Wonky Column Headers in SSRS

Have you run in to issues where your SSRS column headers just won’t scroll with the data?  How about losing the column headers when you go to your next page?  Well, there seems to be some ambiguity about this topic, and anyone who has searched for an answer to their problem has probably run into a bunch of rudimentary answers on how to fix said issues.  I’m living proof that said “fixes” don’t seem to always work consistently, and I have gone ahead and created my own set of steps to address the issue at hand.  I can’t promise it will fix your issues, but in every instance I had the problem, it worked.

For starters, I would read the following page from MSDN to get an understanding of how row and column headings work:


As you can see, this should be pretty simple, but in reality, I can’t get it to work consistently, and it seems many others have tried and failed.

For starters… these settings in the Tablix Properties just seem to cause more issues than help:

If you modify the “Row Headers” and “Column Headers” properties in here (select them), then you will get the following error when you attempt to run your report later… so don’t use them with this method:

This error will ruin your day when you’re using the advanced properties… trust me… I know!

As referenced in the MSDN page, the way to gain better control over the column headers is to use the advanced properties for Row and Column Groups:

After changing to “Advanced Mode”, you’ll see essentially 2 different types of top row.  Either way, the top row with contain the word “static” the major differentiation will whether or not the word is in parenthesis.

What makes the parenthesis critical is that if they’re missing, it means the header row has been deleted.  If the header row has been deleted, my advice is to re-create the report.  You will spend much less time in recreating it than you will chasing your tail trying to fix it!

On the flip side, if that top row has no parenthesis, you should be able to tackle this issue.

Select your top row and go to your properties window:

The key fields you want to look at here are “FixedData”, “KeepTogether”, “KeepWithGroup”, and “RepeatOnNewPage”.  By default, I typically set FixedData = True; KeepTogether = True; KeepWithGroup = After; and RepeatOnNewPage = True.

From there, if it’s not quite right, you can play with those 4 settings to resolve your issue.  Also, I would pay close attention to the bottom section of the MSDN article with regard to “Renderer Support” as there are only a few particular types of renderings for which the repeating rows and headers will work.

I hope this helps!

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