Format Columns Function


The Format Columns function allows you to pick the font styles for the various columns.  Select the Format Columns (Format columns button) toolbar button in the Data Table Window to present the Format Columns window:  

sample Format Columns interface

The table at the top left lists all of the column names and whether or not the columns should be formatted according to the specifications in the table on the right.  A check in the "Format?" column indicates that a given column will be formatted according to the specifications on the right when you click OK.  Check and un-check the "Format?" check boxes by clicking the mouse in them.  Use the vertical scroll bar on the right to move up and down through the tables.

Click the Format or Ignore buttons to check/un-check all of the selected boxes in the "Format?" column in the table on the left.  

Click Invert to automatically de-select the blue rows and select those that were white.

You may also choose to format columns whose names meet certain criteria (using the box on the lower left of the window):

  1. First specify whether or not to select columns based on all or any of the criteria to be specified (not important if only a single criterion will be used).  The Match using: ALL criteria  or ANY criteria radio buttons should be selected to reflect whether the selection should be set for this "And" or "Or" condition.

  2. Click the Add Criteria button to add a row to the table below the Column Name, Operation, and Value column headings.  Each row represents a filter condition.  Click the Delete Criteria button to remove any criteria that are selected (shown in blue).  To select a single criterion, click the mouse on any entry in that row.  To select multiple criteria (in an MS-Windows operating system), hold the control key down while clicking the mouse.

  3. On this screen the Column Name column is always titled Column Name.  This indicates that the criterion will reflect a characteristic of the column name.  Click the mouse on the second cell in the first white or blue row of the table (under the Operation column), and a pull-down menu appears.  The menu shows a list of operations that apply to numeric, logical, and string variables (>, <, >=, <=, =, not =, starts with, does not start with, contains, does not contain, ends with, and does not end with); choose the appropriate one to select a group of columns.  Complete the selection statement by typing directly into the cell in the Value column.

  4. Then click the Select button to highlight in blue those rows in the upper left panel whose column names match the criteria.  Click Format or Ignore to check/un-check all of the selected boxes in the "Format?" column.  

After selecting the appropriate columns for formatting, click on the appropriate font, font style (plain, bold, italic, or bold & italic), and font size in the Font, Style, and Size columns in the table on the right.  The horizontal alignment of the text should be set to Left, Center, or Right using the pull-down menu in the Horizontal Alignment field.

To change the text color or the background color, click the mouse pointer on the Text Color or Background Color box to open a dialog box that enables you to choose the color three different ways.  Click on the Swatch tab to pick a color from a chart directly, click on the HSB tab to specify the hue, saturation, and brightness, or click on the RGB tab to indicate the levels of red, green, and blue to be used in the color.  Click OK on the dialog box to pick this color, Cancel to keep the previously selected color, or Reset to change the color back to the previously selected color.

Type a whole number in the Column Width field to set the number of pixels that should be used across the formatted columns.  The minimum column width is 15 pixels, and each character requires approximately 5 pixels (for the Normal Dialog font at 12 point size).

If the selected columns contain numeric values, you may set the number of decimal places (digits to the right of the decimal place) in the Decimal Place field, the number of significant digits (the digits from the first nonzero digit on the left to either the last digit [zero or nonzero] on the right if following a decimal point or the last nonzero digit of the number if the last place is greater than 1) in the Significant Digits field, and select the Scientific or Standard Notations radio buttons, Percentages or Dollars radio buttons as necessary.  You may also type a format style into the  Sample field to the left of the prompt.

Click OK to format the selected columns on the Data Table Window and close the Format Columns window.

Click Cancel to close the Format Columns window without making any changes.  

Click the Reset (Reset button) toolbar button on the Data Table Window to return the original display of all columns.