(Legacy) Create and Modify Custom Report Layouts


Custom report layouts is a legacy feature that is being phased out. Instead, you should start creating user-defined layouts as described here.

By default, reports have a built-in layout. The report layout can be either an RDLC (report definition language client side) report layout, a Microsoft Word report layout, or both. And while you can't modify built-in layouts, you can create custom layouts. A report can have multiple custom report layouts.


In Business Central, the term "report" also covers externally-facing documents, such as sales invoices and order confirmations you send to customers as PDF files.

To create a custom layout, either copy an existing custom layout or add a new custom layout. Custom layouts are often based on a built-in layout. When you add a new custom layout, you can choose to add either an RDLC or a Word report layout type, or both. The new custom layout will be based on the built-in layout for the report, if one is available. If there's no built-in layout for the report type, a new blank layout is created. You'll have to modify and design this blank layout from scratch. Learn more about RDLC and Word report layouts, built-in and custom layouts, and more at Manage Report Layouts.


Use financial reports to get insight into the financial data stored in your chart of accounts. Learn more at Prepare Financial Reporting with Financial Data and Account Categories.

After you define your custom report layouts, you can select them on the customer card and vendor card pages. The layouts are then used when you create documents for the customer or vendor. Learn more at Define Document Layouts for Customers and Vendors.

You can also use custom report layouts to add content to email messages. Report layouts can save time and help ensure consistency by reusing the same content when you communicate with your customers. To use custom report layouts with email, the file type for the layout must be Word; you cannot use the RDLC file type. Learn more at Set Up Reusable Email Texts and Layouts.

Create a custom layout

  1. Choose the Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature. icon, enter Report Layout Selection, and then choose the related link.

    The Report Layout Selection page lists all the reports available in the company specified in the Company Name field at the top of the page.

  2. In the Company Name field, choose the company you want to create the report layout for.

  3. Select the row for the report you want to create the layout for, and then choose the Custom Layouts action.

    The Custom Report Layouts page appears and lists all the custom layouts available for the selected report.

  4. If you want to create a copy of an existing custom layout, select the existing custom layout in the list, then choose the Copy action.

    The copy of the custom layout appears on the Custom Report Layouts page and has the words Copy of in the Description field.

  5. If you want to add a new custom layout based on a built-in layout, follow these steps:

    1. Choose the New action. The Insert Built-in Layout for a Report page appears with the ID and Name fields automatically filled in.
    2. Turn on the Insert Word Layout toggle to add a custom Word report layout type OR turn on the Insert RDLC Layout toggle to add a custom RDLC report layout type.
    3. Choose the OK button.

    The new custom layout now appears on the Custom Report Layouts page. If a new layout is based on a built-in layout, then the words Copy of a Built-in Layout appear in the Description field. If there was no built-in layout for the report, then the new layout has the words New Layout in the Description field, which means that custom layout is blank.

  6. By default, the Company Name field is blank and the custom layout is available for reports by all companies. To make the custom layout available to a specific company only, choose Edit, then set the Company Name field to the company you want.

The custom layout has been created and you can modify it as you like.


You can export the report results to a Microsoft Excel file to view the full dataset, including all columns, but without the layout. The Excel file can help you validate the report returns the expected data or diagnose problems. Learn more at Analysing Report Data with Excel.

Modifying a custom layout

To modify a custom report layout, you must first export the report layout as a file to a location on your computer or network. Then, open the exported document and make the changes. When you're finished making the changes, you import the report layout.

Modify a custom layout

  1. Export a custom layout from the Custom Report Layouts page. If that page isn't already open, search for and open the Report Layout Selection page, select the report that has the layout you want to modify, then choose the Custom Layouts action.

  2. On the Custom Report Layouts page, select the layout you want to modify, choose the Export Layout action, then choose Save or Save As to save the report layout document to a location on your computer or network.

  3. Open the report layout document you saved and make changes.

    If you're changing a Word layout, open the layout document in Word. Learn more about editing Word reports at Work with Word Layouts.

    RDLC report layouts are more advanced than Word report layouts. Learn more about modifying an RDLC report layout at Designing RDLC Report Layouts.

    Remember to save your changes when you're done.

  4. Return to the Custom Report Layouts page, select the report layout you exported and modified, then choose the Import Layout action.

  5. In the Import dialogue box, select Choose to find and select the modified report layout document, then choose Open.


Remember to import the report layout document that you modified. Otherwise, the new report layout will not be available.

See also

Managing Report Layouts
Change the Current Report Layout
Import and Export a Custom Report or Document Layout
Work with Reports, Batch Jobs, and XMLports
Prepare Financial Reporting with Financial Data and Account Categories
Business Intelligence
Work with Business Central

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