Changing Default Formatting In Web Intelligence

One of the most requested features in Web Intelligence, is the ability to create templates. And while we still don’t have that capability, and many people have created “template” reports as a workaround, we do have the ability to change many of the default formats in Web Intelligence. Note that this capability is not built in, so it involves a bit of a hack. So, proceed with caution. Or, throw caution to the wind, if you’re feeling adventurous. Either way, you can always recover from any unexpected results.

OK, so here’s the key to the default formatting in Web Intelligence. There is an XML file that contains all of the settings. If you installed Web Intelligence on the C: drive, the file is located here:

C:\Program Files\Business Objects\BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\classes\AppletConfig\defaultConfig.xml

BIG NOTE: Before you make any changes to this file, make a back up copy of it, so you can restore the original defaults by restoring the copy in place of your modified version.

If you are using Web Intelligence Web Client, you will need to make this change on each of the machines with a Web Intelligence Processing Server. If you are using Web Intelligence Rich Client, you will need to do this on each client machine.

Once you have located the file, right lick on it, and choose Edit. This will open it up in a text editor. The first format, near the top, is the default page layout. The current default paper size is A4. You can easily change it to Letter. Look for this, near the top:

<!– Settings for default page layout for webintelligence report panel –>
<!– Ex: A4,A5,LETTER… portrait or landscape –>
<KEY VALUE=”page*default”>

Change it to the following:

<!– Settings for default page layout for webintelligence report panel –>
<!– Ex: A4,A5,LETTER… portrait or landscape –>
<KEY VALUE=”page*default”>

Notice that you can also change the default orientation (portrait), vertical records (100), and horizontal records (20).

The next section in the file shows the default settings for Free-Standing cells:

<!– Settings for free cells (not section cells) –>

<KEY VALUE=”freeCell*default”>
<FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=”12″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”yes”/>
<FONT xml:lang=”ja” FACE=”Gothic” SIZE=”12″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”yes”/>
<FONT xml:lang=”ko” FACE=”Gulim” SIZE=”12″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”yes”/>
<FONT xml:lang=”zh-TW” FACE=”MingLiU” SIZE=”12″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”yes”/>
<FONT xml:lang=”zh-CN” FACE=”SimSun” SIZE=”12″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”yes”/>
<BORDER SIDE=”bottom” R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ THICK=”50″ STYLE=”plain”/>
<BORDER SIDE=”top” R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ THICK=”0″ STYLE=”none”/>
<BORDER SIDE=”left” R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ THICK=”0″ STYLE=”none”/>
<BORDER SIDE=”right” R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ THICK=”0″ STYLE=”none”/>
<VALIGN VALUE=”bottom”/>
<HALIGN VALUE=”left”/>

Notice the different fonts for different languages. For most of us, the default font is Arial. As you can see, you can also change the borders, cell height and width, and padding. 🙂

Now, let’s jump down to the section that contains the settings for the body of a table.

<!– Settings for body cells in a table –>
<KEY VALUE=”table*Body”>
<FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=”9″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”no”/>
<FONT xml:lang=”ja” FACE=”Gothic” SIZE=”10″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”no”/>
<FONT xml:lang=”ko” FACE=”Gulim” SIZE=”10″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”no”/>
<FONT xml:lang=”zh-TW” FACE=”MingLiU” SIZE=”10″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”no”/>
<FONT xml:lang=”zh-CN” FACE=”SimSun” SIZE=”10″ R=”0″ G=”0″ B=”0″ BOLD=”no”/>
<BACKGROUND R=”255″ G=”255″ B=”255″/>
<BORDER SIDE=”all”  R=”202″ G=”201″ B=”217″  THICK=”50″ STYLE=”plain”/>
<VALIGN VALUE=”bottom” />
<HALIGN VALUE=”left” />

The thing I want to point out here is the BACKGROUND setting. You see, in Web Intelligence, you cannot set the cells in a table to be transparent. That’s always bugged me. However, you can set the background to be transparent by default by changing the BACKGROUND line to the following:

<BACKGROUND R=”” G=”” B=””/>

If you do this, you probably want to do the same for the next section, alternate body cells in a table (Alternate Row Shading), so the entire body of the table is transparent. After making this change, your table body will be transparent by default, but you can add color, to the background if you choose.

