Yes, don't use a portal for this.
Instead, set up a list view layout based on the portal's table. You can use the relationship between your main table and the portal table in reverse to pull in data from the main table to put in a report header or sub summary part. Now fields can be set to shrink and slide up/resize enclosing part to get it to adjust field sizes to just large enought to display the data contained in this multi-line text field.
Resizing with field borders like you have here can be very problematic, but there are ways to get this detail to work also.
Thanks for the quick reply. I've tried setting up a list view, but I couldn't get it to look right (the field border issue). Its also more difficult to sort the data in a list view (at least for me). Any advice on the formatting. I would like to get the report to look as close as possible to the screenshot in my original post. Is there a way to format the list to at least have a line between each row? Also, as I understand it, the fields have to be sized for the largest amount of text, right?. They can shrink but not expand?
Yes fields can only shrink. Sorting the records on such a layout should be no more difficult than sorting the records in a portal though the exact steps to take are a little different. What difficulties are you having sorting records on this layout?
To get a horizontal line that divides one record from another is the easy part. The vertical borders are tricky. Simply use the horizontal line tool to draw such a line in the body of your report, just below the fields. Set it to slide up, resize enclosing part just like you have the fields. You can get vertical borders by drawing vertical lines that start just below the header-body border and extend at least one pixel into the next layout part (footer, trailing grand summary....) That extra bit of line can look a bit tacky so many developers will avoid using the vertical borders.
Oh yes, all sliding effects are only visible when you print, preview or save as PDF. They aren't visible in browse mode.
Thanks again for the advice. The only problem I have is that the vertical lines extend way beyond the bottom row. Is there any way to fix this? One pixel or so is no big deal, but half an inch won't work. Surely there is a way to handle veritical lines better?
One would think, but I haven't found anything that works really well. I have been able to place a white rectangle on top of the line in the final layout part. That cover's most of the extra line, but I still get one pixel of the line peaking past the boundary of the last part, which makes no sense to me.