ActiveReports 12
ActiveReports 12 > ActiveReports User Guide > Concepts > Section Report Concepts > Section Report Toolbox > RichTextBox

In ActiveReports, the RichTextBox control is used to display, insert and manipulate formatted text. It is different from the TextBox control in a number of ways. The most obvious is that it allows you to apply different formatting to different parts of its content.

You can also load an RTF file or an HTML file into the RichTextBox control at design time or at run time, and you can use it to create field merged reports with field placeholders that you replace with values at run time. You can add fields to the text you enter directly in the control by right-clicking and choosing Insert Fields and providing a field name.

For more information, see Load a File into a RichTextBox Control and Mail Merge with RichTextBox.

Important Properties

Property Description
AutoReplaceFields If True, any fields in the RTF control are replaced with fields from the data source.
CanGrow Determines whether ActiveReports should increase the height of the control based on its content.
CanShrink Determines whether ActiveReports should decrease the height of the field based on its value.
MultiLine Gets or sets a value that determines whether the RichTextBox prints multiple lines or a single line.
DataField Gets or sets the field name from the data source to bind to the control.

Keyboard Shortcuts

In edit mode, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts.

Key Combination Action
Enter New line.
Alt + Enter Saves modifications and exits edit mode.
Esc Cancels modifications and exits edit mode.

In the End User Designer, you can disable this feature in the EditModeEntering and EditModeExit events.

Load File Dialog

With the control selected on the report, in the Commands section at the bottom of the Properties window, you can click the Load file command to open the dialog. This allows you to select a file to load into the control at design time. Supported file types are as follows.

To load a file into the report at run time, use the Load method. For more information, see Load Method.

Supported Tags


The following HTML tags are supported in the RichTextBox control.

Tip: In order to show special characters in an HTML file loaded into the control, use the character entity reference (for example, è for è or & for &).
Tag Description Attributes
<B> Bold none
<I> Italic none
<P> Paragraph align, style
<STRONG> Strong (looks like bold) none
<BIG> Big none
<SMALL> Small none
<PRE> Preformatted none
<FONT> Font  face, size, color, style (see notes for style attributes)
<BODY> The body tag background, text, leftmargin
<H1> - <H6> Heading levels one through six none
<BR> Line break none
<EM> Emphasized (looks like Italics) none
<U> Underlined none
<IMG> Image align, height, src, width
<SUP> Superscript none
<SUB> Subscript none
<CENTER> Center alignment none
<TABLE> Table align, border, cellpadding, cellspacing, height, style, width
<TR> Table row align
<TH> Table head none
<TD> Table datum align, border, colspan, rowspan, width
<LI> List item none (nested levels automatically use disc, then circle, then square bullets)
<OL> Ordered list type
<UL> Unordered list type
<STRIKE> Strike through none

Style Attribute Properties

The style attribute of <FONT>, <P>, and <TABLE> tags supports the following properties.

  • border-bottom
  • border-bottom-width
  • border-color
  • border-left
  • border-left-width
  • border-right
  • border-right-width
  • border-style
  • border-top
  • border-top-width
  • border-width
  • font-family
  • font-size
  • height
  • line-height
  • margin-bottom
  • margin-left
  • margin-right
  • margin-top
  • padding-bottom
  • padding-left
  • padding-right
  • padding-top
  • table-layout
  • text-align
  • text-indent
  • width

RichTextBox Dialog

With the control selected on the report, in the Commands section at the bottom of the Properties window, you can click the Property dialog command to open the dialog.


Name: Enter a name for the RichTextBox that is unique within the report. This name is displayed in the Document Outline and in XML exports. You can only use underscore (_) as a special character in the Name field. Other special characters such as period (.), space ( ), forward slash (/), back slash (\), exclamation (!), and hyphen (-) are not supported.

Tag: Enter a string that you want to persist with the control. If you access this property in code, it is an object, but in the Properties window or Property dialog, it is a string.

Visible: Clear this check box to hide the control.

DataField: Select a field from the data source to bind to the control.

Max length: Enter the maximum number of characters to display in the control. If you do not specify a value, it displays an unlimited number of characters.

AutoReplaceFields: Select this check box to have ActiveReports replace any fields in the control with values from the data source.


Background Color: Select a color to use for the background of the control.


RichTextBox height

Can increase to accommodate contents: Select this check box to set CanGrow to True.

Can decrease to accommodate contents: Select this check box to set CanShrink to True.

Multiline: Select this check box to allow the control to display multiple lines of text.