Exporting Reports (Report Builder 2.0)

With Report Builder 2.0 you can export reports to another format, such as Microsoft Excel or PDF. The export option is available on the report viewer toolbar, which appears at the top of every report when you preview a report or view a report on the report server.

Exporting a report enables you to do the following:

  • Work with the report data in another application. For example, you can export your report to Excel and then continue to work with the data in Excel. If you plan to use this feature, you should optimize the report design for your chosen file format. For example, to work in Excel, avoid merged cells. For more information, see the topic in this section about the file format you choose for export.

  • Print the report in a different rendering format. For example, you can export the report to the PDF file format and then print the contents of the report.

  • Save a copy of a particular report. Reports that you access from the report server can change, except for report history snapshots, so you can export and save any report that you want to keep. For more information, see Saving Reports (Report Builder 2.0).

To export a report, run the report and then select a rendering format from the drop-down list and click Export. You are prompted to choose an export format, and then the report opens in the application associated with the rendering format you chose. (For example, when you select Excel the report opens in Excel). The file associations defined for the local computer determine which application is used for a particular rendering format.

The report server exports the report as it is in the current user session. If a report author publishes an updated version of the report while you have the report open, the exported report is not updated.


Exporting a report is an on-demand task that you perform when the report is open in a browser window. If you want to automate an export operation (for example, to export a report to a shared folder as a specific file type on a recurring schedule), create a subscription that delivers the report to a shared folder. For more information, see File Share Delivery in Reporting Services.

A report server does not store information about previous export operations on a report, nor can you specify rendering format preferences for opening the report directly from the report server. By default, reports previewed in the reporting tools or opened in a browser application are always first rendered in HTML in the Report Viewer. You cannot specify a different rendering extension as the default for viewing. You can, however, create a subscription that produces a report in the rendering format you want for subsequent delivery to an e-mail inbox or shared folder. Alternatively, you can access a report through a URL that specifies a rendering extension as a URL parameter. For more information, see Specifying a Rendering Format in a URL.

Pagination Considerations

Pagination varies for each rendering format and is determined at run time by the report renderer. When you preview a report, you are viewing the report as it is rendered by the HTML renderer, which follows soft-page break rules. When you export a report to a different file format, such as Adobe Acrobat (PDF), pagination is based on the physical page size, which follows hard-page break rules. Pages can also be separated by logical page breaks that you add to a report, but the actual length of a page varies based on the renderer type that you use. To change the pagination of your report, you must understand the pagination behavior of the renderer you choose. You might need to adjust the design of your report layout for this renderer.

In this Section