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Web Intelligence Copy/Paste Magic

There are two tips I want to share related to copying a table from within Web Intelligence.

  • Copy to an Excel spreadsheet
  • Copy to another WebI document

Two items before I get started.

  • It seems these methods do not work in the HTML interface of WebI. They only work with the Applet interface and the Rich Client.
  • I am not sure if it matters, but my BusinessObjects environment is 4.1 SP06 Patch 4.

Copy to an Excel spreadsheet

There are many times I have wanted to subtotal a few rows in WebI report, but didn’t want to add a break and then subtotal or go to the effort of exporting the data to Excel. A few days ago I thought, “It sure would be nice if I could just copy and paste this table into Excel.” I just assumed it wouldn’t work, but I had never tried it. So I tried. And it works!

Here is a simple eFashion report.

You simply select the table and copy it. WebI does not give you any indicator that it is busy copying. Therefore, you need to wait until you can click elsewhere in WebI to ensure it is done copying. Then paste it directly into Excel and you can work with the data just as if you had exported it.

There must be some size limitation, because when I tried with a large table (more than 100,000 rows) it did not work. However, this sure is handy for small tables when you want to do some simple calculations.

Copy to another WebI document

You can also copy and paste a WebI table into another document. WebI will create a new query in the target document and run the query the table is based upon.

I have only tried this with simple tables based on simple universe queries. I did try it with a table based on a free hand SQL query and it created the query, but randomly reordered the columns. I am not sure about other data sources.

I am not sure how it would work (or not) with a table with merged dimensions and data from multiple queries. I don’t know how it would work with a table based on a query that uses values from another query. Also, this will only work within the same BusinessObjects environment.

Conclusion

While neither of these WebI table copy/paste use cases are perfect I feel they are valuable in specific situations and therefore worth sharing.

Enjoy!

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