BusinessObjects: Create Report Sections


Creating sections in a report allows you to group data (for example, by department) and display subtotals for each section. Sections are similar to report breaks, with a few key differences:

  • Sections display as header cells above the table. Breaks display within the table.
  • By default, sections display only subtotals. Breaks display both subtotals and grand totals.

A report must be in Design mode in order to work with sections.

This procedure includes the following:

Step-by-Step Process

Create a Section

  1. Right-click any data cell in the column from which you want to create a section.
    • Be sure the cell is selected before right-clicking. The first time you click on the cell, the table is selected, as shown by a dark outline. The second time you click, the cell is selected and the column highlighted.
  2. Click Set as Section

A section can also be set using the toolbar.

  1. Click Insert Section Insert Section icon on the Insert area of the toolbar.
  2. Screenshot of the BusinessObjects toolbar showing the Insert Section icon

  3. Click on the report to which you want to add a section.
  4. Screenshot of the insert section function being added to a report

  5. Select the field from which you want to create a section.
  6. Click OK.


  • A report can have multiple sections. Repeat the above steps to create additional sections.
  • If your report is long, you can use the Report Structure panel to help with navigation. Click the Main Panel icon Main Panel icon, then click Report Structure Report Structure icon.

Position a Section

  1. Click Structure from the Reading/Design drop-down list.
  2. Screenshot of Reading/Design menu in the upper right corner.

  3. Position the section head cell and table, and resize as needed.
  4. Screenshot of a report in Structure mode showing the heading being adjusted to be taller

  5. Click Design from the Reading/Design drop-down list to view the results.

Note: Additional formatting options are available for each cell by right-clicking the cell, clicking Format Free/Table Cell and choosing a formatting option. These are also available on the Properties panel Properties Panel icon - Report Element Format panel Report Element Format Panel icon.

Add Text to a Section Head

  1. Click a section cell.
  2. In the Cell Formula bar, place your cursor after the equal sign (=) and type the text enclosed in double quotes, followed by a plus sign (+).
    • For proper spacing, leave a space inside the quotation marks between the text and the formula.
  3. Screenshot of section head format.

  4. Press Enter to confirm.

Fold a Section to Hide Details

Folding a section is useful if you want to hide detail rows and view only subtotals and headers.

  1. Click the three-dot More menu in the Display section of the toolbar and click Fold/Unfold.
  2. Screenshot of the Display section of the toolbar with the More menu expanded

  3. Click the triangles next to a Section value to collapse or expand it.
  4. Screenshot of a report with the expand/collapse triangle highlighted.