Whenever you create a new report or modify an existing report you will be using the Report Formatter to place item(s) in the desired location. The screen is very easy to use, with a toolbar of commonly used commands, a pull down menu, and use of the right mouse button to modify item(s) on the screen. Here is a screen shot of the Report Formatter:
Report Formatter screen
Using the Report Formatter, you will place bands on the report screen. Bands are just various sections of a report, such as a Page Header, Detail, and Group Footer bands. Within each band, you will place frames. Frames are containers or holders for text or data. For example, if you want to print today's date on a report, you would place a frame in the band in which you wish the date to print, size it accordingly, and assign the Today() date function to the frame. You can then customize each frame by setting the font style, size and color you desire, as well as locating the frames on the report as you wish.
It's possible to create a brand new report from scratch in Report Builder in as little as 10 minutes. Or, you could literally spend hours placing, defining and moving frames within the report until you get it just right. Much like a desktop publishing program or extracting data from an application like Excel or Access, once you've gotten past the learning curve, the level of detail you want to dedicate to a project is entirely up to you.
If you're designing a report that is somewhat similar to an existing report, we recommend copying the existing report, and beginning development from there.
If you have a certain look that you want all your reports to have, you might want to design a basic template, containing the report title, date, time and other default information. Then, whenever you create a new report, simply open this "template" report, and immediately save it with the new report's name. You now have a semi-blank slate from which to work, and just saved yourself having to create all the default layout properties all over again!