Cell format dialog

New to Analytica 5.0


The Cell format dialog lets you set formats and styles for cells in a Table view. It includes tabs for Fill, Alignment, Font, and Border styles, each described below, and Number format explained on its own page.

To open the Cell Format dialog

  1. Show a result table or edit table.
  2. Select the cell, row, column, or region whose format you want to modify:
      • To select the entire table, click the top left cell, above row headers and to left of column headers, or press ctrl+A (for select All)
      • To select an entire row or column, click on its header cell.
      • To select a rectangular range, press on a cell and drag to the opposite corner cell
  1. Then do one of these:
      • Select Cell format.. from the Result menu
      • Right-click on and select Cell format.. from the right-click menu
      • Press Ctrl+Alt+F, which opens the dialog on the last tab you used
      • Press Ctrl+B, which opens the dialog on the Number format tab

It is important to select the table region you want to format before you open the Cell format dialog because the Dialog is "modal" -- that means you can't modify the region unless you close the dialog, reselect the region, and reopen the dialog. (Yes, we know this is lame. We'll fix it in a future release.)


Apply changes to


When you have header cells selected when you bring up the dialog, the Apply changes to option appears at the bottom of the dialog, where you can specify whether the changes you make apply to the header cells, body cells or both. This panel does not appear when no header cells are selected, and in that case changes apply only to body cells.

One subtlety is that if you bring up the dialog from the right-mouse menu, the default is determined from where you clicked when you right-clicked for the menu. If you right-clicked over a header cell, then Headers only is initially selected. If you right-clicked over a body cell, then Headers and body is initially selected.

Edit vs. Result Tables

Changes you make from this dialog apply to both edit tables and result tables. So if you set a cell-level format while viewing an edit table, you will see the same format reflected when you view its result table, and vise versa.

Indexes and pivots

Multidimensional tables can be pivoted in countless ways, the particular indexes present can depend on which uncertainty view is being viewed, edit tables that contain expressions in the cells may have fewer indexes than their result table views, and changes within your model often alter the dimensionalities of results. This fluid treatment of dimensionality is a core feature of Analytica, and also impacts how cell formats are processed.

Changes you make to cell formats are associated with the indexes. For example, if you set the bottom border of a row, and then pivot so that the index that had been the vertical row index is now the horizontal column index, these borders will now appear as the right-side border of the corresponding cell. If you set the fill color of the 4th row, you've actually set the background color for cells corresponding to the 4th element of the row index. If you pivot so that a different index becomes the row index, the fourth row doesn't not stay filled -- instead if follows the element of that index. When that index is a slicer, and you select the 4th element, all cells in the table reflect that fill color. The basic rule is that the formats are associated with the indexes, and as indexes change or pivot, the formats follow the indexes rather than staying put at a fixed row and column position.

The Tabs


The number tab contains the number format dialog. Please see Number format for details.

On the menus, both Number format... and Cell format,,, are included on the menus, even though both bring up this same dialog. The difference is that the Number format... option always opens to the Number tab, and because it is used more frequently than other cell formats, both formats are provided. The Cell formats... dialog always opens to a tab other than the Number tab -- the previous non-Number tab if the dialog had been accessed from the table previously.

Fill format tab


Use the Fill tab to specify the background color for cells. Select the color from the grid of colors, or access the full spectrum of colors from the More colors... dialog.

The 16 colors at the bottom of the grid are your custom colors. These are stored for you on your computer, and are not saved with the model. If you have favorite colors, you can configure these for easy access. You define which colors are on your custom color palette from the More Colors... dialog. The steps for doing this are tricky, and are explained at custom colors.

The transparency slider makes it convenient to lighten colors. Many of the base colors are too deep and saturated for cell backgrounds, and would make it hard to see the text on top. The transparency slider makes it convenient to lighten these. Since for body cells the color appears over a white background, the resulting color is equivalent to some RGB color that you could theoretically select from the More colors... dialog. But when the fill applies to a header cell, it is not equivalent, since the selected color appears over a gray header background, so that with transparency, header cells appear a bit darker than body cells. With a full opaque selection, the color will appear the same in both header and body cells.

Alignment format tab


The options at the top of this dialog control the text alignment, which is sometimes also referred to as text justification.

The horizontal default for body cells right-aligns single-line content, and left-aligns multi-line text. The vertical default top-aligns text and images but middle-aligns controls that appear in cells.

Indent applies to the side specified by the horizontal alignment. The unit of indent is roughly the width of a space character. For a nice example of indenting of index elements, please see the Cash Flow Statement in the Enterprise Model example (which is in the Financial statements module), where indent has been used to organize the line items into categories.

Text entry

The Text entry section appears at the bottom of the Alignment pane when you are setting the formats for an editable table. Here you can control how text typed into a cell of the table is parsed. By selecting Text only, Number only or Number of text only you exclude the use of Analytica expressions or functions in the cells, which also prevents text that coincidentally happens to match an existing identifier or happens to be a valid expression from being interpreted as an expression. In addition, it eliminates the need for the table to show quotes around content. When you select Text only, then an entry like 12 will be the text "12" and not parsed as the number twelve.

Font format tab


You can change the font face, size, color, and style from the Font tab.

Border format tab


You can change the borders of selected cells from the Border tab. On the left of the dialog are three controls: Style, Width and Color. Selections you make here do not result in any change to the borders, but instead select the properties of the border that you want to change. After you've selected the desired properties, select which side border you want to change using the controls on the right-side of the pane. In the Border pane, click on the side that you wish to change. The Border control shows you what the current borders are, or the changes you've selected. Before you have change a border, the control shows you the borders that are there for the existing cells. When multiple cells are selected, and have borders that vary among the cells, a wide, hashed, gray border pattern appears to communicate the idea that there are currently multiple border styles among the selected cells. The Presets are for convenience and are equivalent to manually changing all the sides one-at-a-time in the Border control.

Interaction with computed cell formats

In addition to the capability to set the cell-level formats using this dialog, there is a capability to compute cell-level formats. Although not as commonly used, you might need to be aware that computed formats have precedence over the formats you set using this dialog. Therefore, if a Cell Format Expression exists, changes that you make might not be visible if the computed format also changes the same element.


Added in Analytica 5.0

See also


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