Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Apply Column Rules to Multiple Columns in the Table Tool

Created on

The Table Tool has many options for formatting data - e.g. prefixes and suffixes can be added, certain fields can be highlighted based on formulas and many more. For an overview of the tool, take a look at the Tool Mastery article for the Table Tool


What to do if you want to format more than one column at once? There is a workaround using the "Dynamic or Unknown Fields" option. 


Let's say we have a data set of annual sales by state, like this:




The three numeric columns should include $ and only show two decimals. We'll also make the years in the headers bold. 


This could be applied to each column individually but that would have to be done three times and it would have to be done again for each new year that is added to the data. Much easier to do it once for the "Dynamic and Unknown Fields" which also applies to any new fields. 


To do this, use a Select Tool to remove all columns but "State". Then create the data formatting rules for the dynamic fields: 


dynamic field formatting.png


Add the fields back in the Select Tool, the Table Tool picks them up automatically and applies the rules you just created:


2016 formatting.png


Resulting in a nicely formatted table: 




Once 2017 is added to the data, it will automatically format that column as well.


Hello, I see this works in your example when selecting / deselecting the year columns in the select tool: They appear/disappear as options in the table tool, as expected.


For some reason in my workflow, the columns are labeled only as missing, and I am unable to fully remove them from the table tool. Any ideas on this problem would be appreciated. Thanks!

Table Tool How to Forget Columns.jpg


When I deselect the 'missing' values in the table tool that are shown in my prior comment, then upon a re-run, they do disappear from the table tool (but in your example it is not necessary to deselect them). I'm not certain why it is not working like your example, but this has at least allowed me to get the columns in the correct date order once adding them back in to the select.