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Changing the formatting of a column

The formatting of a column defines how the data in the column will be presented. For example, depending on how you format a date column, the dates therein can be shown as "01/12/2015" or "January 12th, 2015".

Prerequisites

You must have some data loaded in the analysis and the Data panel must be shown.

Procedure

  1. In the Data panel, click on the column of interest and click on the Expand data panel for tools and details button, Expand data panel for tools and details..
    In the Data panel, you can also right-click the column of interest and select Formatting from the pop-up menu.
  2. In the expanded data panel, locate the Formatting section and either change the formatting to a different type directly from the drop-down list or click on the Formatting settings button, Settings button., and make further modifications in the Formatting settings dialog as described below.
  3. In the Formatting settings dialog, click the tab of interest.
    Depending on the data type, you will have access to different tabs and settings in the dialog. Numeric columns have more options to choose from than other types of columns. The Custom format allows you to specify your own format, if what you are looking for is unavailable in the predefined formats.
  4. Select the formatting you want to use from the controls in the dialog, or, define a custom formatting.
    A sample of the selected format is automatically shown in the dialog.
  5. When you are done, click Close.

Result

When you have defined formatting at the column level, this is the default formatting that will be used at all places where the column content is shown.
Note: You can also specify formatting on an axis in a certain visualization using the Properties pop-over or using short-cuts accessed by right-clicking the axis. In those cases, the formatting changes only apply to this particular axis.

Example: Changing the number of decimals

If your data contains measures with many decimals, like the values below, but you are interested in displaying integers only, you can change the default formatting so no decimals are shown.

Data table example with lots of decimals.

Show the Formatting settings dialog from the expanded Data panel by clicking on the Formatting settings button.

Formatting section in expanded data panel.

Then change the number of decimals to zero.

Formatting settings, zero decimals.

The visualization now shows the values without any decimals:

Data table example, no decimals.

Example: Defining a custom format for a date column

With custom formatting you can specify exactly how you want a value to be presented. This example shows how you can define a custom format for a date column.

Which predefined formats are available for a date or time column depends on the language setting on your computer.

Date column, default format.

If you want to define your own format, in the Formatting settings dialog, click Custom and type the format string that specifies your format. In this example, a short format of the month name is shown, together with the day, expressed as a number, and short year: MMM d -yy. See Custom formatting of date and time columns for more details about custom formats.

Formatting settings, custom format string.

Click Close and see the result in the visualization:

Date column, custom format.