Modifying column properties

Each column in an ACL view has a number of properties that can be configured to modify how data is displayed on screen and in reports generated from the view. The properties configured for columns in a view do not alter the settings in the table layout or in other views associated with the table. If you create a copy of a view, using the Save As command, the properties of columns in the view are copied, but subsequent changes to column properties in either view only apply to the view in which the changes are made.

To modify properties for a column:

  1. In the View tab, right-click the column title and select Properties, or double-click the column title.
  2. If you want to modify the values displayed in the column, click Column Contents and use the Expression Builder to create or edit an expression. The expression in Column Contents must return the correct data type for the column (i.e., an expression for a numeric column must return a numeric value), and any fields referenced in the expression must exist in the table layout.
  3. If you want to change the text for the column title, enter the value to use in Alternate Column Title.
    Note

    You are changing the column title in the current view only, which overrides the default column title specified in the Table Layout dialog box. For more information, see Renaming columns in a view.

  4. If the column is a numeric column, you can modify the format used to display numbers in the column. Select the appropriate format from the Format drop-down list, or enter a custom format to use. If no format is specified, the Default Numeric Format is used, which is specified in the Numeric tab in the Options dialog box ( Tools > Options).
  5. If the column is a datetime column, you can modify the format used to display dates, datetimes, or times in the column. Select the appropriate format from the Format drop-down list, or enter a custom format to use. If no format is specified, the Date Display Format and/or the Time Display Format are used, which are specified in the Date and Time tab in the Options dialog box (Tools > Options).
  6. If you want to modify the width of the column display on screen or in a report, enter the new value in the Width text box. If the column contains numeric values you must ensure that the column is wide enough to display the values with the largest number of digits. If a full numeric value cannot be displayed on screen a string of number signs (######) is displayed to indicate an error.
  7. If you want to use the column to sort data in report output, select the Sort Key Column option and select Sort Ascending or Sort Descending to choose the sort order.
  8. If the column is a character column, and it is located to the left of any numeric, logical, or datetime fields in the view, you can set the following additional options for report output:
    • Break Column – Select this option to create a subsection, and calculate a subtotal, each time the value in the column changes. If there are any columns to the left of the break column the subsections and subtotals are generated when the unique combination of values from the columns changes.

    • Page Break – Select this checkbox to insert a page break each time the Break Column value changes. This option is only enabled if the Break Column checkbox is selected.

    • Suppress Duplicates – Select this checkbox to substitute blank entries for repeated values in the column. For example, if the customer name is listed for each invoice record, it might make the report more readable to list only the first instance of each customer name. This option is enabled only if the Break Column checkbox is selected.

  9. If the column is a numeric column, you can set the following additional options for report output:
    • Suppress Totals – Select this checkbox to prevent the values in the column from being totaled. By default, ACL automatically totals numeric fields in reports. You can suppress this behavior if the field contains data, such as unit prices or quantities, where calculating the total is not meaningful.

    • Blank if Zero – Select this checkbox to substitute blank entries for zero values in the column. For example, if a report typically includes a large number of zero values in a column, it might make the report more readable to display only the items that have a non-zero value.

  10. Click OK.


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