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Dynamic column width using Can Grow/Can Shrink

Posted on 2008-06-24
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Hello Experts,

I have a table in Reporting Services 2005 that contains potentially 30 columns ... however, they are all set to not show if they contain no data.  In reality, the table generally will show no more than 12 or so columns and can fit easily on a landscaped page.  The report is working fine and the export to Excel is also working fine - but if printing or exporting to PDF, all the blank pages caused by the original width of the table are included.  That is, the table with its full 30 columns is a lot wider than the actual result the user sees, and that width is taken up with blank pages.    At design time, I cannot alter the width of the table because even if I make all the fields small enough and then set them to "Can Grow" - they don't grow and I end up with a squished-looking mess.  Which is frustrating because I would have thought that's the whole point of "Can Grow" and "Can Shrink".

Has anyone got any idea how we can get around this issue?

Thanks in advance,
GHL
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Question by:gailhl
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chrismc earned 2000 total points
ID: 21858688
Can grow/shrink refers to cell/row height, not width.

In your scenario I would limit the number of columns but make the contents conditional.
So if showing FieldA and FieldB are mutually exclusive but based on a parameter setting you could have;
  =IIf(Parameters!myFormatChoice.Value = "A", Fields!myFieldA.Value, Fields!myFieldB.Value)

You'd have to do similar conditional checks in group totals as well but it will work and you then can layout the screen more realistically.
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Author Comment

by:gailhl
ID: 21872674
Thanks ... unfortunately that won't work for me because it is possible depending on the parameters chosen, that all the columns will be visible.  There are 24 month columns, plus other data - and I just hide the months that have no data.

I'm giving you the points anyway - because I suspect that what I want to do is simply not possible - and you taught me something I didn't know about Can Grow/Shrink!  Thanks!  :-)

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Author Closing Comment

by:gailhl
ID: 31470096
Although my data doesn't lend itself to this solution, it's a really useful idea for future.  Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:chrismc
ID: 21885857
Thanks for the points.
And I think in your scenario you are stuck.

I had a first look at Reporting Services 2008 last night and apparently Microsoft have paid a lot of attention to pagination issues like this.
It's scheduled for full release in Q3 2008
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Author Comment

by:gailhl
ID: 21897520
I look forward to the release! :-)
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