As you scroll down through the file, you see many things that you can customize in your formats. But one of the coolest options is at the bottom. Scroll down to the bottom, and you will find the settings for the skins. The built in skins are, in my humble opinion, ugly. Well, you can add your own skins. The skins are stored as images in the following folder:

C:\Program Files\Business Objects\BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\images\

I added a new image to this folder called globe.jpg. Then I added the following toward the bottom of the file:

<KEY VALUE=”cell_skin5,report_skin4,section_skin5,bloc_skin5″>
<SKIN NAME=”Globe” TYPE=”stretch”>

Now, when I go to select a skin for a report, Globe is listed among the options.

Here’s a sample report using that new skin:

Notice that I also have the table set to transparent, and the values set to bold.

So, go ahead, and experiment on your own. Have fun, and let me know what else you come up with.

60 Responses to Changing Default Formatting In Web Intelligence

  1. Excellent piece of information to know!!!

  2. Anu says:

    Hi Michaiel,

    I tried editing the default config file. I chnaged the Background color of the header cells of the table and saved the file. But this change is not reflecting at my report end. I eman, when I try to create new WEBI reprot through Infoview, then I am unable to get the Background color which I have set in defalut config file.The table by default show the same Background color for header cells of the table whcich was earlier before I changed.

    Please let me know what else is required.

    • Make sure that you are editing the file on the server, not your local copy. Also, you may need to restart the Web Intelligence Processing Server(s) for it to take effect.

  3. Anu says:

    I even tried using a different skin.By adding an Image into the images folder and writing the code s suggested by you in defalutconfig file. But again this is not wroking.I cannot see the name of the image which I added in the drop down of skin.What else is required so that the changes in deafult config file are reflected.


  4. HUnain says:

    Hi Micheal,
    I am having an issue with the webi paper size. When i have a report which i want to print on potrait A4 simply does not work and i have to select page size as A3 potrait. however in some cases even A3 is not enought. I know that in crystal reports there is an option to set custom page size so even if the paper size is A4 the report prints correctly. I know BI 4 has an option to fit a report automatically. Is there a workaround available in webi 3.x. Thanks a lot for your help and time to answer my query.

  5. HUnain says:

    Thanks a lot Michael for your prompt reply.

  6. Kishore says:

    hi .. I would like to have an logo image in the header on the left corner and report title in the centre for all the new reports generated. Is that possible by changing the default.config file .. appreciate if you can guide to me steps to change the config file. Thanks in Advance.

  7. Plej says:

    hi, what if I would like to add “border style” in border editor. How to do that?

    • I assume you’re asking to add additional border styles beyond what comes with Web Intelligence. I suppose you could do that with the SDK, but I’m not sure, as I’ve never worked with the SDK. That might be a good question to post on BOB.

  8. Michael.. this is Awesome… I love this post….

  9. Nishith says:


    I want to change the default margins for WebI, I didn’t see any options in defaultconfig.xml, do you know any work around..

  10. Tony says:

    Hi Michael,

    thx for this very interessting blog.

    I tried to change the default formatting of my table into transparent background. But I obviously can’t find the right defaultConfig.xml. The path you showed above does not exist on my computer.

    I searched for a defaultConfig.xml with the internal Windows Search and found three of them. I changed the configuration seperately in all of them, but the changes does not apply in Web Intelligence after restarting the server.

    • Hi, Tony. The config file only exists on your machine if you have Rich Client installed. If you’re using the Web Client, then you need to edit the config file on the BOBJ server(s).

  11. Tony says:

    I tried all three .xml files at once, but nothing changed. Where can I find the config file on the BOBJ server?

    By the way: Thanks for your fast respond 🙂

  12. Michael,

    Thanks for posting this. It answered a question I posted on BOB –

    Any idea how to change the paper size on BI4? Changing the defaultconfig.xml for browser-based Webi doesn’t appear to work. And I cannot find a defaultconfig.xml similar to the one in XI 3.1 to affect the Web Intelligence Desktop (aka Rich Client) 4.0.

    • Hi, Dallas. I haven’t dug into BI4 that deeply yet. Were you able to change it for Rich Client? The web client should be the same, I would think.

    • Hi, Dallas;

      I’ve finally dug into this in 4.0. The new method for this is to use a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) for defaults formatting. In a default client install, you find the CSS here: C:\Program Files\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\images. The file is called WebIDefaultStyleSheet.css. Right click on it, and choose Edit, and you’ll see what can be changed there.

  13. James says:

    Very simple question.. All i want is the letters “FOUO” to appear at the bottom of every new report. Is this possible using the deafultconfig.xml file?

