SQL Server Reporting Services–TextBox–Expressions greyed out


Last Friday, I and the Project Manager of the Application I am working on locked ourselves in a conference room and tried to nail down some reports.

Honestly, it went slow.

I am not sure whether I was pensive as he is very busy and his time is premium or whether it was other things.


What I could not do

What simple things did I have problems with?

Well edit some of the text boxes.


Walk through

Here is a walk through.

  1. Create a new Report
  2. Add an Header line
  3. Extend the Header line into two sentences
  4. Now try to access the Express Editor for the Header Text-box
  5. You will notice that the  Expression menu item is disabled





Review Source Code

Let us review the Report Source Code and see if there is something special about our Text-box.

Let us assume that we captured the source code before extending the line.



Here is what happens once we have extended the text unto two lines:



Quick Notes:

  • We have two paragraph elements – one for each line

In Source Code, Comment Out Second Line

Comment out second line




Let us confirm that the Expressions menu item re-appears




Proper use of Expression Editor

Here it how to separate our text into separate lines:





  • We use the constant vbCRLF to separate out our lines



Thanks goodness for XML; as it makes Vendor generated code much easier to delve into.

2 thoughts on “SQL Server Reporting Services–TextBox–Expressions greyed out

    • Luciano:

      Glad it worked for you.

      Drove me crazy when I came across it and knew right away that I had to blog about it.

      Was not so sure the best way to tag it so that I can be sure that it was accessible to others that might come across the same phenomenal. And, so if you have any tag words, please pass it along.

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Happy Sunday,


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