Formatting a Chart (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS)

After you have defined the data for your chart and it is appearing the way you want, you can add formatting to improve the overall appearance and highlight key data points. The most common formatting options can be modified from the Properties dialog box that are found when you right-click a chart element to display its shortcut menu. Each chart element has its own dialog box. For more information about chart elements, see Charts (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS).

All properties that relate to the chart are located in the Properties pane, but many of these properties can also be set from a dialog box. If you are formatting the series, you can specify series-specific properties using custom attributes, which can only be found in the CustomAttributes category of properties, located in the Properties pane.

To effectively format the chart using a minimal number of steps, change the default border style, palette and drawing style. These three features produce the largest visible change on the chart. Drawing styles are only applicable to pie, doughnut, bar and column charts.


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

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