Format Text in a Text Box (Report Builder and SSRS)

You can format any part of the text within a text box independently, and mix placeholder text and static text in one text box. This ability to mix formats and add placeholder text enables you to create mail merges or templates for text in your report. Any expression can be defined and formatted separately using a placeholder.


You can create and modify report definitions (.rdl) in Report Builder and in Report Designer in SQL Server Data Tools. 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 (SSRS) on the Web at

To combine multiple formats in a text box

  1. On the Insert tab, click Text Box. Click the design surface, and then drag to create a box that is the size you want.

  2. Inside the text box, select the text you want to format.

  3. Right-click the selected text, and click Text Properties.

  4. Set formatting options. For example, on the General tab:

    • Tooltip   Type text or an expression that evaluates to a ToolTip. The ToolTip appears when the user pauses the pointer over the item in a report

    • Markup type   Select an option to indicate how the selected text will be rendered:

      Plain Text   Display the selected text as simple text. HTML will be treated as literal text.

      HTML   Display the selected text as HTML. If the expression value of the placeholder contains valid HTML tags, these tags will be rendered as HTML. For more information, see Importing HTML into a Report (Report Builder and SSRS).

  5. Click OK.

  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for the remaining text you want to format.

To format text and placeholders differently in the same text box

  1. On the Insert tab, click List. Click the design surface, and then drag to create a box that is the size you want. The Dataset Properties dialog box opens. You can use a shared dataset or a dataset embedded in your report. For more information, click Dataset Properties Dialog Box, Query (Report Builder) or Dataset Properties Dialog Box, Query.

  2. On the Insert tab, click Text Box. Click in the list, and then drag to create a box that is the size you want.

  3. Type a label in the text box — for example, My Field:.

  4. Drag a field from your dataset into the text box. A placeholder is created for your field.

  5. For basic formatting, select the placeholder text and then click one of the formatting options in the Font group on the Home tab. For example, click the Bold button.

    For more formatting options, right-click the placeholder text, and then click Placeholder Properties.

  6. Click OK. In report design view, the text box should contain "My Field: [FieldName]", where FieldName is the name of your field.

  7. Click Run.

The list repeats one time for every value in the field, and the FieldName placeholder is replaced each time by the value of that field in the dataset.

See Also


Add HTML into a Report (Report Builder and SSRS)


Expression Examples (Report Builder and SSRS)

Placeholder Properties Dialog Box, General (Report Builder and SSRS)


Text Boxes (Report Builder and SSRS)

Formatting Text and Placeholders (Report Builder and SSRS)

Expression Uses in Reports (Report Builder and SSRS)

Tables, Matrices, and Lists (Report Builder and SSRS)

Formatting Numbers and Dates (Report Builder and SSRS)