Skip Headers
Oracle® Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Help
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)
  Go To Table Of Contents

Formatting Columns in Analyses

When you build an analysis, you can edit properties for columns to control their appearance and layout. You can also specify formatting to apply only if the contents of the column meet certain conditions. By default, the specifications for a column apply only to the current analysis.

If your account has the appropriate privileges, then you can save the user-specified column properties as the systemwide default settings to use every time that data from that column, or columns of that particular data type, is displayed in results. The properties that you can save as defaults include formatting ones and other properties such as those that affect interactions and data write back.

Because groups and calculated items are simply members of their respective columns, they inherit the formatting from the column and follow the same precedence order as for other members, unless you specifically apply formatting to the groups or calculated items.

This section contains the following topics:

What Kinds of Formatting Can I Apply?

You can use the tabs in the "Column Properties dialog" to customize how content is displayed for columns in views. Hierarchy levels provide an additional detail of formatting for hierarchical columns.

The following list provides examples of the kinds of formatting that you can apply:

  • Apply cosmetic formatting to the column or hierarchy level, such as font family and size.

  • Assign alternate folder and column heading names and apply custom formatting to them.

  • Control the display of duplicate data, such as repeating column labels.

  • Override the default formatting for columns and data values with custom formatting.

  • Apply conditional formatting to the column or hierarchy level, which enables different formatting to be applied based on the values. For example, values greater than $1 million can be formatted with a green color.

Applying Formatting to a Column

You can use the following procedure to set default formatting for columns. You can override the default settings by formatting columns in editors for data views, such as tables.

To apply formatting to a column:

  1. Open the analysis in which you want to edit formatting and behavior in the "Analysis editor: Criteria tab," and then:

  2. Add or locate the column or hierarchy level to modify. (Expand a hierarchical column to see its levels.)

  3. Click the Options button to the right of the column name or hierarchy level name in the Selected Columns pane, and click Column Properties or Hierarchy Level Properties. The "Column Properties dialog" is displayed.

  4. Click the "Column Properties dialog: Style tab" and specify how you want each cell and its contents to be displayed in the analysis. For example, change the cell border to red and the cell content to be displayed in a 14-point Arial font.

    For more information, see "What is Cosmetic Formatting?"

  5. Click the "Column Properties dialog: Column Format tab" to specify various properties such as those for heading names and value suppression.

  6. Click the "Column Properties dialog: Data Format tab" to specify how you want to override the data's default display characteristics. The options that display on this tab depend upon the data type (text, date and time zone, or numeric).

    See "Custom Format Strings" for additional information on customizing date and time fields and see "Custom Format Masks" for creating custom masks for numeric data.

  7. Click the "Column Properties dialog: Conditional Format tab" to add conditional formatting to a column or hierarchy level.

    For more information, see "Applying Conditional Formatting to Tables, Pivot Tables, Performance Tiles, Graphs, and Trellises."

  8. If you accessed the Column Properties dialog from the Criteria tab, you can optionally, click Save as Default and click the appropriate option to restore or to save defaults, if you have the appropriate privileges.

  9. Click OK to save your changes.

Saving Formatting Defaults

When you use the tabs in the "Column Properties dialog" to customize how content is displayed for columns in views, you override the Oracle Business Intelligence style sheet and the system defaults for the column or hierarchy level.

You have the option of saving the modified properties for just the column or hierarchy level within the analysis, of saving the properties as systemwide defaults for the data type, or of saving the properties as systemwide defaults for the column or hierarchy level so that its formatting and behavior is the same no matter in which analysis it displays. Anyone who uses this column or hierarchy level or a column or hierarchy level of this data type in subsequent analyses therefore uses the settings in the "Column Properties dialog" by default. To save systemwide properties, you must have the appropriate privileges.

The ability to set a systemwide default can provide consistency and save time within your organization. For example, suppose that your organization had decided to use Arial as the font family for all text columns in all analyses. Suppose that a decision is later made to switch to Times New Roman for all text columns. You can simply save Times New Roman as the systemwide default for text columns. All existing analyses that contain text columns in which the font family is specified as Default (Arial) are updated automatically.