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rendering tables to excel. unwanted merged columns

Wondering if anyone has encountered this, or better yet if there's a workaround.

I'm having trouble outputting two tables via the render tool to excel without a result that has merged columns.


Ideally i want the data to line up, with extra whitespace on the right of the smaller-width tables.



2019-03-14 11_38_48-Alteryx Designer x64 - New Workflow8_.png

Two tables with different number of columns (browse 1)
2019-03-14 11_39_00-Alteryx Designer x64 - New Workflow8_.png

Excel file after render.

2019-03-14 11_40_19-Engine_24048_719e983a81da4c9592f79921ac674c5e_.xlsx - Excel.png

Ideal excel output (no merged cells)

2019-03-14 11_47_38-Engine_24048_a49c466625fe4d9783391080919ddf13_.xlsx - Excel.png

What i've tried:

  • every option in the layout and render tools
  • I tried adding blank report text to the right of the smaller table. It looks perfect in the browse tool, but creates a broken excel file.

Any help appreciated.



It's not ideal, but this has been a problem for a while with the Alteryx Render to Excel. The issue is the engine that is used to pass all of the formatting to excel has a lot of features to consider, as this translation is a very complex process. As a result some tables when joined together as you have them come out with weirdly merged columns. The solution to this is to insert "dummy" columns via a formula tool in the table with fewer columns. The expression for these dummy fields should be null() which will only populate the cells with null values. Next in the Table tool you can simply rename those dummy fields with a space to overwrite the header style and name. This will yield you the results you're looking for. Inelegant but it works...


Oh...Also, when dealing with report snippets, it's a best practice to keep related tables in a single row. This is why I replaced your Union in your example with a join tool. In the future, if you get to batching your reports, you will want to join by your "Group by" field to keep report snippets together based on your grouping criteria. As for now in the Join tool I have it set to "Join by record position" since you only have a single table being output from each of your table tools.