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Report Designer contains four distinct workspaces with different tools for creating professional reports:

The Design Workspace

When you select Design Reports, Report Designer defaults to the Design workspace. This is where you spend the majority of your report-building time. The Design workspace is divided into two areas: the workbench and the canvas. The workbench is comprised of toolbars, component palettes, rulers, and other tools that you can use to manipulate the canvas. The canvas is the area that contains the report layout. This is where you place bands and components that ultimately control the content of each page of the report.

The canvas is made up of the header, detail, and footer bands. The header band displays at the top of each page of the report, the detail band makes up the body of the report, and the footer band displays at the bottom of each page of the report.

The Preview Workspace

The Preview tab plays an integral role in creating reports. It displays the report on the screen in its printed format. As your report develops, you can access the Preview workspace to see how it is shaping up. You can make changes and corrections based on the report's appearance. Using the tools in this workspace, you can view each page of the report or zoom in to get a better look at a specific page. You can also print the report in the Preview workspace.

The Data Workspace

Use the Data workspace to select and manipulate data for a given report. In most cases, you will not need to use the Data workspace because the Report Designer interfaces with ACS Advanced Export to select data for your report. You can use an existing Advanced Export or create a new one, depending on your reporting needs. This method of data selection simplifies the query process and makes it easier to select data without an in-depth knowledge of databases. Using ACS Advanced Export to select data eliminates the need to use the query functionality of the Data workspace when you are designing a report.

The Calc Workspace

Report Application Pascal (RAP) is the programming language used for formula calculations in the Report Designer. The RAP user guide provides
useful information on the functionality found on the designer's Calc workspace and on the Calculations menu option associated with the Variable report component.