Color Coded Universe Object Descriptions

This one starts with an argument. No, not a serious argument. More of a fun argument. But the argument was between me and a client named Raj. It went something like this:

Raj: I want to add color coding to the object descriptions in the universe.

Me: There’s no way to color code the descriptions.

Raj: Yes, there is.

Me: No, there isn’t.

Raj: Let me show you.

So Raj proceeded to show me how to add color to my universe object descriptions. One of the reasons I love being a consultant is that I can learn from my more creative clients, and then share that knowledge with other clients. So, here is what Raj showed me. It’s really quite simple.

Let’s say that you want the description for the State object to look something like this:

Description: State in which the customer resides.

Example: California, Texas, New York

Source: Customer Table in CRM Database

In this example, we’re putting the description in red text, example in green text, and the source of the data in blue text. So here’s how you do it: In the description field of the object in the universe, enter the following:
<font color=red>Description: State in which the customer resides.</font><br>
<font color=green>Example: California, Texas, New York</font><br>
<font color=blue>Source: Customer Table in CRM Database</font>

Let me break that down for you. All we’re doing is using HTML tags to format the text. The “<font color=red>” tags simply says to format the text in red. The “</font>” tag says to end the font formatting. Finally, the “<br>” tag says to put a line break at that point. Here’s the result:

Try experimenting with other HTML tags in your descriptions. You will find that some HTML tags works well, and others don’t. You’ll also be surprised how easy it is, and how your users will appreciate the extra effort.

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25 Responses to Color Coded Universe Object Descriptions

  1. James Halligan says:

    Nice one…..

  2. Some BI developer says:

    I’m stunned.

    All this time complaining the lack of clarity of comments, and it was so easy!

    This is the most useful read of the month for me.

  3. Pingback: Lost in the Universe « Michael’s BI Safari

  4. Nik says:

    Thanks for sharing this small …but very useful piece of information!!

    We are migrating to Webi (from Deski) now…and I hope my customer will see my efforts in Colors. 🙂

  5. Nix says:

    The only down side is that whilst the pop up window is nice formatted, the description that shows in the status bar at the bottom of the page is literally the metadata so will show as

    Description: State in which the customer resides.
    Example: California, Texas, New York
    Source: Customer Table in CRM Database

    • Nix says:

      Darn it stripped out the font and color commands in my reply, i.e. what I was trying to say was those wil be included in the status bar description.

  6. VP says:

    Holy…. Could not have even imagine this. Thanks a million!

  7. Nix says:

    If you use the img tag you can even include a picture – cool.

    Also if you view a report in interactive mode and then look at the Data Summary the description that shows up there is in color too.

  8. Now that is a colorful write up-:) simple and great ! Thx Mike ! And thx Nix for the IMG tag info, now I will add my photo to all the objects.. Lol .. Kidding but good information…

  9. Kay says:

    It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you just shared this helpful information with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Maksat says:

    Hello, Michael,

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t work in our universe. I put the same format as you did, but it appears exactly as I put it in the description field with HTML tags…

    • That’s strange. Can you post the entire contents of your description field?

      • Maksat says:

        Hello, thanks for quick reply, how can I post a picture here?

        In the meanwhile, this is what I put in Description Field:
        Description: State in which the customer resides.
        Example: California, Texas, New York
        Source: Customer Table in CRM Database

        I use Web Intelligence.

  11. Maksat says:

    Hello, thanks for quick reply, how can I post a picture here?

    In the meanwhile, this is what I put in Description Field:
    Description: State in which the customer resides.
    Example: California, Texas, New York
    Source: Customer Table in CRM Database

    I use Web Intelligence.

    • You forgot to add the HTML tags. It should look something like this:
      Description: State in which the customer resides.
      Example: California, Texas, New York
      Source: Customer Table in CRM Database

      • Maksat says:

        Actually, I didn’t forget to put tags in designer.

        Description: State in which the customer resides.
        Example: California, Texas, New York
        Source: Customer Table in CRM Database

  12. Maksat says:

    Description: State in which the customer resides.
    Example: California, Texas, New York
    Source: Customer Table in CRM Database

  13. Maksat says:

    Dear Michael,

    Please follow the link to see the screenshot of the problem: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8ocjp7hnblf90po/BO_bug.jpg

  14. Geeta says:

    Hi Michael,
    I found the reason for not displaying the colors. To see the color in description fields, in infoview go to preferences, under Web intelligence change default view format to interactive the logout info view and login , now you can see colors

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