Enhanced User Experience: Navigate the Web Report Designer with Ease in v23.2

Reporting Team Blog
27 May 2024

DevExpress Reports v23.2 (our most recent major update) includes smart tags and context menu support for the DevExpress Web Report Designer. Together, these new features help streamline navigation/user experience when interacting with the component (making the Properties Panel simpler and more accessible).

Said simply, our Web Report Designer now offers one-click access to popular actions/properties associated with individual report elements.

New UI Elements — Context Menus and Smart Tags

We moved quick actions from the Properties Panel to context menus so you can access element-related actions more efficiently. This update simplifies the Properties Panel and allows users to navigate to element actions more quickly (and eliminates the need to rely on difficult-to-distinguish icons displayed at the top of the Properties Panel). For instance, the following quick action elements for a report label were moved to a context menu. As such, users need only to right-click a label to access them:

Web Report Designer — Context Menus on Design Surface

Context menus are also available in the Field List and Report Explorer:

Web Report Designer — Context Menus in Field List and Report Explorer

The gear icon associated with DevExpress report elements now opens a popup for quick access to an element's most commonly used properties:

Web Report Designer — Smart Tags
Note that complex properties (for example, Symbology for a Barcode control) need to be configured in the Properties Panel.
To Experience the DevExpress Difference and explore these user experience enhancements, please take a moment to review our Web Report Designer Demo: Web Report Designer (ASP.NET Core).

Revert to Previous Behavior

If you prefer to retain previous Web Report Designer UX behaviors, you can easily revert to our old implementation using the following API:

The following code snippet reverts Report Designer behaviors:

function onBeforeRender(s, e) { 
    DevExpress.Reporting.Designer.Settings.PropertyGrid.QuickActionsVisible(true);
    DevExpress.Reporting.Designer.Settings.ContextMenusEnabled(false);
    DevExpress.Reporting.Designer.Settings.SmartTagsEnabled(false); 
}

Future Plans — Your Feedback Counts

As we strive to enhance our products and elevate user experiences, our next area of focus includes the section of the Properties Panel used to display a collection of elements (e.g., styles, watermarks, calculated fields):
Web Report Designer — Properties Panel and Collection Properties

We plan to simplify collection editing by moving collection properties to popups (we expect to use a design similar to that found in our Parameter Editor):

Web Report Designer — Parameter Editor

Your feedback counts. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and submit a response to the following:

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