Spotfire Features — Manually managing filters

  • Have you ever wanted to get rid of a filter column in Spotfire and never, ever see it again?
  • Have you been frustrated with having to organize and hide filter columns you know you will never need?

A few weeks ago I authored a blog post explaining what the IsValid column does in Column Properties.  As noted in the post, I’ve skipped over the IsValid column for years and not known what it does.  Thus, I was pretty excited when I learned how useful it is.  The same thing happened today when I learned what the ‘Filters’ radio buttons for ‘Create automatically for all columns’ and ‘Manage manually’ actually do, as shown below.

Switching this radio button to ‘Manage manually’ changes how you can manage filters.

 

When the radio button is set to ‘Create automatically for all columns’, the right click menu in the Filter panel looks like this:

When the radio button is set to ‘Manage manually’, the right click menu looks like this:

The key difference is that there is now a Delete Filter option.  This is significant because when filters are created automatically the user must organize them on each page.  There are tools to make this easier, like ‘Apply Filter Organization’, which lets you take filter organization for one page and apply it to another page, but there have definitely been times when I’ve wanted to delete a filter from a table across all pages and never thing about it again.  This function allows you to do that.  If you delete a filter and then switch the radio button back, it will reappear.  It is not permanently gone.

The only downside I could find to this feature, and it’s unfortunately a pretty big downside, is that when the radio button is set to manage filters manually, you don’t have filters for calculated columns.

Because this feature is applied one table at a time, it’s extremely flexible.  I will definitely be using this in the future.

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