  14. Pratibha says:

    I have a requirement to create 2templates one as a portrait and another as a landscape in webI. So can I first create a template as “portrait ” , save it , and then change it to “landscape” and create another template? Is it possible?

    I changed the orientation to landscape and vertical records to 20 and horizontal to 100(XI 3.1)
    I also restarted the webI processing server, but when I open a new document it still looks like a portrait. Are there any more changes I have to do to the config file for a “landscape” look?

    • Hi, Pratibha. You can’t create real templates for Web Intelligence. The best you can do is create two small documents, one in Portrait and one in Landscape, and use them as the basis for all your new reports.

      • Pratibha says:

        Thanks Michael, It worked when I tried form rich client.
        Amazing blog posts…. Thanks for making life easy!

  15. Hi Michael,
    Handy topic… and there are a lot of discussions on the BOB ( about the issue of Webi, formatting, and and these defaultConfig.xml changes. One of the suggestions of “fixing” the infamous blue and yellow table problem when there is a java security issue or version issue is to change the defaultConfig to force the formatting. But, myself and others have tried that to no avail. Am I missing something about how to set the cell and font values in the body cells? I have restarted the webi processing server and other changes such as A4 to LETTER have stuck.
    Thx. John.

    • Hi, John;

      I hate that yellow table issue. Keep in mind that the edits that you do in the config file only affect new reports created after that. It doesn’t affect existing reports. Having said that, I haven’t found a way to fix the yellow table issue without installing the next service pack. Also, I haven’t seen this issue in 4.0. So, apparently it has been fixed.

  16. Raj says:

    Hi Michael,

    How are you doing and thanks for the valuable info you share with everyone.

    We have changed the language of a particular WEBI report and added
    japanese language strings to it using Translation manager.
    The report displays the Japanese strings in Business Objects Infoview
    and when exported to Excel.
    The strings are not visible in PDF format when scheduled or either by
    save as PDF.
    The font we are using in the report is “Tahoma” but, when ui change the font of the report to either : “Gothic, GULIM, Ming Liu, MS Serif, Sim Sun” then the report is displayed in pdf with the translated strings.
    After seeing this post i tried to edit the config file by adding Tahoma fond as Japanese in the code, but it still did not work.
    Appreciate your help on this regard.


  17. Adam Miller says:

    Hi Michael,

    Good post. I could not get this to work for me initially, but then I realized that the environment that I am working in has separate servers for the web front end and the business objects application. For the people who have that type of environment the defaultConfig.xml file is located here:

    \BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\Web Content\InfoViewApp\AnalyticalReporting\webiApplet\AppletConfig\defaultConfig.xml

    The file above took precedence over \BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\classes\AppletConfig\defaultConfig.xml

    Hopefully that helps someone with the same problem as me.

  18. jmbigfoot says:

    Thank for your post Michael. Together with Adam’s post it put me in the right direction. I had to change “BusinessObjects\Tomcat55\webapps\AnalyticalReporting\webiApplet\AppletConfig\defaultConfig.xml” to get this done.

  19. Pavan says:

    I have a requirement. I need to save my WebI report (Report Name) with Japanese font ? How can I do this please suggest.
    Eg:My webI report name in english: My Sales Report. I should save the report name as 私の販売レポート

    • Pavan, just to be clear, “report” refers to a tab in a Webi document. Webi does not currently support installed Windows fonts. However, if you have installed the Japanese version of Webi, you should be able to use Japanese characters to name your reports.

  20. Sven says:

    For Web Intelligence the xml file to be modified is stored here:
    C:\Program Files\BusinessObjects\Tomcat55\webapps\AnalyticalReporting\webiApplet\AppletConfig

  21. Antony says:

    Nice Post! I have a question. When we select a date from a prompt in Webi using the Calendar UI, the date appends with a timestamp by default. Is there a way, the timestamp could be removed from the date?

    • Hi, Antony. This topic has been discussed extensively on BOB. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. If you do a search BOB, you should find some tips on how to get it done.

  22. Chenzo says:

    Hi Michael
    Thanks for a great post. I wonder if you can advise/assist with an issue we have. Using Webi XI4.x with BEX as a source, we have a hierarchy which displays [+] and [-].
    Report developers will expand certain sections and save that view for end users who will view the reports via the BI Launchpad in PDF mode. Is it possible to hide the [+] and [-] symbols?
    Are there any settings in the CSS which will accomplish this and if so what is it called?

