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Formatting Query Results


This chapter explains how to format your query results to produce a finished report. This chapter covers the following topics:

Read this chapter while sitting at your computer and try out the examples shown. Before beginning, make sure you have access to the sample tables described[*].


Formatting Columns

Through the SQL*Plus COLUMN command, you can change the column headings and reformat the column data in your query results.

Changing Column Headings

When displaying column headings, you can either use the default heading or you can change it using the COLUMN command. The sections below describe how the default headings are derived and how you can alter them with the COLUMN command.

Default Headings

SQL*Plus uses column or expression names as default column headings when displaying query results. Column names are often short and cryptic, however, and expressions can be hard to understand.

Changing Default Headings

You can define a more useful column heading with the HEADING clause of the COLUMN command, in the format shown below:

COLUMN column_name HEADING column_heading

See the COLUMN command[*] for more details.

Example 4-1 Changing a Column Heading

To produce a report from EMP with new headings specified for DEPTNO, ENAME, and SAL, enter the following commands:

SQL> COLUMN DEPTNO HEADING Department
SQL> COLUMN ENAME HEADING Employee
SQL> COLUMN SAL HEADING Salary
SQL> COLUMN COMM HEADING Commission
SQL> SELECT DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL, COMM
  2  FROM EMP
  3  WHERE JOB = 'SALESMAN';

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

Department Employee     Salary Commission
---------- ---------- ---------- ----------
        30 ALLEN            1600        300
        30 WARD             1250        500
        30 MARTIN           1250       1400
        30 TURNER           1500          0

Note: The new headings will remain in effect until you enter different headings, reset each column's format, or exit from SQL*Plus.

To change a column heading to two or more words, enclose the new heading in single or double quotation marks when you enter the COLUMN command. To display a column heading on more than one line, use a vertical bar (|) where you want to begin a new line. (You can use a character other than a vertical bar by changing the setting of the HEADSEP variable of the SET command. See SET[*] for more information.)

Example 4-2 Splitting a Column Heading

To give the column ENAME the heading EMPLOYEE NAME and to split the new heading onto two lines, enter

SQL> COLUMN ENAME HEADING 'Employee|Name'

Now rerun the query with the slash (/) command:

SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

           Employee
Department Name           Salary Commission
---------- ---------- ---------- ----------
        30 ALLEN            1600        300
        30 WARD             1250        500
        30 MARTIN           1250       1400
        30 TURNER           1500          0

To change the character used to underline each column heading, set the UNDERLINE variable of the SET command to the desired character.

Example 4-3 Setting the Underline Character

To change the character used to underline headings to an equal sign and rerun the query, enter the following commands:

SQL> SET UNDERLINE =
SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following results:

           Employee
Department Name           Salary Commission
========== ========== ========== ==========
        30 ALLEN            1600        300
        30 WARD             1250        500
        30 MARTIN           1250       1400
        30 TURNER           1500          0

Now change the underline character back to a dash:

SQL> SET UNDERLINE '-'

Note: You must enclose the dash in quotation marks; otherwise, SQL*Plus interprets the dash as a hyphen indicating you wish to continue the command on another line.

Formatting NUMBER Columns

When displaying NUMBER columns, you can either accept the SQL*Plus default display width or you can change it using the COLUMN command. The sections below describe the default display and how you can alter the default with the COLUMN command.

Default Display

A NUMBER column's width equals the width of the heading or the width of the FORMAT plus one space for the sign, whichever is greater. If you do not explicitly use FORMAT, then the column's width will always be at least the value of SET NUMWIDTH.

SQL*Plus normally displays numbers with as many digits as are required for accuracy, up to a standard display width determined by the value of the NUMWIDTH variable of the SET command (normally 10). If a number is larger than the value of SET NUMWIDTH, SQL*Plus rounds the number up or down to the maximum number of characters allowed.

You can choose a different format for any NUMBER column by using a format model in a COLUMN command. A format model is a representation of the way you want the numbers in the column to appear, using 9's to represent digits.

