Spacing columns in the client

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When you have one column of data right aligned and the next left aligned, you'll find that the text bleeds together and you need to add spaces between them. There are several ways to do this but, if you're designing this view for client-use only, the easiest way is to fake out the system using the column properties.

When you've got a view with two contiguous columns notice the following:
The text of the first is justified right and the next is justified left. The text is basically flush against one another.

The typical approaches to fix this are to (a) swap columns around, (b) put in a blank column (one defined as containing a " "--and make sure that the font of this column matches the font for the other columns or the between-line spacing gets weird), (c) changing your alignment, or (d) changing the formula of the second column so you can put a blank in front of it. These approaches are all valid and they work fine on the web.

If you're designing this view for client-only use, however, the easiest thing to do though is to change the column characteristics for the second column. Click on "Show twistie when row is expandable". This causes the system to reserve about 12 pixels before the text for the twistie icons. Since the column is not categorized, the twistie won't be shown but the gap will. (The category header won't be adjusted but if that bothers you, you can just add some spaces in front of the text of that.)

This approach doesn't help with views done on the Web however. For those instances, I still typically use the blank column approach.


I use the type of formatting he mentioned on a regular basis, but rather than inserting a blank column, I simply select the second column and go to Text Properties. On the third tab, I set the left margin at 0.1". Now both columns are nicely separated, and I don't have to deal with a third column!

-- Bil M.

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This was first published in March 2003

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