There are two places where formulas can be used in the report designer tool:

  • Row Filter formula for reports
  • Value Source formula for cells

Both have the same syntax, but are used in different ways.


The general formula language is inspired by the Excel formula language, but is different in several ways. It is also possibly to literally use the Excel format for a value source formula. This is covered in a separate reference.


Using Formulas

Value Source Formulas

These can be entered in the Advanced section of Column Options.


A column must have a value source formula, otherwise it will be blank. The designer automatically generates a value source formula when you add a column to the report. It is simply the [Column Reference] for the column that was added.


To add a new report column so that you can enter a value source formula, click Add Formula Column:


This will give a new blank column with the formula "Enter formula here" - a reminder to update the formula!


Row Filter Formulas

These can be entered in the Advanced section of Sheet Options.


A row filter formula lets you exclude certain rows from appearing in the report. It must be some sort of comparison which produces a true/false outcome.


Formula Language Reference

Column References

Columns values are referenced by putting the column name in square brackets. For example: [A Column]


Note: The column names are fixed and do not change in formulas if the title is changed. If you have renamed a column by changing the title, you can see the original name as highlighted below:


When entering a formula, the designer will auto-complete to help you get the column reference correct. It's a good idea to use one of the suggestions, and the formula will not be valid if the column reference is spelled incorrectly (including capitalisation!).


Literals

Fixed values (i.e. literals) can be used in formulas.

Type
Examples
Notes
Whole Number
5,  -12

Decimal Number
12.88,  -0.5

Text
"Hello",  "That's a bit \"interesting\"!"
To include a double quote within text, precede it with back slash \
Null
NULL
Means 'no value'. Useful for hiding values and excluding values from averages.


Operators

Operators can be used to combine values. Order of operations is respected (i.e. parentheses first, then */, then +-, left to right).

Types
Examples
Notes
Addition
[Total] + 100

Subtraction
[Total] - 100

Multiplication
[Total] * 100

Division
[Total] / 100
Division by 0 will result in a NULL value.
Text concatenation
"Hello " & [First Name]

Parentheses
5 * (10 + 20)


Comparisons

Values can be compared. This is useful for row filters, or when using the IF function.

Type
Examples
Notes
Greater than
[Total] > 5

Greater than or equal to
[Total] >= 5

Less than
[Total] < 5

Less than or equal to
[Total] <= 5

Equal to
[Total] = 5,  [Total] = NULL

Not equal to
[Total] <> 5,  [Total] <> NULL

AND
[Total] > 5 AND [Total] < 10 AND [Category] = "Widgets"
Use parentheses to combine AND and OR
OR
[Category] = "A" OR [Category] = "B" OR [Category] = "C"
Use parentheses to combine AND and OR


Functions

There are several functions which can be used to modify values. They consist of an upper case function name, followed by a number of arguments in brackets. For example: FUNCTION(value_1, value_2)


Text Functions

These functions only operate on text values.

Function
Examples
Notes
LEFT(value, character count)
LEFT([Client Name], 20)
Trims <value> to a maximum length of <character count> letter. <character count> should be a whole number.
RIGHT(value, character count)
RIGHT([Client Name], 10)
Trims <value> by taking the last <character count> letters. <character count> should be a whole number.
UPPER(value)
UPPER([Client Name])
Converts <value> to upper case.
LOWER(value)
LOWER([Client Name])
Converts <value> to lower case.
SUBSTITUTE(value, old text, new text)SUBSTITUTE([Client Name], "Smith", "Johnson")Replaces <old text> with <new text> in the string <value>.


Math Functions

These functions only operate on numeric values.

Function
Examples
Notes
CEIL(value)
CEIL([Line Total])
Rounds up to the nearest whole number.
FLOOR(value)
FLOOR([Line Total])
Rounds down to the nearest whole number.
SQRT(value)
SQRT([Quantity])
Square root.
ABS(value)
ABS([Line Total])
Absolute value (i.e. discard the negative sign).


Date Functions

These functions only operate on date values.

Function
Examples
Notes
YEAR(value)
YEAR([Invoice Date])
Snap to the start of the calendar year.
QUARTER(value)
QUARTER([Invoice Date])
Snap to the start of the calendar quarter.
MONTH(value)
MONTH([Invoice Date])
Snap to the start of the calendar month.
WEEK(value)
WEEK([Invoice Date])
Snap to the start of the calendar week (Monday).
DAY(value)
DAY([Created Date])
Snap a datetime to a date, discarding the time component.
DATETRIM(value)
DATETRIM([Invoice Date])
Adds a filter to the report allowing the user to change the date resolution on the fly (e.g. yearly, monthly). Especially useful when aggregating or grouping by dates.
TODAY()
TODAY()
Today's date. Useful when filtering for dates before/after today.
NOW()
NOW()
Current datetime. Useful when filtering for datetimes before/after now.


Other Functions

Function
Examples
Notes
IF(condition_1, true_value_1, condition_n, true_value_n, false_value)
IF([Total] > 50, "Large", "Small")
IF([Total] > 100, "Huge", [Total] > 50, "Medium", "Small")
Similar to the Excel IF function, except multiple conditions are supported. The conditions are checked from left to right.
IFNULL(value, fallback)
IFNULL([Amount], 0)
Replace any blank value with the supplied <fallback>. Both <value> and <fallback> should be the same type. Useful to show zeros where otherwise would be blank.
NULLIF(value_to_check, null_value)
NULLIF([Amount], 0)
Replace where the <value_to_check> equals <null_value> with NULL. Useful to show blanks where otherwise would be zeros.
CONTAINS(value, search_text)
CONTAINS([Client Name], "Smith")
Gives a true value if <search_text> is found in <value>. Both arguments must be text types.
ICONTAINS(value, search_text)
ICONTAINS([Client Name], "smith")
Gives a true value if <search_text> is found in <value> ignoring upper/lower case. Both arguments must be text types.
STARTSWITH(value, search_text)
STARTSWITH([Client Name], "Xxx")
Gives a true value if <value> starts with <search_text>. Both arguments must be text types.
ENDSWITH(value, search_text)
ENDSWITH([Client Name], "Smith")
Gives a true value if <value> ends with <search_text>. Both arguments must be text types.