Stimulsoft Report Designer is a tool for creating and editing reports and dashboards (analytical panels). In the report designer, you can develop a report and a dashboard at the same time by switching between tabs. The interface of the designer automatically adapts depending on the current development object (report or dashboard). Besides, the designer contains additional tools that can be useful not only for those who analyze data but also for software developers. All these features make the Stimulsoft report designer a multifunctional and universal tool for business analytics and data visualization.

Depending on your tasks and skill level and personal preferences, you can choose the required complexity of the report designer.

What is the skill level?

Our reporting system's skill level means a set of report components, their settings, additional tools, and commands in the report designer. In other words, depending on the selected level, some component settings, tools, and commands will not be displayed in the product interface and vice versa. When you run the report designer for the first time, you will be prompted to select a skill level.



If the skill level is not selected, then this menu will be called the next time you run the designer.

The following skill levels are currently available:

  • Basic;
  • Standard;
  • Professional.

Basic

We recommend using this skill level if you need a minimum set of report components, dashboard elements, and options. All additional tools (for example, Publish a report) and other commands (for example, data dictionary commands on the Actions menu) are disabled. This is a minimal set of options that are fine for creating reports and designing dashboards — recommended for those who are just starting to work with reports and dashboards.

Standard

We recommend using this skill level if you need a full set of report components and dashboard elements, but with a limited number of their settings and options. Also, all additional tools (for example, Publish a report) and additional commands (for example, the commands of the data dictionary in the Actions menu) are disabled. The Standard skill level is the best option for those who are already familiar with the basics of reporting and dashboard development.

Professional

We recommend using this skill level if you want to use all components, settings and options, additional tools, and commands available in the report designer. It is recommended for creating complex reports and dashboards, as well as for software developers.

Which skill level should I choose?

It is definitely up to you to decide. However, we can give several recommendations:

  • If you are a beginning developer or designer of reports and dashboards, choose the Basic skill level. Check out our step-by-step instructions for creating reports and dashboards. Watch our video tutorials and read user manuals. If you have any questions, leave your question in the comments to the video or contact our technical support. We are always happy to help you.

  • If you already have experience with reporting systems, then feel free to choose the Standard skill level. Our report designer contains a complete set of components and elements for designing reports and dashboards.

  • If you are a software developer, choose the Professional skill level. In this case, the report and dashboard publish wizard will be available in the report designer, which significantly speeds up integrating Stimulsoft into your application. Also, events will be available for report components and dashboard elements.

However, these are just guidelines, and nothing prevents you from starting with the Professional skill level.

How do I change the skill level?

Perhaps, after starting work in the report designer, you will decide that you have chosen not the appropriate skill level, and you are missing some features. In this case, changing the skill level in the report designer is quite easy. Moreover, you can do this at any time, and this does not require restarting the application. After changing the skill level, the report designer interface automatically adapts according to the selected option.

So, you can change the skill level in the following ways:
  • From the Account menu;
  • From the Property Panel;
  • From the context menu of the Property Panel.

Changing the skill level from the Account menu

Step 1: Select the Account item in the File menu;

Step 2: Click on the Skill Level parameter;

Account Window
Step 3: Choose the appropriate skill level;

Step 4: Click the Save button to save the changes.

Changing the skill level from the Property Panel settings

Step 1: Open the Property panel in the report designer;

Step 2: Click the Settings button on the Property panel;

Step 3: Choose the appropriate skill level.


Changing the skill level from the context menu of the Property Panel

Step 1: Open the Property panel in the report designer;

Step 2: Move the cursor over a free space;

Step 3: Do the right click;


Step 4: Choose the appropriate skill level.

Now you can flexibly adapt the report designer for yourself and your tasks.

We also suggest that you the Q&A below

In the previous version, I used the Publish wizard, but now I do not see this. Where can I find it?

Set the Professional skill level. The report designer interface adapts automatically. There is no need to restart the application. If the Publish wizard does not appear, please contact us.

Can I change the skill level if I chose the wrong one?

Yes, you can. There are no restrictions on changing the level of skill and the number of their changes.

I do not need so much functionality. How can I hide it?

Try changing the skill level on Basic. In this case, some tools, commands, components will be hidden. The report designer interface adapts automatically. There is no need to restart the application.

