort the categories.


    The SortDirection defines the ascending or descending order in which the categories should be sorted.


    The SortingAggregate property specifies the aggregate to use for sorting the categories. 

    For example, see the Create Clustered Column Chart walkthrough where

    Details Encoding

    The Details Encoding breaks down the data values into subcategories and produces additional groups. The Details property is the collection of items and each item includes the following properties that define the Details encoding:

    Color Encoding

    The Color Encoding enables the color legend of the Category Encoding or Details Encoding to display a match between the column or bar colors and the data values. It includes the following properties:


    The action to take when the color legend is clicked.


    Aggregates the value of Color expression.


    If set to True, the legend is displayed based on the value specified in Details encoding or Color encoding.

    The Values is the collection where the value of the Color expression is specified. However, the Column and Bar plots take the first item from the collection.

    If the Details Encoding is empty, Column and Bar plots calculate distinct Color Encoding results for the categories produced by the Category Encoding, convert them to the background color of the corresponding columns or bars, and display the match in the legend.

    Otherwise, Column and Bar plots calculate distinct Color Encoding results for the subcategories produced by the Details Encoding, convert them to the background color of the corresponding columns or bars subsections and display the match in the legend. In both cases, plots pick up colors from the Chart Palette.

    For instance, in the Create Clustered Column Chart walkthrough, the Details encoding is empty but multiple data values are added. The Show Values Name property of the Color encoding is set to 'True', therefore, the colors are set to the [Product Category] expression showing the global legend with data value field names. Consequently, the report output shows the legend that matches Product Categories with corresponding column subsections background.

    In most cases, you will use the same configuration for both Details Encoding and Color Encoding to enable a visual map of data values breakdown.

    Text Encoding

    The Text Encoding provides support of any dataset field in chart labels and tooltips and allows displaying additional info on the chart. When two text encodings are added, they are displayed by default with the ";" delimiter. A text encoding includes the following properties:


    Aggregates the value of the Text expression.


    Specifies whether this text is for a Label or a Tooltip Label. The label format is controlled with the chart's Labels > Template property or Tooltip Template property.

    The Template property can use both the predefined values and the added text encoding fields, for example:


    Template Key

    A unique key, used in the chart plot's Labels > Template and Tooltip Template to access the text encoding value.


    A field, constant or expression to be displayed.

    See Also