Standard SSRS reports to Excel

I’ve always just made a custom version of the SSRS RDL. Here’s a few notes regarding issues with RDLs destined for Excel.

  1. Use Tablix. With only one field per cell. Merging cells is okay, but use it sparingly.
  2. If looking for “raw data” avoid Group headers or footers
  3. Lineup text boxes. A column break is created at the left and right edges of each text box. So if you have a field in the page header (like Date), make sure its left and right edges line up with cells in the tablix below. If you text box needs to be bigger than the cell below it, stretch it all the way to span two cells.
  4. When selecting the “Excel” output format when running a report, you’ll get the header repeated every page. Select the “Excel Data Only” output format to get just the body.

We have many reports that are tweaks of the built-in ones, that have the Style name ending with “…(Excel Friendly)”