Is it possible to disable the components without changing the skill level?

Yes, this is possible. The display of many components on the toolbox can be changed in the toolbox settings. You can also disable displaying panels in the report designer on the Page Ribbon tab.

I have set the Professional skill level. Is that all your report designer can do?

No. Our report designer is a modern tool for designing reports and dashboards. Moreover, with each new release, we enhance our software. If you have any suggestions on how to improve our product, we are always happy to discuss them.
If you have any questions, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are happy to help you.
From the version 2019.4.1, we added support for HiDPI in the standalone report designer. The report designer automatically adapts to the scaling set in the system. However, sometimes when you change the scaling in the system, the report designer does not automatically ajust to new parameters. In this case, you should check the settings in the report designer and file or add a scaling code to your application.
Please note that after setting a new value for scaling, you must reboot the operating system. Follow the instructions below, if this does not occur after the automatic adaptation of the designer.

Please note! After setting a new scale value, you must reboot the operating system. If, after the automatic adaptation of the designer, the new scale was not applied, follow the instructions below.

Designer Settings
First, check the settings in the report designer:
Step 1 - Download and install Stimulsoft designer version 2019.4.1 or higher;
Step 2 - Run the report designer;

run the report designer

Step 3 - Call the Options window by selecting the Parameters item in the File menu;

call the options window

Step 4 - Set the Scale Mode parameter to Automatic Scaling;

set the scale mode parameter

Step 5 - Click OK in the Options window;
Step 6 - Restart report designer.

File settings
If automatic scaling is set in the report designer, but automatic adaptation does not occur, you should check the application settings:
Step 1 - In the Explorer, open the folder with the report designer installed. By default, the folder path is c:\ProgramFiles (x86)\Stimulsoft Designer\.

in the explorer open the folder

Step 2 - Call the properties window of the Designer.exe file. Right-click the file name and select Properties.
Step 3 - Go to the Compatibility tab in the Property window;
Step 4 - Click the Change high DPI settings button;

click the change high dpi

Step 5 - Uncheck all options with the current window;

uncheck all options with the current window

Step 6 - Click the OK button in the current window;
Step 7 - Click the Apply button in the Designer Properties window;
Step 8 - Click the OK button in the Designer Properties window.
Step 9 - Run the Designer.exe.

Code for application
If you use our designer in your application, you should add the following line at the very beginning of the code:
Stimulsoft.Report.Win.StiDpiAwarenessHelper.SetPerMonitorDpiAware();

If this instruction does not help to adapt the designer to the system scale, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Be sure to indicate the following:
- The version of the designer,
- The version of the operating system,
- The scale value in the OS.


When designing reports, there can be situations when users who view rendered reports have different language cultures. In this case, they can make the required number of copies of the report, each of which is localized in a specific language. However, when editing one report template, you will have to do changes in all of its copies. Thus, every change in the report template will increase the time spent on preparing the report and significantly increases the likelihood of errors in copies of this report.

Our reporting tool provides the ability to localize the report depending on the selected report culture. The Globalization Strings tool is used for this. You can define a list of cultures with which the elements of the report will be translated. The items for which you can configure localization include:

- Report properties: Report Alias, Report Author, Report Description;
- Text component, text in cells, Rich text;
- Each cell of the Table and the Cross-tab components;
- Variables in the report;
- The text fields of the Chart component (labels, legends, rows, charts, and also you can override the values of the text properties before and the text after these chart items).

You should know that for each text component, as well as for each cell in the Table and Cross-tab, you can override several properties of this component. For example, if the report uses the text component Text1, then:

- In the Text1.Hyperlink property, you can specify a hyperlink (or expression) when you select a specific culture. For example, you can specify a hyperlink (or expression) on a localized page of your website;
- In the Text1.Tag property, you can specify a tag (or expression) for this text component when you select a specific culture. The tags in the report are used to refer to a particular report component;
- In the Text1.Text property, you can specify the text (or expression) of the text component that will be processed when the report is rendered and displayed to the user when a particular culture is selected;
- In the Text1.Tooltip property, you can specify the tooltip (or expression) of this text component when you select a specific culture.

