Hiding and Showing Report Items by Adding Drilldown (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS)

You can control whether a report item initially displays or is hidden when a user views a report. Also, by providing a plus or minus toggle on a text box, you can enable users to hide and display items interactively. This is called a drilldown action. For a table or matrix, you can show or hide static rows and columns, or rows and columns that are associated with groups. The main reason for hiding items is to provide a report that shows summary data but enables a user to drill down into detail data.

Report with drilldown action

In this illustration, the user clicks the plus signs (+) in the report to show detail data.

For example, you can initially hide all the rows except the outer group summary row for a table with row groups. For each inner group (including the details group), add a toggle to the grouping cell of the containing group. When the report is rendered, the user can click the text box to expand and collapse the detail data. For more information, see Adding a Table (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS).


When you create a report with a drilldown action, the visibility information must be set on the group, column, or row that you want to hide, not just a single text box in the row or column. In addition, the text box that you use for the toggle must be in a containing scope that controls the item that you want to show or hide. For example, to hide a row associated with a nested group, the text box must be in a row associated with the parent group or higher in the containment hierarchy.

For more information about hiding report items, see the following topics:


You can create and modify report definitions (.rdl) in Report Builder 3.0 and in Report Designer in Business Intelligence Development Studio. 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 3.0 (SSRS) on the Web at microsoft.com.

Comparing Drilldown and Drillthrough Reports

In a drilldown report, a user clicks a plus or minus button to expand or collapse a section of a report to show detail data in place. In a drillthrough report, the user clicks a link for a summary value, and this opens a separate, related report to show detail data. The detail data is only retrieved when the detail report runs. Drillthrough reports typically require fewer resources than drilldown reports. For more information, see Drillthrough, Drilldown, Subreports, and Nested Data Regions (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS).

Rendering Extension Support for Hidden Report Items

The show-and-hide toggle on report items is supported only by rendering extensions that support user interactivity, such as the HTML rendering extension that is used when you run a report in Report Builder and in Report Manager, for example. Other rendering extensions display hidden items. The following list describes support for report items with conditional visibility:

  • In HTML, if items are hidden, they are not visible in the HTML source.

  • The XML rendering extension displays all report items, regardless of whether they are hidden.

  • The Excel rendering extension displays and expands hidden rows and columns for a table, matrix, or list. All rows and columns are visible.

For more information, see Understanding Rendering Behaviors (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS).