Creating a report

A report lets you organize and display the tabular data that's associated with your geographic features. Sometimes you'll want to print out a report to distribute with your map, export the report to a static format like RDF (report document file) or PDF to be shared, put the report directly on the map layout, or save the report as an RLF (report layout file) that can be rerun.

The two native file formats for reports in ArcGIS are RDF and RLF. After following the steps outlined below to create a report through the Report Wizard, you can create an RDF of your report using the Report Viewer. An RDF creates a static report of your data, essentially a snapshot of your data at that time. You can also create an RLF of your report using the Report Designer. An RLF creates a template of your report. The RLF includes all the fields in the report, how they are grouped, sorted, and formatted, along with all the other report elements that you add to your report's layout. When you rerun or reload an RLF file, the report will regenerate based on the source data. If the data has been updated or edited in any way, those changes will be reflected in the rerun report.

When you create your report, you choose which fields to display and whether you want to generate a report listing all features in a layer, only the selected ones, or a subset of the data based on a query.

A report has many properties that you set when you create it. For example, you can set a style for the report, set a page size, and use a particular font and color for the text on your report. You can also add columns to the report to change the way the report is formatted.

  1. Click the View menu, point to Reports, then click Create Report Create Report.

    This displays the Report Wizard that will guide you through creating your report.

    You can also open the report wizard from the Table Options menu on the Table window.
  2. On the first page of the wizard, click the Layer/Table drop-down menu and click the layer or table on which you want to base the report.
  3. Double-click the fields in the Available Fields list you want to include in the report.

    You can also use the arrow buttons to move selected fields Move Right or all fields Move All Right.

  4. Click the Dataset Options button if you want to create a report based on only selected features or a SQL query.
  5. Choose a field name and click the arrow buttons Move UpMove Down to order the report fields.
  6. Click Next to move to the next page of the wizard.
  7. Double-click on a report field to create a grouping level.
  8. Click the Grouping Options button if you want to define a specific grouping level.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Choose fields you want sorted in your report. Fields can be sorted in either ascending or descending order.
  11. Click the Summary Options button if you want to display summary statistics for a numeric field at either the end of report, the end of each page, or after each group in the report.
  12. Click Next.
  13. Choose the Layout and Orientation options that you would like to use for the Report.
  14. Click Next.
  15. Choose a style for the report from the list of predefined and custom styles.
  16. Click Next.
  17. Before you finish the report, decide if you would like to keep the default title (which is the name of the layer the report is based).

    Choose the option to preview the report right away or to modify the report's design. If you choose to preview, the report will be displayed in the Report Viewer and will include options for saving the report, adding to layout, and editing the design of the report. If you choose to modify the report's existing design, the report will open in the Report Designer, and you will be able to add elements and change properties of the report.

  18. Click Finish.
  19. From the Report Viewer, you can click the Add report to layout button Add Report To Layout to place the report on the map layout.
  20. Click save from the Report Viewer toolbar to save an RDF of your report.
  21. If you want to save an RLF, click Edit on the Report Viewer toolbar and save the report from within the Report Designer.

Once you've created a report, you can display it on your map layout using the Add Report to Layout button Add Report To Layout.


You can add report elements—such as a title, page numbers, an image, and footnotes—to enhance the display. Click Edit at the top of the Report Viewer to use the Report Designer. In design mode, you can add elements; change fonts, styles, and element properties; and modify any part of the report.

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