If a property is not filled, then when you select a specific culture, the result will be empty. For example, if you do not specify anything for a particular culture in the Text1.Text property, then when you select this culture, the text component will be printed without any content.

Notice
The report culture does not depend on the localized GUI of the report designer. The culture of the report depends on the value of the Culture property. The list of values for this property depends on the list of cultures supported by the operating system. By default, the report uses the current culture of the operating system.

To call the Globalization Editor, you should go to the report properties and click in the report template area.

Globalizaion Editor

And on the properties panel, click the Browse button on the Globalization property. Below is the view of the Globalization Editor.

Globalizaion Editor

1. Click this button to add a new culture. The added cultures will be displayed in the list of cultures.
2. Select the culture in the list and click this button to remove the culture from the list.

3. The buttons to control cultures.

- Get the culture settings from the report, in this case, for the items of the selected culture, the values that are used in the report will be specified.
- Transfer culture settings to a report, in this case, the values from the selected culture will be specified for the report items.

4. If the Auto Localize Report on Run option is enabled, then, when rendering reports, the report engine will check the report culture and whether they are presented in the list. If identical cultures are found, then expressions of the report items will be replaced.

5. The list of cultures, setting which, the localization of the report items will occur (i.e. replacing expressions that are specified in a particular culture).
6. The list of report items, which localization can be configured.
7. An expression of the item that will be assigned to the selected report item when you select a specific culture.

The list of cultures, setting which, the localization of the report items will occur (i.e. replacing expressions that are specified in a particular culture).
The list of report items, which localization can be configured.
An expression of the item that will be assigned to the selected report item when you select a specific culture.

In order to automatically localize the report, you should specify the report culture after specifying the list of cultures and their settings. To do this, select the required value in the Culture property of the report. Then, when rendering the report, the report engine will check the report culture and their presence in the list of cultures. If identical cultures are found, the expressions of the report items will be replaced.

You can also set the report culture from code. To do this, you should call a special method before rendering a report and specify the culture as an argument.

Information
The culture which is indicated as an argument of the method should be in the list of cultures. Otherwise, the localization of the report will not be performed and it will be displayed with the localization of the default elements.

To localize the report in Reports.Net, Reports.Wpf, Reports.Web, Reports.Java, Reports.UWP, Reports.Silverlight:
StiReport report = new StiReport();
string cultureName = "en-US";
...
report.LocalizeReport(cultureName);
report.Render(false);

//report.LocalizeReport(cultureName);
//report.Show();
  
To globalize reports in Reports.JS, Reports.PHP (JS):
var report = new Stimulsoft.Report.StiReport();
var cultureName = "en-US";
report.localizeReport(cultureName);
report.render();
To globalize reports in Reports.Flex:
var report: StiReport = new StiReport();
var cultureName: String = "en";
...
report.localizeReport(cultureName);
report.render(false);
...
//report.localizeReport(cultureName);
//report.show();
To localize reports in Reports.PHP (Flash), you need to set the globalization value for the GET or POST requests when viewing the report:
http://localhost/stimulsoft/index.php?
	stimulsoft_client_key=ViewerFx&stimulsoft_report_key=Report.mrt&globalization=en-US
To localize reports in Report.Java (Flash), you should set the localization parameter when viewing the report:
<stiviewerfx:button value="Show Report" report="Report.mrt" variableStr="globalization=en-US" />
The globalization parameter specifies which culture will be used in the report.
The main problems when reading reports are information overload pages, text is plain and blurred. This leads to the fact that you cannot focus on the information that is important. One of the ways to solve this is to remove the background information. However, it is not always appropriate to do because background information can carry the load indirectly. For example, the background information may include company contact details, titles, and additional notes. Therefore, the deleting such information is an extreme case.

In order to make the report look good and presentable, separate important information from irrelevant, it is recommended to apply the graphic elements and colors in reports. For example, change font color, the background fill of components, including borders, etc. All these elements establish the style of the report. The picture below shows the report page without styles and with applied styles.

Invoice Without Style

Invoice With Style

In all Stimulsoft products there is a built-in tool for creating styles. This tool is called the Style Designer. In order to call the Style Designer you should click the icon in the Report Designer on the Home tab. The picture below shows the Style Designer.

