InetSoft Reporting Software: Report Structure

A report consists of a sequence of report elements. The elements are processed sequentially during formatting and printing in the order they are added to the report. There are three types of elements in the report: inline elements, float elements, and block elements. Each type of element is laid out differently. The elements in each category are listed in the chart below.

Table 1. Element Category and Element Type


Element TYpes

Inline Elements

Text, Tab, Space

Float Elements

Chart, TextBox, Image, Painter

Block Elements

Table, Section, Form, Separator, Newline, Page Break, Area

structured report sample

Inline Elements

Inline elements are laid out from left to right on each line and adjusted for their horizontal alignment. Each line is defined as an area on a report that occupies the entire width of a report, while the height of the area is the maximum height of the elements on the line. A sequence of inline elements is printed from left to right. The printing advances to the next line after one of the following conditions occurs:

  • The contents of the line overflow the current line. The printing advances to the next line starting with any unfinished elements from the previous line.
  • A block element is encountered, which always forces a new line.

Float Elements

Float elements are a special class of inline elements. A float element always takes up a rectangular area on the report. Float elements are printed in the same flow as inline elements, but they may alter the flow depending on their anchor and wrapping settings. Because all float elements are implemented internally as painters, the term “painter” is sometimes used interchangeably with float elements in this document. Painter properties are shared by all float elements. They share the following characteristics:

  • Float elements can have a fixed size specified by a program. • Float elements can be anchored horizontally and/or vertically. If a float element is anchored, it changes the flow of the inline elements by creating sub-areas between the float elements. Inline elements flow horizontally and vertically inside these sub-areas.
  • Float elements can have a margin around the rectangular area.
  • Float elements share the rules of the layout, regarding whether the elements can be broken up in pieces when they do not fit on the remaining space of a page.
  • Float elements use wrapping rules to control how other inline elements can be positioned next to the float elements.
structured report graph
structured report template

Block Elements

Block elements always force the printing to advance to a new line and never share horizontal space with any other elements. Some of the block elements are invisible elements, meaning they do not take up any space but simply alter the flow of printing.