Changing the Default Display

The COLUMN command identifies the column you want to format and the model you want to use, as shown below:

COLUMN column_name FORMAT model

Use format models to add commas, dollar signs, angle brackets (around negative values), and/or leading zeros to numbers in a given column. You can also round the values to a given number of decimal places, display minus signs to the right of negative values (instead of to the left), and display values in exponential notation.

To use more than one format model for a single column, combine the desired models in one COLUMN command (see Example 4-4). For a complete list of format models and further details, see the COLUMN command[*].

Example 4-4 Formatting a NUMBER Column

To display SAL with a dollar sign, a comma, and the numeral zero instead of a blank for any zero values, enter the following command:

SQL> COLUMN SAL FORMAT $99,990

Now rerun the current query:

SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

           Employee
Department Name           Salary Commission
---------- ---------- ---------- ----------
       30  ALLEN         $1,600         300
       30  WARD          $1,250         500
       30  MARTIN        $1,250        1400
       30  TURNER        $1,500           0

Use a zero in your format model, as shown above, when you use other formats such as a dollar sign and wish to display a zero in place of a blank for zero values.

Note: The format model will stay in effect until you enter a new one, reset the column's format, or exit from SQL*Plus.

Formatting CHAR, VARCHAR2 (VARCHAR), LONG, DATE, and Trusted Oracle Columns

When displaying CHAR, VARCHAR2 (VARCHAR), LONG, DATE, and Trusted Oracle columns, you can either accept the SQL*Plus default display width or you can change it using the COLUMN command. The sections below describe the defaults and how you can alter the defaults with the COLUMN command.

Default Display

The default width of CHAR and VARCHAR2 (VARCHAR) columns is the width of the column in the database. (VARCHAR2 requires Oracle7.)

The display width of LONG columns defaults to the value of the LONGCHUNKSIZE variable of the SET command.

For Oracle7, the default width and format of unformatted DATE columns in SQL*Plus is derived from the NLS parameters in effect. Otherwise, the default format width is A9. With Oracle Version 6, the default width for DATE columns is nine characters. For more information on formatting DATE columns, see the FORMAT clause of the COLUMN command[*].

The default display width for the Trusted Oracle datatypes MLSLABEL and RAW MLSLABEL is the width defined for the column in the database or the width of the column heading, whichever is longer. (Note that the default display width for a Trusted Oracle column named ROWLABEL is 15.)

Note: The default justification for CHAR, VARCHAR2 (VARCHAR), LONG, DATE, and Trusted Oracle columns is left justification.

Changing the Default Display

You can change the displayed width of a CHAR, VARCHAR2 (VARCHAR), LONG, DATE, or Trusted Oracle column by using the COLUMN command with a format model consisting of the letter A (for alphanumeric) followed by a number representing the width of the column in characters.

Within the COLUMN command, identify the column you want to format and the model you want to use:

COLUMN column_name FORMAT model

If you specify a width shorter than the column heading, SQL*Plus truncates the heading. If you specify a width for a LONG column, SQL*Plus uses the LONGCHUNKSIZE or the specified width, whichever is smaller, as the column width. See the COLUMN command[*] for more details.

Example 4-5 Formatting a Character Column

To set the width of the column ENAME to four characters and rerun the current query, enter

SQL> COLUMN ENAME FORMAT A4
SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the results:

           Empl
Department Name     Salary Commission
---------- ---- ---------- ----------
       30  ALLE     $1,600        300
           N

       30  WARD     $1,250        500
       30  MART     $1,250       1400
           IN

       30  TURN     $1,500          0
           ER

Note: The format model will stay in effect until you enter a new one, reset the column's format, or exit from SQL*Plus. ENAME could be a CHAR or VARCHAR2 (VARCHAR) column.

If the WRAP variable of the SET command is set to ON (its default value), the employee names wrap to the next line after the fourth character, as shown in Example 4-5. If WRAP is set to OFF, the names are truncated (cut off) after the fourth character.

The system variable WRAP controls all columns; you can override the setting of WRAP for a given column through the WRAPPED, WORD_WRAPPED, and TRUNCATED clauses of the COLUMN command. See COLUMN[*] for more information on these clauses. You will use the WORD_WRAPPED clause of COLUMN later in this chapter.

