Reporting - Designer Improvements (v18.1)

Oliver's Blog
13 April 2018

We have implemented several Report Designer enhancements that will become available with the upcoming v18.1 release. Wherever you invoke the Report Designer, in Visual Studio, a desktop application or a web application, the new features are available.

Adjusting sizes of labels and label content

Two new context menu commands are available to automatically adjust the sizes of labels and their content. Right-click a label and select the Fit Bounds To Text command to resize the label to the minimum size required to accommodate its static text content.

Fit Bounds to Text

And vice versa, use the Fit Text to Bounds command to adjust the label font size so that the static text content occupies the entire available space in the label.

Fit Text to Bounds

Note that if you enable the WordWrap option for the label, long text may wrap to multiple lines while the Fit Text to Bounds command changes the font size.

We also introduced an API that performs similar operations in case you are interested in fitting dynamic label data at runtime. We’ll provide details on this API in our documentation soon.

Resizing table columns and rows proportionally

When you include tables in your reports, you can now use new context menu commands to set the same size for multiple rows and columns, just like similar table formatting commands in Microsoft Word.

Select the required rows, or an entire table, right-click the selected area and choose Distribute Rows Evenly in the context menu.

Distribute Rows Evenly

If cell content is partially visible in the resulting row, the row automatically increases its height to fit the content, and also adjusts the other rows accordingly.

Similarly, use the command Distribute Columns Evenly with multiple selected columns.

Distribute Columns Evenly

Adjusting report control bounds to fit the parent container

When you need to insert a control (e.g. an XRPictureBox or an XRRichText) into a container (e.g. a table cell), you can use the new Fit Bounds to Container command to position the control perfectly within the container.

Fit Bounds to Container

Note that by setting the AnchorHorizontal and/or AnchorVertical properties, a control can remain anchored while you resize its container.

Tables that include controls in their cells are exported to XLS and XLSX formats perfectly after the Fit Bounds to Container command has been used to adjust control sizes. This result was more difficult to achieve in the past, and export files often contained superfluous extra rows or columns.

Line Widths are now given in pixels

The type used for the XRLine.LineWidth property is changed in v18.1, from Int32 to Single. More importantly, line width is now considered a pixel value, not a value in report units anymore. This change was introduced for consistency with the XRControl.BorderWidth property, and the change means that report designs can accommodate very thin lines now, and that line thickness will always be consistent throughout a report.

Note that this is a breaking change! We will soon provide adequate breaking change documentation, including details about a switch that reverts to the old behavior.

Smart copy/paste operations

When you copy report controls to the clipboard and then paste them to a new container or band, the original positions of the controls are now preserved.

Smart Copy/Paste

If another control already occupies the target position, the pasted controls are repositioned by an offset of 10 units on both axes.

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T. Thijs
T. Thijs

Very nice improvements ! Will the 'Fit text to bounds' command also be available programmatically ?

13 April 2018
Oliver Sturm (DevExpress)
Oliver Sturm (DevExpress)

Yes, there is a runtime API available for the fitment commands. This will be documented soon!

13 April 2018
Christopher Jay
Christopher Jay

Love the smart copy/paste stuff.

13 April 2018

Very usefull improvements!

I like every improvement which makes report creation and report handling easier for my customers.

13 April 2018
A G 4
A G 4

When you say that the line width change is a breaking change, do you mean that we will need to manually go through every report and change the values of all line widths?

Shouldn't that be done by the project converter?

13 April 2018
Yaroslav (DevExpress Support)
Yaroslav (DevExpress Support)

Thank you for your feedback, guys! We're excited to hear your thoughts about new design and features in our reporting tools and how they would affect your customers' workflow.

@A G 4: There will be a static switch that can bring the old behavior back, provided that you want it. And no, you don't have to do anything manually, all the reports you have will be updated automatically. Only the folks who are creating their reports manually at runtime will have to slightly adjust their code routine.

13 April 2018
Tobias Johansson
Tobias Johansson

That's great! I've been waiting for "Fit text to bounds".

Thank you!

17 April 2018

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