Overview of formatting options
Formatting is what you do to make a report visually appealing and effective. For example, format a report to highlight certain data, change the appearance of dates, numbers, or currency values, adjust the spacing between report elements, or display data based on a specified condition or output format.
BIRT Report Designer provides many options for customizing the appearance of report elements. Using various formatting properties, you can change the alignment, color, font, size, and other properties of these report elements. You can also add background colors, draw borders around elements, and so on.
Familiarity with CSS is useful because BIRT follows the CSS specification as closely as possible. Many of the formatting properties available in BIRT Report Designer are the same as CSS formatting properties.
The formatting options are available through the following views:
*Property Editor
This view organizes commonly used properties by functional categories. The properties that appear vary depending on which report element you are formatting. Figure 8‑1 shows some of the categories of properties that are available through Property Editor.
Figure 8‑1 Property Editor showing categories of properties for a label element
This view shows a list of the properties that you can set for an element, as shown in Figure 8‑2. You can choose to list the properties by category or in alphabetical order. This view also shows more complex properties that are not available in Property Editor. The default application window layout does not display the Properties view. To display it, choose WindowShow ViewProperties.
Figure 8‑2 Properties view showing the properties for a label element