Exporting to Microsoft Word (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS)

The Word rendering extension renders a report as a Word document that is compatible with Microsoft Word 2000 or later. After the report is exported to a Word document, you can change the contents of your report and design document-style reports such as mailing labels, purchase orders, or form letters. The file name extension of files generated by this renderer is .doc.


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.

In This Article

Report Items in Word


Document Properties

Page Headers and Footers


Word Style Rendering

Squiggly Lines in Exported Reports

Word Limitations

Device Information Settings

Report Items in Word

Reports exported to Word appear as a nested table that represents the report body. A tablix data region is rendered as a nested table that reflects the structure of the data region in the report. Text boxes and rectangles are each rendered as a cell within the table. The text box value is displayed inside the cell.

Images, charts, data bars, sparklines, maps, indicators, and gauges are each rendered as a static image within a table cell. Hyperlinks and drillthrough links on these report items are rendered. Maps and areas that can be clicked within a chart are not supported.

Newsletter-style column reports are not rendered in Word. Report body and page background images and colors are not rendered.

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After the report is opened in Word, Word repaginates the entire report again based on the page size. Repagination may cause page breaks to be inserted in locations where you did not intend to add them and, in some instances, may cause the exported report to have two successive page breaks in a row or add blank pages. You can try to change Word's pagination by adjusting the page margins.

This renderer supports only logical page breaks.

Page Sizing

When the report is rendered, the Word page height and width are set by the following RDL properties: paper size height and width, left and right page margins, and the top and bottom page margins.

Page Width

Word supports page widths that are up to 22 inches wide. If the report is wider than 22 inches, the renderer will still render the report; however, Word will not display the report contents while in print layout view or reading layout view. To view the data, switch to normal view or Web layout view. In these views, Word reduces the amount of whitespace, thereby displaying more of your report contents.

When rendered, the report grows as wide as required, up to 22 inches, to display the contents. The minimum width of the report is based on the RDL Width property in the Properties pane.

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Document Properties

The Word renderer writes the following metadata to the DOC file.

Report Element properties


Report Title (report title)






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Page Headers and Footers

Page headers and footers are rendered as header and footer regions in Word. If a report page number or an expression that indicates the total number of report pages appears in the page header or footer, they are translated to a Word field so that the accurate page number is displayed in the rendered report. If the header or footer height is set in the report, Word cannot support this setting. The PrintOnFirstPage property can under some circumstances specify whether text in a page header page footer prints on the first page of a report. If the rendered report has multiple pages and each page contains only a single section, then you can set PrintOnFirstPage to False and the text is suppressed on the first page; otherwise, the text prints regardless of the value of the PrintOnFirstPage property.

The Word renderer attempts to parse all expressions in page headers and footers when reports are exported to Word. Many forms of expressions parse successfully and the expected values appear in page footers and headers on all report pages.

However, when a page footer or page header contains a complex expression that evaluates to different values on different pages of a report, the same value might display on all report pages. The page numbers in the following two expressions do not increment in the exported report. The page number translates to the same value on all report pages.

  • ="Page: " + Globals!PageNumber.ToString + " of " + Globals!TotalPages.ToString

  • =Avg(Fields!YTDPurchase.Value, "Sales") & " Page Number " & Globals!PageNumber

This occurs because Word renderer parses the report for fields related to pagination such as PageNumber and TotalPages and handles only simple reference, not calls to a function. In this case, the expression calls the ToString function. The following two expressions are equivalent and both render correctly when you preview the report in Report Builder or Report Designer or render the published report in Report Manager or a SharePoint library. However, the Word renderer parses only the second expression successfully and renders the correct page numbers.

  • Complex expression: Expression is ="Average Sales " & Avg(Fields!YTDPurchase.Value, "Sales") & " Page Number " & Globals!PageNumber

  • Expression with Text Runs: Text, Average Sales, and expression, =Avg(Fields!YTDPurchase.Value, "Sales), and text, Page Number, and expression =Globals!PageNumber

To avoid this problem, use multiple text runs instead of one complex expression when you use expressions in footers and headers. The following two expressions are equivalent. The first one is a complex expression the second one uses text runs. The Word renderer parses only the second expression successfully.

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Some interactive elements are supported in Word. The following is a description of specific behaviors.

Show and Hide

The Word renderer renders report items based on their state when rendered. If a report item's state is hidden, the report item is not rendered in the Word document. If a report item's state is shown, the report item is rendered in the Word document. Toggle functionality is not supported in Word.

