Make Life Easier (and Quicker) When Developing BusinessObjects’ WebI Reports

We all know the general keyboard shortcuts we use in our day to day life. We copy information with a quick click of CTRL+C (Copy). We paste that information somewhere else with a flick of CTRL+V (Paste). We all know to CTRL+Z (Undo) to undo and repair that last accidental mistake.

When we realize that mistake wasn’t a mistake, we simply hit CTRL+Y (Redo) to “redo” that move. Today we will talk about the few keyboard shortcuts which are similarly helpful, if not less second nature while working within SAP’s BusinessObjects’ Web Intelligence.

The Basics

Let’s start with the most commonly used shortcuts when working on a WebI document. As report developers, we often switch the document view from “Reading” mode to “Design” mode. For example, if you have opened a new WebI document and you want to switch your view from “Reading” mode to “Design with Data” mode, simply click CTRL+2 and it will change your view from Reading to Design mode with Data. Now, if you want to see the structure view of the document, use CTRL+3 to do that. To get back to the Reading mode, perform CTRL+1.

We often must open the Query panel to change dimensions, measures or filters. CTRL+Q opens the query panel window where you can edit the data provider. Another WebI element we frequently use is Formula Editor. We use this to add custom calculations to the report. CTRL+ENTER is the shortcut to open that editor. Keep in mind, to use this function the report has to be in Design mode and the field you want to add a calculation to has to be selected.

Inserting Elements Shortcuts

Now, let’s say you want to add a blank cell to the document. To do this, click on the canvas where you wish to insert the cell and click CTRL+SHIFT+E. To insert a vertical table, select CTRL+SHIFT+V, then click on the canvas to insert it. It will open the “Insert Report Element” window with the Vertical Table selected. The same procedure follows to insert a Horizontal Table, Cross Table, and Form. The shortcuts are CTRL+SHIFT+H for Horizontal Table insertion, CTLR+SHIFT+X for Cross-Tab insertion and CTRL+SHIFT+F for Form insertion.

Formatting Shortcuts

Formatting has always been a major component of any report developer’s job. The first look of the report is what invites a user in, immediately shows the utility and can increase the likelihood of adoption. There are a few shortcuts which are also very useful while formatting a WebI document.

To use Format Painter, select the object you want to copy formatting from, click CTRL+SHIFT+C and then select the object you want to receive that formatting. CTRL+D will open the Format Report window.

Other Useful Shortcuts

CTRL + O: Opens a document from your Favorites folder or public folder. Save your work! This will not open the document in a new tab. It will close your current tab and open it. So, don’t forget to save your changes.

CTRL + K: Insert a hyperlink to the document or object.

CTRL+SHIFT+R: Add a new report to the document.

F11: Change to full-screen view.

CTRL + R: Refresh all the data.

Conclusion

Two old adages apply here.  “Time is precious” and “Time is money.” As we’re asked to do more with less and within a shorter period of time, any shortcuts we can take add up over time. Sometimes we lose time trying to figure out how or what we need to do to make our reports what we want them to be.  Hopefully, keeping this keyboard shortcuts handy can help you save your report development or analysis time.

Download the Keyboard Shortcuts pdf

If this blog didn’t quite answer your question or you have other Business Intelligence questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

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