Column options

This section describes the column options that enable you to manipulate table columns without performing a database operation. The options are available in the column drop-down menu that you display by right clicking the column header or clicking the triangle in the lower-right corner of the column header.

NOTE: If you have an operation panel opened (for example, the MAP panel), you must exit that panel before you can display the column drop-down menu. To close the panel, click in the panel.

Unless the data type of the column is Mixed, the column drop-down menu contains more options than the ones described in this section. The other options are described in the following topics:

NOTE: If the data type of a column is Mixed, you can start a Map function or an extension from the drop-down menu. Other functions described in the list above are not available.

Add a column

You can add a blank column and populate it with values from a function that you enter in the function bar. Follow these steps to add a blank column:

  1. In the column drop-down menu, select Add a column.
  2. Select On the left or On the right. A blank, unnamed column is created.

    NOTE: The data type for the new column is unknown because there is no data. A data type is assigned when you execute a function on this column. After data is entered in the column, you can change the data type as described in Changing the data type of a column.
  3. (Optional) In the column header, type the column name. You must press Enter to record the name.

    After you name the column, an equal sign (=) is displayed in the function bar, which enables you to immediately type a function that populates the new column with values.

NOTE: When a column contains no values, the column drop-down menu has fewer options than the drop-down menu invoked from a column with values. For example, the Join and Filter functions are not available for a blank column. Also, if you start the Map function from a blank column, the column name is automatically entered in the New Resultant Column Name field in the Map panel.

Minimize and maximize a column

In the column drop-down menu, select Minimize column to make it narrow. To view the contents of the column, mouse over the minimized column and then right click to display the drop-down menu. Select Maximize column to revert the column to the width before you minimized it.

Delete a column

This option is available only for an unpopulated column. For example, if you use the Add a column option to create a column and its cells do not contain any values, you can use the Delete a column option to remove it.

Hide a column

In the column drop-down menu, select Hide a column to remove the column from the table.

Hiding a column reduces clutter in your table. It does not delete the column or remove the column in the Data Browser. You can always add a hidden column back to a table. See Adding columns from a dataset to a table for information about how to add a column. Deleting a column is possible if the column is not yet populated with values.

Text align

Follow these steps to align text in a column:

  1. In the column drop-down menu, select Text align.
  2. Select Left Align, Right Align, Center Align, or Wrap Text. The Wrap Text option automatically aligns text on the left.

Resize

You can resize a column by resting the cursor on the boundary of the column header until the cursor changes to a resize cursor. Then drag left or right to resize the column.

Alternatively, follow these steps to resize a column to a particular width:

  1. In the column drop-down menu, select Resize.
  2. Select one of the following:

    • Size to header:  The column width is changed to accommodate the header.
    • Size to contents: The column width is changed to accommodate the widest value in the column
    • Size to fit all: The column width is changed to accommodate both the header and the widest value in the column.

Change data type

You can change the data type as described in Changing the data type of a column. This option is not available if the column is an array.

Format

You can format values as percentages if the column's data type is one of the following types:

  • Float
  • Integer
  • Mixed
NOTE: If the data type is Mixed, only the numeric values are changed to percentages. For example, the numeric value 1 or 1.0 is formatted to 100%. If the value is a string that is displayed as the number 1, the character remains as 1; it is not formatted as 100%.

If a column has been formatted, you can click Back to original to restore its original format.

Round

You can round the values in a column by specifying the number of decimal places. This option is available only if the data type of the column is Float.

NOTE: This option does not create a derived column. It only affects how the values in the column are displayed. For example, if you round the value to 1 decimal place, the value 2.21 is displayed as 2.2, but the actual value in the field remains as 2.21. If you subsequently use the add function to increment the value by 1, the value becomes 3.21, not 3.2.

Split column

You can split a column if it contains strings. You cannot split a numeric column. New columns are created as a result of the split, and the original column remains in the table.

Follow these steps to split a column:

  1. In the column drop-down menu, select Split column. A pop-up is displayed for you to specify how to split the column.
  2. Type the delimiter in the Split Column By field. The delimiter is the character that separates the data to be split. Optionally, enter the number of splits.

    EXAMPLE: If the Date column contains dates in the mm/dd/yy format, you can enter the slash (/) as the delimiter and 1 as the number of splits. Two columns are created, one with the mm field and the other with the dd/yy field.
  3. Click the check mark in the pop-up to submit your information.

Sort

You can sort values in a column so that values are displayed in ascending or descending order. Rows containing FNF in the sorted column are not included in the resultant table. Therefore, it is possible for the resultant table to contain fewer rows than before the sort.

For more information about FNF, see Working with a table containing FNF.

For more information about sorting, see Sorting a column and finding quartiles.

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