The Table Component
The Tablecomponent can be created by dragging it from the Report Design Palette, or by simply dragging a Data Source from the Key Browser to a page in your report. A new Table with no bound Data Key is fairly simple looking, but hides a wealth of functionality. When you create a table, by default, you will see a basic table like the image below on the report page. It says "Object Details" because it has not yet been set up to use a Data Source.
Once you have your dataset, you're probably thinking about how to display that data in a report. To best understand how to use a table to illustrate your data in a report, you need to have a basic understanding of how the report table works.
Anatomy of a Table
A table has multiple sections, each with its own properties. By default, a Table consists of three sections:
- Table Body - Parent section of a table is (actual / entire Table)
- Table Rows - Containers for the Text Shapes. There are three types of table rows: Header, Details, and Summary. More information on these row types can be found on the Table Rows page.
- Text Shapes / Cells - Similar to the standalone Text Shape component, Text Shapes are embedded directly into the rows on a table. In Reporting, Text Shapes are commonly referred to as cells.
Text Shapes or Cells
If you're look in the Project Browser tree, you'll notice a node called 'Text Shape.' In Reporting, the Text Shape can also be called a 'cell.' For the sake of clarity, Text Shapes will be referred to as 'cells,' unless we are referring to a Text Shape component.
Each section (i.e., Table, Rows, and Cells), when selected, has its own unique properties (shown below), along with some common basic properties that appear in the Properties tab of the Property Inspector. Refer to the Table page in the Appendix for a complete list of all Table properties.
Column Count vs Column Count
When modifying properties on a section of the Table, always pay attention to which section you selected. Some property names on one section may look similar to properties on a different section. For example, Table Rows have a Column Count property that adds a new column to the row, but the Table Body section also has a Column Count property that will cause the same table to spill out horizontally on the same page causing some of the data to be rendered on an unprintable area of the report!
When you first drag a table into the Design panel of your report, the Configure Table tab will appear in the Property Inspector. You will see that it has a default Data Key of "Objects", which matches the Details row in the table. The first step when configuring your table is to drag your Datasource from the Key Browser to the Data Key field in the Configure Table tab. Changing the Data Key will also change the label on the Details row making it easier to determine what you are looking at when editing multiple tables or Groupings. Depending on how you want to present your data, you may also want to add Header and Summary Rows.
Once you add a Data Key to your table, you can start designing. There are many tools built into the Table interface that you can use to help you layout and organize the data in your table. Now all you need to do is decide how you want to organize and display the data in your report.
If you have a lot of tabular data, you probably want to use a Standard row. You might start by simply dragging your Data Keys from the Key Browser to columns in your Details row. Then, you might give each Header column a label. If you have a bunch of numbers that you want to add together, you can create a Summary row using the 'total' built-in key. Lastly, you might want to make some cosmetic changes to the font size, font color, changing the Header row from structured to unstructured so you can add an image, chart, etc. The design possibilities are endless!
The following example shows the basic anatomy of a table with data populated in the Header, Details, and Summary rows. Once your finished designing your report, go to the Preview panel and check your results. You can continue to go navigate between the Design and the Preview panel making changes until you get your report just right!
Editing a table can be a little tricky. There is no 'undo' command to undo any formatting changes you made to a table during an editing session. Consequently, if you use the 'Undo' icon in the menu bar to undo any edits, it may mess up your row and cell formatting. When editing a table, it's best to save frequently, and if you need to undo any edits, Exit your project and reopen it to return to the last version of your table.
Report Tables have very powerful
The Reporting engine will automatically create new pages to fit all data within the Table's boundaries while applying formatting preferences each step along the way such as font, size, layout and alignment. Combine that feature with powerful data manipulation and expressive layout tools, and you get an object that often forms the basis of your reports.
Table Rows allow you to organize and format data in a table.
When using a table in a report, you can group data in the table by a specific column giving reporting users the ability to flexibly layout and organize tabular data. With Dataset Grouping, you can break tables down by data keys that share a common value. Tables support an arbitrary level of groups, and each group can have its own Header, Details, and Summary rows. Additionally, the keys from 'Show Calculations' and other keychain functions are supported for any level of grouping.
Table Row Versioning
Charts Inside of Tables
Grouping Data Inside Tables
Other Table Components
There are a few other tables in the Report Module, and they all behave a little differently than the report table.
- Simple Table - a basic table that has a set number of rows and columns that you can put static or dynamic values. You cannot use keys from a dataset in this table.
- Labels - primarily used for printing sticker labels for inventory tracking or other systems. These reports are usually sent to a printer.
- CrossTab - a table used for displaying data with two groupings (i.e., machine_name and downtime_entry) to correlate data. This table will stretch both its height and width to accommodate the underlying dataset.