Style Designer

As can be seen from the picture, the Style Designer consists of a toolbar and a list of styles. From the list of styles, you can create a collection of styles. For this you should set a style in the Collection property and specify the name of a collection of styles. The collection of styles can be created once and applied to various reports. At the same time, the created collection of styles, as each style separately, can be edited when needed.

Before you start creating styles, take a look at the Style Designer toolbar.

Style Designer Toolbar

  The Add Style menu contains a list of report items for which you can create styles. See the picture below.

Add Style Menu

Some items in this menu can be absent. For example, Reports.Web does not support Report Control.

 The button to remove the selected style from the list of styles.

 The buttons to move up and down in the selected style in the list.

 The Apply Styles button contains the dropdown list with the names of collections of styles. When you select a collection, it will be applied to the report.

 The button to add a style collection. There is no need to create a style manually. It is enough to define the basic color, select the report items to which to create a style, determine the level of the hierarchy in the report and click OK. The collection of styles will be generated automatically.

 The button to create a duplicate of the selected style. The duplicate will be placed below its prototype in the list of styles.

 The button is used to copy the style of the component. Select the component which style should be added to the collection of styles. Call the Style Designer without removing the selection of this component. Click this button. The style of the selected component will be added to the list of styles.

 The clipboard management commands. copy the selected style to the clipboard, cut to the clipboard, and paste the style from the clipboard.

 The Open button. Used to open the collection of styles.

 The Save button. Specify the location where the file will be saved and type the file name.

 The Close button. Closes the Style Designer.

Now create a style for the component.
- To do this, call the Style Designer, by clicking the button on the Home tab in the report designer;
- Click Add style and select items in the designer of styles. In this example, it is the Component.

The new style will appear in the Toolbox.

New Style

Using the properties of the item for which you create the style, you must define the appearance settings. Since styles can be created for various elements of the report, the properties of the design will be different. For example, the style for the chart has properties such as the area color, series color, etc. In this example, let’s create a report style for the report component (band, text component and other elements that can be found the Components group). The following settings are defined using the component properties.
- Fill color;
- Font color, face and size;
- Borders type and color.

Once the style is created, it should be applied to an element of the report. This can be done in the following ways.
- Select the report element and assign a style using the Style property of the component or the Style menu.
- In the Style Designer, click Apply Style collection.

If you click Apply Collection, then the following should be specified for the style.
- The name of the collection to which it belongs. It can be set using the Name property of the style;
- The condition of applying the style indicates when the collection of styles contains more than one item or the style should be applied only to specified report items.

Conditions of applying the style is set using the editor. To call this editor you should select the style in the Style Designer and click the button  of the Condition property. Here is the Conditions editor.

Style Conditions

As can be seen from the picture, the style conditions the style can be defined according to various criteria.

img 1 The condition by Placement. This type of conditions provides the opportunity to apply a style to a component, depending on its placement. In the values field containers (bands, panel, table, page) are selected. If to select operation is equal to, then the style will be applied to the components placed on the containers, which are selected in the value field. If you select the operation not equal to, then the style will be applied to the components placed in any container other than the selected value in the field. It should also be noted that in the value field, you can choose several containers.
- equal to The style will be applied when the nesting level of containers will be equal to the specified level in the field of values;
- not equal to. The style will be applied to all components in containers, which the nesting levels will not be equal to the specified level in the field of values;
- greater than. The style is applied to the components in containers, which nesting level is greater than the level of the specified field of values;
- greater than or equal to. The style is applied to the components in containers, which the nesting level is equal to or greater than the specified level in the field of values;
- less than. The style will be applied to components in containers, which nesting level is less than the specified level in the field of values;
- less than or equal to. The style is applied to the components in containers, which nesting level will be equal to or less than the specified level in the value field.

The condition by Component. This kind of is condition is set when it is necessary to apply (depending on the type of operation - equal or not equal) a style for the components of a specific type.

The condition by Location. This type of condition provides the ability to apply or not apply, depending on its position in the container. It should also be noted that the values in the field can choose multiple locations simultaneously.

