Special Characters in a Xcelsius Table View

When binding components to cells, specifically the table view component, it will inherit the cell formatting from Excel. This includes the font, color, borders, alignment, and values. Once those cells are bound there is no way to dynamically change that format during runtime. This is unfortunate, specifically for conditional color formatting and value format. In many cases users want to display some type of visual indication within a table view. There is however a way to inject special characters into a table view. If you tried this before you may know that those characters do not display by default. There is a modification to your XLF that will enable these characters to show up.

In Xcelsius, go to File>Font>and click Unicode Font Options. This will allow you to use device fonts instead of embedding the font in the SWF. By default, Xcelsius will actually embed the Verdana font in your SWF which adds about 60K to the SWF file size. By using device fonts, you will now have the opportunity to leverage special characters within a table view. You will also notice the fonts will look sharper since the Flash player will not have to render the anti-alias fonts. There is only 1 pitfall to using non-embedded fonts… an inability to render text vertically. This will affect the X axis in some of your charts when labels are long, or chart y-axis labels. Otherwise you can leverage characters like the arrows I demonstrate below.

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Author ryan@goodmangroupllc.com

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