Report structure

A key feature of a report is that it is divided into sections. Using sections, you can get to the information you need and arrange it in a consistent format.

There are seven sections in a report. Five are standard sections: Report Header, Page Header, Details, Page Footer, and Report Footer, in that order. Grouping is optional and applies a level of organization that aggregates by common fields. If grouping is used, the report has two additional sections for each group: Group Header and Group Footer. Each section is described in the following table:


Report Header Report Header

Appears at the beginning of the report.

This section of the report typically contains the report title. You can customize it to include additional report elements such as origination date or company logo.

By default, the Report Header is used as a cover page. This option makes the Report Header take up a full size page upon export. The option can be turned off under Report Header on the Format tab.

Page Header Page Header

Repeats at the top of every page, except the first page, where it appears under the Report Header.

Field headers are typically included in the Page Header so that every page starts with these definitions.

Group Header Group Header

Appears at the beginning of each new group of records.

The grouped field value appears in the Group Header. For example, in a report in which cities are grouped by county, the county field would be included in the Group Header.

Details Details

Follows all header information.

The attribute contents being displayed in the report. Fields listed here repeat once for every row in the source.

Group Footer Group Footer

Appears at the end of each group of records.

Summary statistics appear in this section by default.

Page Footer Page Footer

Repeats at the bottom of every page.

Page numbers appear in this section by default.

Report Footer Report Footer

Appears at the end of the report.

This section of the report usually contains conclusion information, such as summary information or data citations, that is only required once and appears at the end of a report. Statistics appear in this section by default.


Sections cannot be reorganized in the Contents pane.

When you create a report, the height of each section is automatically calculated based on the height of the elements it contains. An element can be either static (such as a title, subtitle, or column header) or dynamic (such as page number, images, lines, rectangles, and background colors). As with sections, elements are automatically sized at report creation. Both sections and elements can be resized and repositioned using the Select tool Select by Rectangle. Make sure that elements in a section are sized correctly; otherwise they may be truncated upon export.

To control the height of a section, you can type a new value for the height property in the Size group on the Format tab or manually expand it by reshaping the selected section directly in the report view with the Select tool Select by Rectangle active. The width is the same for all sections and is determined by the page width you specify for the report. Sections can also be hidden from view.


A section cannot be resized smaller than the lowest element within it. To reduce a section to a smaller size, you must either delete the elements inside it, or move them to the top of the section.

Related topics