 By the name of a component. This condition type provides the ability to apply the style by name or a part of it. For example, if you set the Contains operation, and specify Text in the field of values, the style will be applied to all components in the name that has a Text. Suppose, Text24, 1Text, Text_on etc. When using this type of conditions, the following types of operations avaliable.
- equal to. The style is applied to a component with a name identical to the specified one in the value field.
- not equal to. The style is applied to all components, which name matches the specified field of values.
- containing. The style will be applied to all components which contain the name of the specified field values in their name.
- not containing. The style will be applied to all components, which in its name do not contain the name of the specified field of values.
- beginning with. The style will be applied to all components for which the name starts with the name specified in the value field.
- ending with. The style will be applied to all components for which the name ends with the name specified in the value field.

Also, it is possible to combine different types of conditions. In this case, the style will be applied, if all the conditions will work. In other words, if the conditions of Placement and Name of components are used, the style will be applied only when these conditions are processed. In addition, it is possible to use multi-conditions, when two or more blocks of conditions are involved. In this case, the component styles are applied only if all kinds of conditions in all the blocks will be executed. Execution of conditions starts after you click Apply Styles.

After the style is created and all its settings are defined, you should click the Save button on the toolbar in the Style Designer. Specify the path for the file with styles and name it. Once the style is created and applied is reports, you thereby emphasizing the corporate identity of your company. At the same time, in order to change the style of your reports, you just need to edit only the necessary styles.

Invoice Peach Puff

Invoice Black

Invoice Lime

Invoice Red

Also, watch our video tutorials on working with designer styles.
Creating styles for charts
Using the Copy Style tool
Using borders in a report
Creating a report and styles
We are constantly improving our products for web, providing all the necessary set of components to build reports. Today we will talk about the differences between the Flash designer

Flash designer
and HTML5 designer

HTML5 designer
Despite the similarities in terms of functionality, the designers of these reports have some differences. Flash and HTML5 report designers available in the following products – Reports Ultimate, Reports.Web, Reports.Java, Reports.PHP, Reports.Flex. However, the HTML5 report designer is also part of Stimulsoft Reports.JS.

It all starts with the system requirements for the design. The Flash report designer requires Adobe Flash Player version 11 and later. The HTML5 report designer requires only a web browser.

Integration of report designers in the project go the following way.

The Flash designer. Stimulsoft assemblies should be added to the project. Place the StiWebDesigner component on the project page and call the report designer.
OnSaveReport="StiWebDesigner1_SaveReport"
OnGetPreviewDataSet="StiWebDesigner1_GetPreviewDataSet"
The HTML5 designer. Stimulsoft assemblies should be added to the project. Place the StiMobileDesigner component on the project page and call the report designer.
OnPreviewReport="StiMobileDesigner1_Preview"
OnCreateReport="StiMobileDesigner1_CreateReport"
OnGetReport="StiMobileDesigner1_GetReport"
OnExit="StiMobileDesigner1_Exit"
InterfaceType="Auto"
GlobalizationFile="Localization/en.xml"
Theme="Office2013WhiteTeal"
Now let's talk about the design differences in functionality, interface and tools to create reports. Below is a comparison list.

Functionality HTML5 Flash
Support for Touch UI check  
Selecting UI Localization Only from code In designer
Data Source Wizard check  
Support for OData and REST Requests check  
Data Source Type Table, Stored procedure Table
Data Dictionary Preview check  
Retrieve Column check check
Retrieve Columns and Parameters check  
Retrieve Parameters check  
Allow Run Stored Proc check  
Using Variable as SQL Parameter check  
Data from Business Objects check Without ability to create new ones
Files from Which Data Can Be Exported XML, JSON, Excel, CSV, DBase XML, JSON, CSV, DBase
Report Wizards Standard, Master-Detail Standard, Master-Detail, Label Report
Copy Style Tool Present in the Home tab  
Horizontal and Vertical Primitives In the development phase  
Shape Component check check
Report Tree   check
Interaction Editor check  
New Chart Editor check  
New Cross-Tab Editor check  
Gauges In the development phase  
Report Checker   check
Animation in Preview check  

It is worth noting that the development of the HTML5 designer is not stopping and to the end of summer 2016 this designer will have full functionality. Aslo we recommend you watch video tutorials on working with the HTML5 designer.