Object Explorer in SSRS Designer?

Is there any way to view the objects in a SSRS report while designing it? (like Crystal Reports “Object Explorer”)

I’ve got an object ( a sub report) that prints on my report, yet I can’t find it in the layout area.

I know what row it is in because I set that row’s background color, and the sub report shows up on the yellow background

Yet I can’t find the subreport in that row I made to have a yellow background.

I’ve tried right click -> Select, but the the only objects it ever finds are the rectangle that makes up the row, the Table the row is in and the Body of the report

Any ideas?

I’ve had a similar issue, I had to download the RDL file and edit the file
via a text/XML editor.

What type of editing did you do?
The actual chages you wanted, or just tweake it enough so the object appears (i’m guessing its size or position are fubar’d)


I was able to find the “hidden” field and just removed it then loaded the
RDL back into SSRS. There’s nothing stopping you, if you have the XML mojo,
of editing the report directly.

In my case it was a data field that I delete that didn’t really delete in
the XML.

I assume you are not using Visual Studio for design? With Visual Studio you can select the subreport, using the Properties window, and it will appear selected in the designer.

Not using VS, just using the bare bones MS SQL Report Designer that comes with SQL Server.

Report Designer or Report Builder? The reason I ask is that Report Designer actually runs inside a VS shell and provides what I was talking about. If report designer go to the property windows and select the subreport in the drop-down.


Have you ever thought about switching to use VS? It can be done for free using the VS isolated Shell and then downloading and installing BIDS. Nice upgrade from Report Builder.


I really haven’t. Besides a better Report Builder, what other advantages do a VS environment provide?

Really? I thought you had to pay for a VS license to upgrade. Dang, I’m not currently designing reports but if/when I do I’ll look up how to get it setup.

VS Community Edition is FULL and Free

However in my experience the SSRS editor is not that much better… I actually believe it is the same exact thing… for the most part though maybe I am wrong.


A general comparison of the tools.


I would also be careful of using Community Edition. Typical Microsoft licensing terms that make it clear as mud.


a. Individual license. If you are an individual working on your own applications to sell or for any other purpose, you may use the software to develop and test those applications.

b. Organization licenses. If you are an organization, your users may use the software as follows:

· Any number of your users may use the software to develop and test your applications released under Open Source Institute (OSI)-approved open source software licenses.

· Any number of your users may use the software to develop and test your applications as part of online or in person classroom training and education, or for performing academic research.

· If none of the above apply, and you are also not an enterprise (defined below), then up to 5 of your individual users can use the software concurrently to develop and test your applications.

· If you are an enterprise, your employees and contractors may not use the software to develop or test your applications, except for open source and education purposes as permitted above. An “enterprise” is any organization and its affiliates who collectively have either (a) more than 250 PCs or users or (b) more than one million US dollars (or the equivalent in other currencies) in annual revenues, and “affiliates” means those entities that control (via majority ownership), are controlled by, or are under common control with an organization.

c. Demo use. The uses permitted above include use of the software in demonstrating your applications.

d. Backup copy. You may make one backup copy of the software, for reinstalling the software.

It has good tools to integrate with TFS for version control, and also for deploying to live/test/dev without downloading/uploading a bunch of files through the web interface. It was great when I had to set up a new environment for dev.

Visual Studio is not your fathers VS. The Community Edition is what the old Pro edition was. You get a ton for free no hang ups as you did even 5 years ago.