SQL Server Reporting Services–Error Message–“Invalid value ‘Outside’ for the custom attribute ‘Outside’”


Here I am working on some reports and I ended up with the error message:

      Invalid value ‘Outside’ for the custom attribute ‘Outside’

How did I get that far off line

While waiting for my next train, I just ran into my play sister.  As we spoke the question of whether her parents are strict came up.

And, she replied “Ain’t all Caribbean parents like that”.

So here is my take, my graph used to look like this.


It is obviously a Column Chart; on the other hand, it might not be so obvious that in some cases the labels will be placed inside the bars; while in

other cases they will be placed outside.

In our captured graph, our data points are shown inside for the first two numbers; 246 and 244.

SSRS Version

To keep this honest, we are developing using SQL Server Data Tools – v2012 ( SP1-CU4).


Setting Chart Label’s Position Outside

For the sake of consistency, let us go set the label’s position to always be on the outside.


Error Message

The error message below is shown where the graph should have appeared



To remediate, please run back and revert to Automatic.

The proper trail to take is to set via “Custom Attributes”:


Available Styles

Within the label style drop-down, here are the available choices:


We can see that the disallowed choice of “Outside” is not included.

Pie Line Style

One of the cases where the Outside Position is valid, is when the graph’s type is Pie.

Custom Attributes:

For Pie Charts, the Label’s position is called “PieLabelStyle”.




Source Code

Here is the Source Code:


Quick Explanation:

  • Label Position is set through the
    • Chart Series \ Label \ Position property, it is stored in ChartDataLabel \Style\ Position element
    • Chart Series \ CustomAttributes \ LabelStyle property, it is stored in ChartDataLabel \Style\ Position element



All the years, I have been listening to this song….  And, it is only now that I heard this line (at the very end of the song)!


Somethings that happen, you never really know,

Just like it says in the bible, it happens for a reason

You got to have faith


Where will you be Today


I think back to my sister’s wise words:

Yes, I agree with my Dad.  After seeing all the problems other kids have, I like the fact that my parents are more structured

Enough about her.

I really would not have had my problems if I had gone about setting the Label Position \ Style via the more concise trail of “Custom Attributes”.

Notwithstanding what all the kids gang up to say, “more is not always better“.

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