How to: Add Design-time Captions to Field Controls

For Field report controls, you are able to assign a design-time caption that shows up in the Report Designer layout in place of the regular field expression.

Design-time captions are only visible in the designer when the design session was launched using the PROTECTED keyword. For normal design sessions, the field expression is shown in the field control.

This design-time caption is a literal string, stored in the NAME column of the report layout source file (.frx or .lbx). The default report builder application,, exposes this property for Fields on the Protection tab. For more information, see Protection Tab, Report Control Properties Dialog Box (Report Builder).

To set a design-time caption on a Field report control

  1. Open the report or label layout in the appropriate designer.

  2. In the designer, double-click the control you want or right-click it and select Properties from the context menu.

    The properties dialog box for the report control opens.


    If the _REPORTBUILDER system variable is not set to the default Report Builder or is set to a third-party builder, the report control dialog box displays or a different dialog box might display. There is no way to set a design-time caption using the native report control dialog box. For more information, see _REPORTBUILDER System Variable.

  3. In the report control properties dialog box, click the Protection tab.

  4. Enter a character string in the Design-time caption text box. For example, for a field control with an expression of DATETIME(), you might enter a sample of the output like "13 July 1996 14:25."


    Design-time captions are not expressions. You must enter a literal series of characters. Do not surround them with quote marks unless you want the quote marks to appear in the designer as part of the visible caption.

  5. When you are finished, click OK.

See Also

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