Do you ever find yourself creating the same grid over and over again? Sometimes we want to add the same grid multiple times but with a few variations, or in different workbooks. This can be especially tiresome if the grid has complex member selections or if the underlying data model has a large number of dimensions and hierarchies.
Fortunately, XLCubed provides a simple and quick way to insert saved grids…
Within the grid designer, we can drag and drop hierarchies on to either filters, columns and rows. Selecting one of these hierarchies allows us to then make the relevant member selections. Once happy with this layout, you can then select the ‘Add to favourites’ icon. You will prompted to name the new ‘favourite’ Grid.
The grid you just designed is now accessible in any workbook. It can be inserted by entering the grid designer and selecting it from the ‘Favourites’ dropdown. This will populate all the areas in the designer, from which you can make any necessary edits.
Alternatively, you can add the grid directly to the sheet using the Favourites option in the XLCubed ribbon. You will see your saved favourites grouped by connection. If the connection doesn’t already exist in your workbook, you can still select the favourite. This will automatically create the connection and insert the grid at the active cell. You can then enter the grid designer or double click on the hierarchy labels if any edits are needed.
And there we have one instant grid!
Whilst creating your grid, you may have noticed an option for ‘Web favourites’. Saving a grid design to XLCubed Web allows other Excel users within your organisation to access your favourites.
Click on the ‘Web’ button when creating a favourite. You will then be prompted to connect to your web server. Give your report a name and select the folder to publish to.
All users who have appropriate repository permissions will be able to access these Web Favourites either in the grid designer or from the ribbon.
What’s the difference between favourites, saved reports, and templates?
There are a couple of other ways for distributing standardised reports as a basis for new workbooks.
Within the grid designer is an option to save and load template grids. This saves the current report layout as a file which can then be emailed or distributed as needed. This method does not require a connection to XLCubed Web.
Templates allow you to share entire workbooks as a starting point for other Excel users. The template is published to XLCubed Web under the ‘Publish to Web’ ribbon menu.
Users can then select ‘Open template’ from the ‘Favourites’ ribbon menu.