Inserting, Selecting, and Positioning Elements

Inserting Elements

To insert an element in a report, drag the element from the palette into a report band. The new element is created and appears in the report editing area.

Selecting Elements

To select the element, click it in the report editing area or in the Outline view. You can adjust the element position by dragging it; to modify its size, select it then drag a corner of the selection frame.

It is possible to select several elements at the same time by drawing a rectangle around the elements with the arrow tool. Depending on the direction in which the rectangle is drawn, elements can be selected only if fully contained in the selected area or partially selected.

Alternatively, you can select more than one element at the same time by holding down the Shift key and clicking each desired elements.

Specifying a value for a particular property applies that value to all selected elements. However, if two or more elements are selected, only their common properties are displayed in the Properties view. If the values of the properties are different, the value fields are blank (usually the field is shown empty). To edit properties unique to one element, select only that element.

Positioning Elements

Jaspersoft Studio offers a number of ways to place the elements in your report with precision.

Using the Grid

If you need reference points to position and align elements in the page, you can turn on the grid in the design pane by selecting the menu item View > Show Grid.

To force the elements to snap to the grid, select View > Snap to Grid.

Using Bands

The top and left values that define the element’s position are always relative to the parent container, which is usually a band but can be a frame element.

If you want to move an element from its initial band to another band or a frame, or vice versa, drag the element node from the Outline view to the new band (or frame) node.

An element must remain in its parent band; it should not be moved even partially out of the band. A design error is displayed in the Report Problems view and the report does not run.

In the report editing area, you can drag an element from one band to another band, but the element’s parent band does not change. In general, an element must stay in its band, but there are exceptions to this rule. For example, you can move an element anywhere in the report without changing or updating the parent band.


When dragging or resizing an element, Jaspersoft Studio suggests places to align it based on the elements currently in the design pane, the band bounds, and any guidelines. When the element you are moving or resizing is in line with another element in the report, a guideline appears, allowing you align the elements.

You can also create guidelines without dragging an element. With the guidelines’ magnetic effect, it is easy to place the elements in the right position. To create a guideline, just click one of the rulers and drag it where you want to align elements.

You can drag and change the position of a guideline at any time; this has no effect on the element’s position.

To remove a guideline, drag it to the upper-left corner of the report editing area.

The Properties View

You can use the Properties view to edit an element’s properties; it is usually located on the right side of the Jaspersoft Studio window. The Properties view is not used just for elements; it can be used to edit the properties of all the components that make up the report, including page format, band options, parameters, and variables and fields. When something is selected in the designer or in the Outline view, the Properties view shows the options for the selected object.