Note: The column heading is truncated regardless of the setting of WRAP or any COLUMN command clauses.

Now return the column to its previous format:

SQL> COLUMN ENAME FORMAT A10

Copying Column Display Attributes

When you want to give more than one column the same display attributes, you can reduce the length of the commands you must enter by using the LIKE clause of the COLUMN command. The LIKE clause tells SQL*Plus to copy the display attributes of a previously defined column to the new column, except for changes made by other clauses in the same command.

Example 4-6 Copying a Column's Display Attributes

To give the column COMM the same display attributes you gave to SAL, but to specify a different heading, enter the following command:

SQL> COLUMN COMM LIKE SAL HEADING Bonus

Rerun the query:

SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

           Employee
Department Name           Salary      Bonus
---------- ---------- ---------- ----------
        30 ALLEN          $1,600       $300
        30 WARD           $1,250       $500
        30 MARTIN         $1,250     $1,400
        30 TURNER         $1,500         $0

Listing and Resetting Column Display Attributes

To list the current display attributes for a given column, use the COLUMN command followed by the column name only, as shown below:

COLUMN column_name

To list the current display attributes for all columns, enter the COLUMN command with no column names or clauses after it:

COLUMN

To reset the display attributes for a column to their default values, use the CLEAR clause of the COLUMN command as shown below:

COLUMN column_name CLEAR

To reset the attributes for all columns, use the COLUMNS clause of the CLEAR command.

Example 4-7 Resetting Column Display Attributes to their Defaults

To reset all columns' display attributes to their default values, enter the following command:

SQL> CLEAR COLUMNS
columns cleared

You may wish to place the command CLEAR COLUMNS at the beginning of every command file to ensure that previously entered COLUMN commands will not affect queries you run in a given file.

Suppressing and Restoring Column Display Attributes

You can suppress and restore the display attributes you have given a specific column. To suppress a column's display attributes, enter a COLUMN command in the following form:

COLUMN column_name OFF

The OFF clause tells SQL*Plus to use the default display attributes for the column, but does not remove the attributes you have defined through the COLUMN command. To restore the attributes you defined through COLUMN, use the ON clause:

COLUMN column_name ON

Printing a Line of Characters after Wrapped Column Values

As you have seen, by default SQL*Plus wraps column values to additional lines when the value does not fit within the column width. If you want to insert a record separator (a line of characters or a blank line) after each wrapped line of output (or after every row), use the RECSEP and RECSEPCHAR variables of the SET command.

RECSEP determines when the line of characters is printed: you set RECSEP to EACH to print after every line, to WRAPPED to print after wrapped lines, and to OFF to suppress printing. The default setting of RECSEP is WRAPPED.

RECSEPCHAR sets the character printed in each line. You can set RECSEPCHAR to any character.

You may wish to wrap whole words to additional lines when a column value wraps to additional lines. To do so, use the WORD_WRAPPED clause of the COLUMN command as shown below:

COLUMN column_name WORD_WRAPPED

Example 4-8 Printing a Line of Characters after Wrapped Column Values

To print a line of dashes after each wrapped column value, enter the following commands:

SQL> SET RECSEP WRAPPED
SQL> SET RECSEPCHAR '-'

Now restrict the width of the column LOC and tell SQL*Plus to wrap whole words to additional lines when necessary:

SQL> COLUMN LOC FORMAT A7 WORD_WRAPPED

Finally, enter and run the following query:

SQL> SELECT * FROM DEPT;

SQL*Plus displays the results:

    DEPTNO DNAME           LOC
---------- --------------- ----------
        10 ACCOUNTING      NEW
                           YORK
-------------------------------------------------
        20 RESEARCH        DALLAS
        30 SALES           CHICAGO
        40 OPERATIONS      BOSTON

If you set RECSEP to EACH, SQL*Plus prints a line of characters after every row (after every department, for the above example).

Before continuing, set RECSEP to OFF to suppress the printing of record separators:

SQL> SET RECSEP OFF


Clarifying Your Report with Spacing and Summary Lines

When you use an ORDER BY clause in your SQL SELECT command, rows with the same value in the ordered column (or expression) are displayed together in your output. You can make this output more useful to the user by using the SQL*Plus BREAK and COMPUTE commands to create subsets of records and add space and/or summary lines after each subset.

