Essential reporting vocabulary

The following table provides a list of essential terms and definitions for working with reports in ArcGIS.




A report is an effective way to display attribute information in a format that you control.

Group Level

A way of ordering data in a report by common values. For example, you could create a report with a group level based on ZIP Codes for a land-use layer. Land-use parcels within the same ZIP Code would be grouped together in the report.


An organized collection of predefined colors, symbols and formatting properties. Styles promote standardization and consistency in reports.

Report Designer

The Report Designer is a built-in window for modifying properties of a report. You can add new or change existing element properties or modify report properties like printer settings or style.

Report Viewer

The Report Viewer is a built-in window for previewing your report. From the Report Viewer, you can export or save the report or add the report to the map's layout.

Report Layout File (.rlf)

A file that allows you to reload or rerun an existing report and make changes to any editable report property.

Report Document File (.rdf)

A static report file. You can load this report in ArcMap to view it, but you cannot make changes to any of its properties.

Design Elements

Items that can be added to a report to provide more information, context, or style. Examples of design elements include images, text boxes, page numbers, and so on.

Report Section

A standard division of a report. For example, the Detail section of a report usually contains the attribute information you are reporting on; the ReportHeader section usually contains the report title.

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