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Lists (Report Builder and SSRS)

A list data region repeats with each group or row in the report dataset. A list can be used to create free-form reports or forms, such as invoices, or in conjunction with other data regions. You can define lists that contain any number of report items. A list can be nested within another list to provide multiple groups of data.


You can publish lists separately from a report as report parts. Report parts are self-contained report items that are stored on the report server and can be included in other reports. Use Report Builder to browse and select parts from the Report Part Gallery to add to your reports. Use Report Designer or Report Builder to save report parts for use in the Report Part Gallery. For more information, see Report Parts (Report Builder and SSRS) and Report Parts in Report Designer (SSRS) on the Web at

To quickly get started with lists, see Tutorial: Creating a Free Form Report (Report Builder).

The Reporting Services sample reports include a report that uses a list. You can learn about lists by exploring the report definition of the sample report in Report Builder or Report Designer or by previewing the rendered report in Report Builder or Report Designer. For more information about downloading the sample reports, see (SSRS) Reporting Services Samples.


You can create and modify report definitions (.rdl) in Report Builder and in Report Designer in SQL Server Data Tools. Each authoring environment provides different ways to create, open, and save reports and related items. For more information, see Designing Reports in Report Designer and Report Builder (SSRS) on the Web at

In This Article

Adding a List to Your Report

Displaying Data in a Free-form Layout

Displaying Data with One Level of Grouping

Adding a List to Your Report

Add a list to the design surface from the Insert tab on ribbon. By default, the list initially has a single cell in a row associated with the detail group.

New List report item on the design surface

When you select a list on the design surface, row and column handles appear, as shown in the following figure.

New List added from Toolbox, selected

The list you start with is a template based on the tablix data region. After you add a list, you can continue to enhance the design by changing the content or appearance of the list by specifying filter, sort, or group expressions, or changing the way the list displays across report pages. For more information, see Controlling the Tablix Data Region Display on a Report Page (Report Builder and SSRS). Although the list starts with a single column and row, you can further continue to develop your list design by adding nested or adjacent row groups or column groups, or adding additional detail rows. For more information, see Exploring the Flexibility of a Tablix Data Region (Report Builder and SSRS).

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Displaying Data in a Free-form Layout

To organize report data in a free-form layout instead of a grid, you can add a list to the design surface. Drag fields from the Report Data pane to the cell. By default, the cell contains a rectangle that acts as a container. Move each field in the container until you have the design you want. Use the snaplines that appear when you drag text boxes in the rectangle container to help you align edges vertically and horizontally. Remove unwanted white space by adjusting the size of the cell. For more information, see Change Row Height or Column Width (Report Builder and SSRS).

The following figure shows a list that displays information about an order, including these fields: Date, Order, Qty, Product, LineTotal, and an image.

List in design view, 4 fields and an image

In Preview, the list repeats to display the field data in the free-form format, as shown in the following figure:

Preview for List with 4 fields and one image


The dotted lines displays in these figures are included to show the free-form layout for each field value. Typically, you would not use dotted lines in a production report.

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Displaying Data with One Level of Grouping

Because a list automatically provides a container, you can use a list to display grouped data with multiple views. To change the default list to specify a group, edit the Details group, specify a new name, and specify a group expression.

For example, you can embed a table and a chart that show different views of the same dataset. You can add a group to the list so that the nested report items will repeat once for every group value. The following figure shows a list grouped by product category. Notice that there is no detail row. Two tables are nested side by side in the list. The first table displays the subcategories with total sales. The second table displays the category grouped by geographical area, with a chart that shows the distribution of subcategories.

A list with 2 tables, one with nested chart

In Preview, the table displays total sales for all subcategories of bicycles, and the table beside it displays the breakdown of sales per geographical area. By using an expression to specify the background color for the table and a custom palette for the chart, the first table also provides the legend for the chart colors.

Preview, 2 tables, one with nested chart

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See Also


Expression Examples (Report Builder and SSRS)


Aggregate Functions Reference (Report Builder and SSRS)