The Highlighting Expert
The Highlighting Expert is a tool which allows you to apply a specified formatting to a field when it meets a criteria which you set. For example, you could change the color of the font used to display numbers in a field to red only if they display a negative value.
To use the Highlighting Expert within a report, first select the field to which you wish to apply the conditional formatting. Next, click the “Highlighting Expert” button in the Experts toolbar or choose “Format| Highlighting Expert…” from the Menu Bar to launch the “Highlighting Expert” dialog box.
In this dialog box, you can click the “New” button to create a new item in the item list, which is displayed at the left side of the “Highlighting Expert” dialog box. To the right side of this dialog box, in the “Item editor” section, is where you can create and edit the formula used to apply the desired formatting.
Use the “Value of:” drop-down to select the name of the field whose value you wish to use as the basis of the condition you are about to specify. Note that you can select a field to format, but base the formatting upon the value of another field, which you can specify here. Use the drop-down below the first drop-down to specify the comparison operator used for the condition. The third drop-down allows you to specify a value from the selected field. This drop-down shows the first few hundred possible choices from the selected field. You can also type a value directly into the field itself, if needed. Notice that as you make or enter your choices from the drop-down menus available that the condition displays itself in the “Item list” at the left side of this dialog box.
Next you need to choose the formatting to apply to the selected field when the criteria which you specified is met. You can use the “Font style:” drop-down to choose a selected font style for the displayed used. The “Font color:” drop-down allows you to select from a basic set of color choices. Note that you can select the “Custom” color choice to launch the “Color” dialog box, where you can set your own custom color choice. You can use the “Background:” drop-down to accomplish the same thing by choosing the desired background color used for the display of the value. You can use the “Border:” drop-down to select the type of border to apply to the selected values when they meet the condition that you specify from this drop-down. After you have made all of the choices that you would like, you will be able to see the way that the text values will display in the “Sample:” text box.
At this point, you can then create additional conditions to which you would like to apply formatting to the same selected field by simply clicking the “New” button again and then repeating the same process of selecting the values and the formatting to display. If you have a condition specified for a field which you no longer wish to apply, you can select the condition to remove from the “Item list” and then click the “Remove” button at the bottom of the “Item list.” If you have multiple conditional formatting formulas listed in the “Item list,” you can click the “up” and “down” arrows to the right of the “Item list” to reorganize the order in which the conditional formatting will be enforced. When you have finished specifying any conditional formatting choices that you wish, you can click the “OK” button at the bottom of the “Highlighting Expert” dialog box to apply the selected conditions to the chosen field.