Configure the Look and Feel

Print Templates often require appearance customizations. Changing the look and feel of a print template is done using Appearance properties. Examples of appearance properties include font, background color and foreground color. Appearance properties can be applied at the Print Template, Band and Control level. The configuration of one component may effect another through Inheritance.

There are two ways to configure the Appearance properties of a print template component: setting the appearance properties on a per component basis, or by configuring and applying Styles. The properties for each appear similar to one another, with some minor differences. These properties must be applied to print template components while being mindful of property Inheritance.

If you want prints to follow a standard style, you may want to create branded templates in the paper sizes your organization uses. Sharing prebranded templates with other authors in your organization allows them to create copies to use as the basis of new templates. This frees authors from having to repeat the branding effort each time they create a new template. See the tutorial for a guide on how to create a pre-branded template for your organization.


Styles can be used to make it easy to replicate a certain look and feel across different report components. A Style is a set of saved appearance properties that can be applied to print template components. Typical styles settings include titles, sub titles, odd band, even band, and normal text.

Create and Apply Styles

To create styles, you must open the Print Template Explorer , select the Styles heading and then click the plus button next to the title. Expand the Styles heading to view the new style, select the new style and then click the Edit button to configure the properties of the new style.

Styles can be applied to a print template, band or control by selecting the item and then in the Properties panel, expanding the Styles heading and applying the style to any one of the style properties (Odd, Even, Style). Alternatively, styles can be applied to controls by opening the Print Template Explorer view and dragging styles onto controls in the layout. When a style is assigned to a control using its Styles property, the style properties will override any of those set at the control or parent level.

See Also...

Tech Tip: Using the Styles functionality to set styling on reports

Odd and Even Styles

Odd and Even style properties are available for most controls as well as the Detail band and the Sub-band. For both controls or bands, the odd style that is the style that is used for the item's representation in a print template when it displays an odd record, and the even style is the style that is used for the item's representation in a print template when it displays and even record.


Print templates, bands, and certain controls have Appearance settings in common. For example, a print template, Detail band, and Label control all have settings to configure the font, padding, and border. These repeated settings provide an inheritance hierarchy. By default, controls inherit the settings from bands and bands inherit them from the template. This enables you to configure values at a higher level for controls to inherit, which saves configuration time and ensures styling consistency.

Initially, a blank template and its bands use the same (default) Appearance settings. When you add a control to the template, it inherits those settings. If you then change an Appearance setting at the template level, all the controls in the template inherit the new value, as do any new controls that you add. Now if you change a setting at the band level, the controls in the band inherit the band's new value.

You can override a setting's template-level configuration by configuring the setting at the band level, and you can override the band-level configuration by configuring the setting at the control level. The lowest setting that you have explicitly configured is used.

The rules of inheritance are as follows:

To reset a setting to its factory value, click the icon to the right of the setting and select Reset. This re-enables the control's ability to inherit settings. Manually reconfiguring a setting to its factory value does not re-enable the control's ability to inherit.

Location of the icon to reset a setting

Controls that are contained in a Panel control or table cell can inherit settings from the panel or table cell. In this case, controls inherit from panels or table cells, panels and table cells inherit from bands, and bands inherit from the print template.


You want to use Arial as the font throughout a template. You select the template and set the Font | Font Name setting to Arial. You are careful not to change the Font Name setting for any bands or controls. All the controls in the template inherit the font from the template.

The template has a Report Header band that contains a title and some corporate information. You want all the text in the Report Header band to be blue. You select the Report Header band and configure the Foreground Color to be blue. You do not change the Foreground Color setting for any of the Report Header's controls, so they inherit the color from the band.

The title is the largest text in the template. No other control uses that text size, so you configure the Font | Font Size setting at the control level.

Tutorial: Create a Pre-Branded Organizational Template

  1. Create a new print template. The template can be based on the blank template or a preconfigured template.

  2. To create a new template, in Print Designer, click File | New
    1. To create a blank template, double-click Blank Page.
    2. To create a template based upon a preconfigured layout, select one of the other available options.
  3. Configure template-wide settings like paper size, page orientation, and margins.
  4. If you want, add bands such as the Report Header or Report Footer.

  5. Configure Appearance settings at the template, band, and control level so styling is inherited. Alternatively, define Styles.

  6. Add a logo to a blank template or modify the default logo in a preconfigured template.

  7. Add any other corporate information you want, such as an address, copyright information, or disclaimer.

  8. Press Ctrl+S to save the print template. You may want to indicate in the file name that the template is prebranded.

  9. Share the prebranded template with other authors in your organization.