Designing the presentation of report parameters
After verifying that the report parameters generate the report that you expect, focus on the presentation of the parameter information. You can make the parameters more user-friendly by setting their display properties. Table 13‑1 lists the ways in which you can enhance the usability and appearance of report parameters. Details about each technique are presented in subsequent sections.
Table 13‑1 Techniques for enhancing report parameter usability
Use this property
To apply this technique
Prompt text
Use a prompt that describes clearly what value a user enters. For example, display text such as:
Enter the state’s abbreviation
Default value
Provide a default value that generates a well‑presented report in the event that a user does not supply a value. A default value also functions as an example.
Help text
Provide helpful information about a report parameter. A user sees this information when he hovers the mouse over the parameter. For example, for a customer ID parameter, provide information such as:
Type a number between 100 and 500
Display type
Create a list box, a combo box, or a set of radio buttons that display values for the user to select, instead of requiring the user to type a value in a text box.
Format As
Display values in a suitable format if a report parameter displays a list of values in a list box, a combo box, or radio buttons. For example, if values for sales totals are stored in #### format in the data source, you can change the display format to $#,###.00.