    Thank you

  23. Gerard Santos says:

    Hi Michael,

    I tried changing the default Font to Gulim in the three defaultConfig.xml files to show special characters in my report in my BO server. I restarted the Tomcat and then the BO server. When I tried reloading the report, the special characters were not recognized and were replaced with a question mark. Am I doing something wrong about the restart?

    • Sorry for the slow response, Gerard. I missed this comment.
      Webi can only use its built in fonts. So, if you’re trying to use one that isn’t in the built in Webi fonts, it won’t work.

  24. Suji says:

    Hi Michael,

    I am trying to create a defaul WebI corporate template which I can make use while creating new reports. Just wondering for WebI 3.1 which location should I change the config file.I know that some people suggested different locations like
    C:\Program Files\BusinessObjects\Tomcat55\webapps\AnalyticalReporting\webiApplet\AppletConfig
    \BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\Web Content\InfoViewApp\AnalyticalReporting\webiApplet\AppletConfig\defaultConfig.xml
    but I don’t have both these files other than the one which is placed under C:\Program Files\Business Objects\BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\classes\AppletConfig

    Changing the above defaulconfig file doesn’t help. Is there any other workaround for this. Also Can I create default template which can be applied for existing reports?

  25. D Slavin says:

    Thanks for this information, but unfortunately I won’t be able to take advantage of it. The way our corporation has set up BO, everyone uses the same defaultConfig.xml file that is stored on the server. In order to get the defaults I want I have to get everyone else to agree.

    Oh well. I still appreciate the information even if it can’t be implemented here, and you did save me the time I would have taken trying to hunt for a way to set background to transparent through the interface.

  26. Subodh says:

    Hi Michael,

    This post has been very helpful. I have a requirement where new webi report should display with a skin by default. Can this be done?


  27. Shubharaj says:

    Hi Michael,

    Nice post..Helped a lot..
    Can you help me with how to change the report name…by default it shows Report 1


  28. Dipika says:

    Hi Michael,

    I have one crosstab report, in which i have one date field , I have manually formatted it to the black background and white front color , however now when i am refreshing the report the front color is changing back to black and even when trying to change the color its not working.
    Can you please help me in understanding this ?

    Thank you

  29. Vijesh Chandra says:

    Hi Michael,

    I am also trying the above with your recommendation but couldn’t succeed somehow. I am having the xml file and the image directory as said by you. I did the changes as above but still nothing helped.

    After Implementing the above changes, I am not able to see the globe in by drop down skin list. On web client, list is there but without globe and in rich client, there is no drop down at all.

    Also I didn’t find the file in C:\Program Files\Business Objects\BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\Web Content\InfoViewApp\AnalyticalReporting directory, I mean I don’t have further directories on my server.

    I am having BO3 SP7 installed on Windows 2008 Server SP2.

  30. Kelley says:

    I’ve followed these tips for v3.0 of WebI. However, we are upgrading to v4.1. Is there a way to make these same changes in v4.1?

  31. Kanishka Paul says:

    Hi Michael,

    Excellent post!!

    I’m using oracle DB and data is stored in Japanese. I want to see the Japanese data properly when viewed in HTML / Excel / PDF in BOXI R3.1.

    I have the following queries –

    1. What should be the language setup in WEBI Server and Client(Infoview) to view Japanese in HTML/ Excel / PDF?
    2. Do I really need translation manager here?
    3. In case, I need to write static text in Japanese and I have my preferred language setup as Japanese in Inforview, will it work properly?
    4. Is there any real challenge to implement the above requirement in WEBI XIR3.1?

  32. Paul says:

    Hi Michael,

    Do you if there is a way to change the default format of a chart, specifically for a column or bar chart to add a border to each column or bar?

    The reason I ask is that I am able to do this manually if I need to in Webi Rich Client, but can’t find a way of doing it on the web version of Webi. So I thought it might be good to know whether I can apply this as a default to both versions.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi, Paul. I don’t know of a way to modify the default styles for a chart. However, if you want to add a border to a bar, you can do that using the Web client, as long as you are using the Java version. The HTML version doesn’t allow that.

  33. Yassa says:

    Hi Michael,

    We have 2 versions of Excel for export reports in WEBI, we want change names (for exemple for the first one “Excel 2007” and the last “Export 2010”. Is it possible?

    Thanks in advance.

  34. Yeshweer says:

    Hi Michael,

    As a Default in Query Properties ‘Retrieve duplicate rows query property’ property is checked.
    Would like to Un Check as Default so that only Distinct operation is carried out at Database level.
    Is there way to do this in config.xml in BO 4.1 or BO 4.2?

    Thanks in advance.

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