Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.
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Laboratory Tools - Visual Layout | Alteryx 11.7

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

  Layout Tool.jpg

Yeah! Visual Layout Help


Caveat: This is a Laboratory Tool and is not for production use. It may have documented known issues, may not be feature complete, and is subject to change.


This tool is great now, but wait until we add all the other features! Please test this tool and give us your feedback. You can add your feedback about the tool here


We also have additional information about the tool from Katie's blog post here.


This article entails a list of what the tool can do at this point and what it can’t at this point. Also, short instructions on how to setup the tool. We will continue to add new features and update this article each time with what can do now!



                Element – These are the report pieces that are created from the Reporting tools.

                Drop Zone – Area where an element can be placed on the canvas.


Can Do:

  • Create single row report using different report elements
  • Drag and Drop elements on the canvas
  • Place elements where you want on the canvas
  • Choose the report output type and size
  • Adjust margins


Can’t Do

  • Join data together
  • Grouping
  • Borders
  • Include Source Fields in Output
  • Cell padding
  • Separator


How to use:

This tool will receive as many reporting elements as the user chooses since it has a Arrow.png multiple optional input availability.


This tool will also need to be run once the elements are connected to populate the tools element section.


Select the tool:


Click on Manage Layout:




When the tool is first opened the Page setup will be displayed for the user to choose Report Type, Paper Size, Margins etc.




Elements included in the tool will show represented by Alteryx colors. In this example, we have all of the different types of elements in the tool except the Image and Legend.


Next to the name of the element, it will tell you how many of that particular elements are available for you to add to the report. In this sample, each element type only has 1 element available.




This is your report canvas. Your initial element will be placed on the upper right hand corner of the canvas. We recommend working from top to bottom, placing headers or labels first and work your way down. From there you can make any adjustments by dragging the element in a couple of different ways.




This is the relocation bar. This allows you to delete the element from the canvas and allows you to drop the element in specific drop zones. This is used when you have multiple elements on the canvas.




The user now wants to place their chart on the canvas. The Drop Zones are designated by the green lines around the areas that you can drop the element.



The user has placed their chart on the right-hand side of the header. But who wants that there?




With a few simple moves with the relocation bar I have my element that I want and the top and the chart at the bottom.


The user can also move the element by selecting the element below the relocation bar.







The user has now moved the element to a different area of the canvas!



5 - Atom

Thanks a lot for this post. I have some questions here:

If I want to render this to a PPT file, how can I control the layout using this tool (for example, I want to organize my elements on MULTIPLE, 16 x 9 slides... is this possible?

If not, do you know if there is roadmap for this development?


Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

@jjsoh1226 this is possible, but you would have to use two Layout tools to render the two different layouts. In the future this will be possible to do in one tool, we just haven't gotten to that portion yet. Please make your comments for this feature in the feedback. As the more requests we get for this feature the higher priority it will receive.

5 - Atom

Thank you DanM. 

1. "Please make your comments for this feature in the feedback" - sorry am I commenting in the wrong place?

2. "two Layout tools to render the two different layouts" - could I please see an example? Which tool should I use to join the 2 visual layout tools together, and render into a same file so the PPT would have multiple slides?


Thank you so much in advance!

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team



Please add your feedback to the beta link at the beginning of the article.


This is what your setup would need to look like. You would still need to use an older Layout Tool to put the elements together since the new tools do not have grouping yet. I did find though that outputting to Powerpoint may have some issues at this point with recognizing the elements as one piece if you have more than one snippet within the element. So you may need to use something like PDF to output the pages and then transfer them to Powerpoint. This is still a work in progress so again any feedback is what we are looking for with the new tool.



6 - Meteoroid

I did see that the Visual Display didn't have an option for Overlays, but I found that if I first feed my Overlay into a Table tool, de-select every column but the Overlay column, turn off "Show Column Headings" and turn "Table Border" off, then feed the Table into the Visual Layout Tool, the map will show up with all the Overlays included.  It's not sizable, but you can just go back to the original Map to tweak it.

8 - Asteroid


I love this tool! But I'm having some trouble following it up with the render tool to create a file.


I'm attempting to use the render tool following 4 separate visual layouts. The 4 reports appear correct in the "Manage Layout", so now I need to turn them into 1 PDF file with the 4 reports on their own pages.


We'll call the sections/headers:






In the "Manage Layout" tool, each has an image, date, and header, and I need to maintain all of this. Essentially, the recipient should be able to just print the PDF and get 4 separate pages, each with the report as it appears in the Layout Manager. As I try this, I either lose sections, or all sections become combined without the appropriate headers (just one long table of data, with the image and header only on the first page).

I've tried multiple configurations in the Join Multiple and Render tools, to no avail. Your help is appreciated!

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team



You would need to use the original Layout tool as well like in the screenshot above. You will need to use the "Each Group of Records" in the Layout mode as well as use the vertical w/ section breaks. You would then need a field that you can use to group the reports together. You can use a Formula tool and create a new field or Multi-Row Formula tool depending on how many reports you want to group together. Then push that to a Render tool. 

8 - Asteroid


Thanks so much for the quick response.

After I posted, I realized I needed another layout tool, but something is still wrong.

In my Join Multiple, I have it set to join by record position. Below, I have the reports, with their new names in the rename column.

Then, in my layout tool, I set it to layout each group of records, with vertical section breaks, like you said. Below, though, in "Per Section Config", I only have the option of choosing one data field (from the rename in the join). In section name, only [None] is available.

Moving on to the formula, that is where I really don't know what to do. If I create a new output column, we'll call it "Reports", what then would need to be in the actual formual? For field options, I only have [layout]. I've never used the formula tool to render anything. Can you assist there?


The end result, as of right now, is my image/header/title at the bottom of the first page in the PDF, as well as the top of page 2. Then, all the data from the first report is listed...followed immediately by that same list, and again, and again, instead of separating the reports and using the full image and incorporating the data from other reports. Maybe that can be solved using the right formula?

8 - Asteroid
@DanM Got it! I ended up using the Join Multiple tool followed by 2 layout tools -- one to pull in each individual record, vertical with section breaks, checking all the 4 boxes for each layout I had joined. The next one, I set to all records combined, vertical with section breaks, with Layout as the data field in the per section configuration. Success! Thanks for nudging me in the right direction. The formula tool ended up not being needed.
6 - Meteoroid

Grouping is a Key Feature for me as I send out automated emails of Goals based on individual partners, I have a work around but im hoping grouping will be in this tool very soon my workflow would be so much cleaner.