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SSRS Reports - get rid of blank columns

Posted on 2016-09-09
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Last Modified: 2016-09-15
I have been creating reports in SSRS.  I have created a report, using the wizard, to set the grouping (one field) and the rest are in the detail section.  Works great.  Here's my question:  the grouping field has a single row.  the rest of the grouped records are on rows below the grouping row.  The column for the grouping field is empty, which wastes space on the report.  How can I move all the other columns left so that they line up below the grouping field?
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Question by:dhenderson12
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by:Megan Brooks
ID: 41792079
I'm assuming that you are using a reasonably recent version of RS (2008 or later), and that you created a parent group, and that you now have a column for that group in addition to the detail group. If that is the case, you can delete the parent group column without deleting the parent group itself (it should prompt you for what to do), and you can then add a row above the detail row "outside group" (that is, outside the detail group). That row will belong to the parent group. You can merge its cells if that helps with the formatting.

I can possibly provide more information, if you provide more details. I'll take a moment and run the wizard just to see what it does with nested groups. I've almost never used it in 16+ years of working with SSRS, because it almost never comes up with something close to what I want.
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Megan Brooks earned 500 total points
ID: 41792134
If you use the "stepped" option of the wizard then it gives you the parent group in the first column and the child group in the second column (assuming just two levels). You can cut the parent group textbox from the first column and paste it into the second. Then you can delete the first column. But this is why I don't use the wizard. With a little practice, it's easier to drop a table data region onto the blank design surface and define the cells and groups you want with a few clicks.

I also tried "blocked," by the way, but that looked worse.

If you have a number of reports that have a similar style, you can create an RDL file containing the common elements to serve as a template. Copy and rename it into the project directory and add it to the project as an existing report. You can create the template RDL file using the wizard or from scratch.

Instead of copy/paste/rename, you can add template RDL files to Report Designer, but I don't know of a way to do that that works well with teams of developers and I've never used it for that reason. It might be useful for a single person.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dhenderson12
ID: 41799965
sorry for the delay in responding.  thanks for your help.
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