ACL tip: Quickly View/Print Table Layout

To quickly view or print the table layout in ACL, type dis in the ACL command line (dis is short for display).

The table layout contains information about the fields in a table, such as field names, field type (ASCII, Date, Numeric), field length, and most importantly, the expressions used to create computed fields. For more info on computed fields, see What is a Computed Field?

If you’re not familiar with the ACL command line, go to the ACL menu bar and select Window, Show Command Line. (see below).

Using dis to display ACL command line

Then type dis (upper or lowercase works) in the command line to see the table layout (see example below).

Accessing Table Layout via ACL Command Line

Notice that in this table layout, the c_Region field has a Type of COMPUTED and uses the expression SUBSTR( Customer_Number, 1, 2), which is shown immediately below the field name.

Likewise, the c_Customer_Type field is also COMPUTED and uses the expression SUBSTR(Customer_Number, 8, 1).

Although using DIS is the fastest way to view (or print!) the table layout, you can’t make any changes to the table layout when you access it this way. To change it, you still need to click the Edit Table Layout button or select Edit, Table Layout from the menu. But when you just need to view or print the table layout, dis is your quick friend.

Every once in a while I type dis in the Filter box (instead of the command line) and get the message ‘dis’ is undefined, so watch our for that.

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