Exporting Reports

SQL Server Reporting Services provides the ability to export the report you created to another format, such as Microsoft Excel or PDF. The export option is available on the Report Viewer toolbar, which appears at the top of every report when it is first rendered in Preview or in Report Manager. Exporting a report enables you to do the following:

  • Work with the report data in another application. For example, you can export your report to Excel and then continue to work with the data in Excel.

  • Print the report in a different rendering format. For example, you can export the report to the PDF file format and then print the contents of the report.

  • Save a copy of a particular report. Reports that you access from the report server can change, except for report history snapshots, so you should export and save any report that you want to keep. For more information, see Saving Reports.

To export a report, run the report and then select a rendering format from the drop-down list and click Export. You are prompted to choose an export format, and then the report opens in the application associated with the rendering format you chose. (For example, when you select Excel the report opens in Excel). The file associations defined for the local computer determine which application is used for a particular rendering format.

The report server exports the report as it is in the current user session. If a report author publishes an updated version of the report while you have the report open, the exported report is not updated.


Exporting a report is an on-demand task that you perform when the report is open in a browser window. If you want to automate an export operation (for example, to export a report to a shared folder as a specific file type on a recurring schedule), create a subscription that delivers the report to a shared folder. For more information, see File Share Delivery in Reporting Services.

A report server does not store information about previous export operations on a report, nor can you specify rendering format preferences for opening the report directly from the report server. By default, reports previewed in the reporting tools or opened in a browser application are always first rendered in HTML in the Report Viewer. You cannot specify a different rendering extension as the default. You can, however, create a subscription that produces a report in the rendering format you want for subsequent delivery to an e-mail inbox or shared folder. Alternatively, you can access a report through a URL that specifies a rendering extension as a URL parameter. For more information, see Specifying a Rendering Format in a URL.

Rendering Considerations

Pagination varies for each rendering format. For example, in Adobe Acrobat (PDF), pagination is based on the physical page size. HTML pagination is based on soft page-break rules. Pages can be separated by logical page breaks that you add to a report, but the actual length of a page varies based on the renderer type that you use. It is important to understand rendering and pagination behavior before you design your report layout.

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