The column you specify in a BREAK command is called a break column. By including the break column in your ORDER BY clause, you create meaningful subsets of records in your output. You can then add formatting to the subsets within the same BREAK command, and add a summary line (containing totals, averages, and so on) by specifying the break column in a COMPUTE command.

For example, the following query, without BREAK or COMPUTE commands,

SQL> SELECT DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL
  2  FROM EMP
  3  WHERE SAL < 2500
  4  ORDER BY DEPTNO;

produces the following unformatted results:

  DEPTNO  ENAME             SAL
--------  ----------  ---------
      10  CLARK            2450
      10  MILLER           1300
      20  SMITH             800
      20  ADAMS            1100
      30  ALLEN            1600
      30  JAMES             950
      30  TURNER           1500
      30  WARD             1250
      30  MARTIN           1250

To make this report more useful, you would use BREAK to establish DEPTNO as the break column. Through BREAK you could suppress duplicate values in DEPTNO and place blank lines or begin a new page between departments. You could use BREAK in conjunction with COMPUTE to calculate and print summary lines containing the total (and/or average, maximum, minimum, standard deviation, variance, or count of rows of) salary for each department and for all departments.

Suppressing Duplicate Values in Break Columns

The BREAK command suppresses duplicate values by default in the column or expression you name. Thus, to suppress the duplicate values in a column specified in an ORDER BY clause, use the BREAK command in its simplest form:

BREAK ON break_column

Note: Whenever you specify a column or expression in a BREAK command, use an ORDER BY clause specifying the same column or expression. If you do not do this, the breaks may appear to occur randomly.

Example 4-9 Suppressing Duplicate Values in a Break Column

To suppress the display of duplicate department numbers in the query results shown above, enter the following commands:

SQL> BREAK ON DEPTNO
SQL> SELECT DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL
  2  FROM EMP
  3  WHERE SAL < 2500
  4  ORDER BY DEPTNO;

SQL*Pus displays the following output:

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ----------- ---------
        10 CLARK            2450
           MILLER           1300
        20 SMITH             800
           ADAMS            1100
        30 ALLEN            1600
           JAMES             950
           TURNER           1500
           WARD             1250
           MARTIN           1250

Inserting Space when a Break Column's Value Changes

You can insert blank lines or begin a new page each time the value changes in the break column. To insert n blank lines, use the BREAK command in the following form:

BREAK ON break_column SKIP n

To skip a page, use the command in this form:

BREAK ON break_column SKIP PAGE

Example 4-10 Inserting Space when a Break Column's Value Changes

To place one blank line between departments, enter the following command:

SQL> BREAK ON DEPTNO SKIP 1

Now rerun the query:

SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the results:

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ----------- ---------
        10 CLARK            2450
           MILLER           1300

        20 SMITH             800
           ADAMS            1100

        30 ALLEN            1600
           JAMES             950
           TURNER           1500
           WARD             1250
           MARTIN           1250

Inserting Space after Every Row

You may wish to insert blank lines or a blank page after every row. To skip n lines after every row, use BREAK in the following form:

BREAK ON ROW SKIP n

To skip a page after every row, use

BREAK ON ROW SKIP PAGE

Note: SKIP PAGE does not cause a physical page break unless you have also specified NEWPAGE 0.

Using Multiple Spacing Techniques

Suppose you have more than one column in your ORDER BY clause and wish to insert space when each column's value changes. Each BREAK command you enter replaces the previous one. Thus, if you want to use different spacing techniques in one report or insert space after the value changes in more than one ordered column, you must specify multiple columns and actions in a single BREAK command.

