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Posted Sep 29, 2004

MSSQL Server Reporting Services: Master Chart Reports: Track Exchange Rates in a Line Chart - Page 5

By William Pearson

Locate the Chart Item on the Blank Report

The process of building a chart report consists of dragging the chart item onto the Layout tab, and adjusting it, while setting properties as appropriate to meet the report specifications. We will accomplish this in the following steps.

1.  Click the Layout tab to switch to the Layout view.

2.  Drag the report edges so they comfortably fill the screen area.

3.  Select View -> Toolbox from the main menu to place the Toolbox within easy reach (if it already appears, simply disregard this step).

The toolbox window should appear similar to that shown in Illustration 21. Mine is pinned to the upper left corner of the design environment, where I find it most convenient. (I also dock my Fields and Server Explorer panes in this area to maximize design real estate, as an aside.)

Illustration 21: The Toolbox ...

4.  Click the Chart button (at the bottom of the Toolbox pane).

5.  Place the mouse cursor over the upper left corner of the report layout.

The cursor becomes a small chart icon in combination with crosshairs when held above the layout. This indicates that we can click to "anchor" the point, from which we wish to draw the box that the chart will inhabit.

6.  Starting in the upper left corner of the layout body, click, and then, holding the mouse button down, drag to create a box that covers the report layout.

The select / grab, anchor and size process, consisting of three primary steps, is shown in Illustration 22 below.

Illustration 22: Grab, Anchor, and Size the Chart Item ...

The box should appear at the perimeter of the Layout tab.

7.  Release the mouse to drop the chart item.

The chart item appears, in what I refer to as its generic manifestation (the placeholder that we see prior to specifying a chart type), as shown in Illustration 23.

Illustration 23: The Generic Chart Item Appears

Because the chart is the only item we intend to place in the report, it should extend almost completely over the report layout, once it appears.

NOTE: Should you accidentally "drop" the chart item in a manner that you wish to realign, you can simply move the item by clicking inside the chart, then pointing to the now shaded border, to drag it to a new location.

Clicking again on the border will also allow you to expand / contract the chart shape. (The nuances are easy to learn with a little practice.) Double-clicking the chart item will make the "drop regions," seen above, appear.

The chart item is now in place, and we are ready to specify its "line" nature, as well as to populate it with the dataset that we have created.

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