Document Map

If any document map labels exist in the report, they are rendered as Word Table of Contents (TOC) labels on the respective report items and groups. The document map label is used as the label text for the TOC labels. The target link is positioned near the item on which the label is set. While a TOC is not created for you in the Word document, you can build your own TOC using the document map labels that are rendered in the report.

Hyperlinks and drillthrough links on text box and image report items are rendered as hyperlinks in the Word document. When you click the hyperlink, the default Web browser opens and navigates to the URL. When you click the drillthrough hyperlink, the originating report server is accessed.

Interactive Sorting

The report contents are rendered based on how they are currently sorted within the report data region. Word does not support interactive sorting. After the report is rendered, you can apply table sorting within Word.


Bookmarks in the report are rendered as Word bookmarks. Bookmark links are rendered as hyperlinks that connect to the bookmark labels within the document. Bookmark labels must be less than 40 characters long. The only special character that can be used in a bookmark label is an underscore (_). Unsupported special characters are stripped from the bookmark label name and, if the name is longer than 40 characters, the name is truncated. If there are duplicate bookmark names in the report, the bookmarks are not rendered in Word.

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Word Style Rendering

The following is a brief description of how styles are rendered in Word.

Color Palette

Colors rendered in the report are rendered in the Word document.


Borders for report items, other than the page border, are rendered as Word table cell borders. The report page border is rendered as a Word page border.

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Squiggly Lines in Exported Reports

When exported and viewed in Word, report data or constants might be underlined by red or green squiggly lines. The red squiggly lines identify spelling errors. The green squiggly lines identify grammar errors. This occurs when the report includes words that do not comply with the proofing (spelling and grammar) of the editing language that is specified in Word. For example, English report column titles will likely be underlined by red squiggly lines when the report is rendered in a Spanish version of Word. Perceived spelling errors are more common in reports than perceived grammar errors because reports typically include only short text, not complete sentences or paragraphs.

The presence of squiggly lines in reports implies the report has errors, which it likely does not. You can remove the squiggly lines by changing the proofing language for the report. To change the proofing language, select the content of the report and then specify the appropriate language for the content. You can select all or part of the content. In Word 2010, the language option, Set Proofing Language, is in the Language area is on the Review tab. After you update the content, you need to resave the document.

Depending on the language version of your Office program, the proofing tools (for example, dictionary) of the language that you chose is included with the program or provided in a Microsoft Office language pack that you purchase.

The following topics provide additional information about setting Office and Word options.


When you change the editing language in Microsoft Office 2010 Language Preferences or the Word Options dialog box in Word, the change applies to all Office programs.

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Word Limitations

The following limitations are applied by Microsoft Word:

  • Word tables support a maximum of 63 columns. If your report has more than 63 columns and you try to render it, Word splits the table. The additional columns are placed adjacent to the 63 columns displayed in the report body. Therefore, the report columns may not line up as expected.

  • Word supports a maximum page width of 22 inches wide and 22 inches high. If your content is wider than 22 inches, some data may not be displayed in Print Layout view.

  • Word ignores page header and footer height settings.

  • Documents created by the Word renderer are not in the Office 2007 DOCX file format but Word 2007 can use the created document because Word 2007 provides full support for the DOC format.

  • Reports can be viewed in Word 1997 but the lay out will not appear correctly. Word 97 does not support nested tables, 24-bit colors, cell padding and possibly other features that are used by the Word renderer.

  • After the report is exported, Word paginates the report again. This may cause additional page breaks to be added to the rendered report.

  • Word does not repeat header rows on page two and greater, although you set the RepeatOnNewPage property of the static header row in a tablix (table, matrix, or list) to True. You can define explicit page breaks in your report to force header rows to appear on new pages. However, because Word applies its own pagination to the rendered report exported to Word, results might vary and the header row might not repeat predictably. The static header row is the row that contains the column headings.

  • Text boxes grow when they contain non-breaking spaces.

  • When text is exported to Word, text with font decoration in certain fonts may generate unexpected or missing glyphs in the rendered report.

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Device Information Settings

You can change some default settings for this renderer, such as omit hyperlinks and drillthrough links or expand all items that can be toggled regardless of the original state of the item when rendered, by changing the device information settings. For more information, see Word Device Information Settings.

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Change History

Updated content

Added information about using expressions in report headers and footers.

Corrected information about using PrintOnFirstPage and PrintOnLastPage properties.

Added information about avoiding squiggly lines in reports rendered in Word.

Updated the section Page Headers and Footers.