Whilst the Properties area displays a definition of all properties for an object, some properties can also be accessed via the toolbar. By default, the properties are listed in the Properties area of the Report Designer page by category, however you can list them alphabetically if you prefer. Use the Alphabetic sort icon, and the Categorised sort icon, to toggle between these options.
Just below the Properties area, a text area provides further explanation about a property as you highlight each.
If you look at the property categories, you will see that properties control things like the appearance, behaviour, and summing (or calculating) qualities of an object. The available properties depend on the type of object selected; for example the properties categories of a footer are different from those of a data field.