Example 4-11 Combining Spacing Techniques

First, add another column to the current query:

SQL> L
  1  SELECT DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL
  2  FROM EMP
  3  WHERE SAL < 2500
  4* ORDER BY DEPTNO
SQL> 1 SELECT DEPTNO, JOB, ENAME, SAL
SQL> 4 ORDER BY DEPTNO, JOB

Now, to skip a page when the value of DEPTNO changes and one line when the value of JOB changes, enter the following command:

SQL> BREAK ON DEPTNO SKIP PAGE ON JOB SKIP 1

To show that SKIP PAGE has taken effect, create a TTITLE with a page number, enter

SQL> TTITLE COL 35 FORMAT 9 'Page:' SQL.PNO

Run the new query to see the results:

SQL> /

                                  Page: 1
    DEPTNO JOB       ENAME             SAL
---------- --------- ---------- ----------
        10 CLERK     MILLER            300

           MANAGER   CLARK            2450

                                  Page: 2
    DEPTNO JOB       ENAME             SAL
---------- --------- ---------- ----------
        20 CLERK     SMITH             800
                     ADAMS            1100

                                  Page: 3
    DEPTNO JOB       ENAME             SAL
---------- --------- ---------- ----------
        30 CLERK     JAMES             950

           SALESMAN  ALLEN            1600
                     TURNER           1500
                     WARD             1250
                     MARTIN           1250

Listing and Removing Break Definitions

You can list your current break definition by entering the BREAK command with no clauses:

BREAK

You can remove the current break definition by entering the CLEAR command with the BREAKS clause:

CLEAR BREAKS

You may wish to place the command CLEAR BREAKS at the beginning of every command file to ensure that previously entered BREAK commands will not affect queries you run in a given file.

Computing Summary Lines when a Break Column's Value Changes

If you organize the rows of a report into subsets with the BREAK command, you can perform various computations on the rows in each subset. You do this with the functions of the SQL*Plus COMPUTE command. Use the BREAK and COMPUTE commands together in the following forms:

BREAK ON break_column
COMPUTE function LABEL label_name OF column column column
... ON break_column

You can include multiple break columns and actions, such as skipping lines in the BREAK command, as long as the column you name after ON in the COMPUTE command also appears after ON in the BREAK command. To include multiple break columns and actions in BREAK when using it in conjunction with COMPUTE, use these commands in the following forms:

BREAK ON break_column_1 SKIP PAGE ON break_column_2 SKIP 1
COMPUTE function LABEL label_name OF column column column
... ON break_column_2

The COMPUTE command has no effect without a corresponding BREAK command.

You can COMPUTE on NUMBER columns and, in certain cases, on all types of columns. See COMPUTE[*] for details.

The following table lists compute functions and their effects:

Function Effect
SUM Computes the sum of the values in the column.
MINIMUM Computes the minimum value in the column.
MAXIMUM Computes the maximum value in the column.
AVG Computes the average of the values in the column.
STD Computes the standard deviation of the values in the column.
VARIANCE Computes the variance of the values in the column.
COUNT Computes the number of non-null values in the column.
NUMBER Computes the number of rows in the column.
Table 4 - 1. Compute Functions
The function you specify in the COMPUTE command applies to all columns you enter after OFF and before ON. The computed values print on a separate line when the value of the ordered column changes.

Labels for ON REPORT and ON ROW computations appear in the first column; otherwise, they appear in the column specified in the ON clause.

You can change the compute label by using COMPUTE LABEL. If you do not define a label for the computed value, SQL*Plus prints the unabbreviated function keyword.

The compute label can be suppressed by using the NOPRINT option of the COLUMN command on the break column. See the COMPUTE command[*] for more details.

Example 4-12 Computing and Printing Subtotals

To compute the total of SAL by department, first list the current BREAK definition:

SQL> BREAK
break on DEPTNO skip 0 page nodup
           on JOB skip 1 nodup

Now enter the following COMPUTE command and run the current query:

SQL> COMPUTE SUM OF SAL ON DEPTNO
SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

    DEPTNO JOB       ENAME             SAL
---------- --------- ---------- ----------
        10 CLERK     MILLER           1300

           MANAGER   CLARK            2450
********** *********            ----------
sum                                   3750

    DEPTNO JOB       ENAME             SAL
---------- --------- ---------- ----------
        20 CLERK     SMITH             800
                     ADAMS            1100
********** *********            ----------
sum                                   1900

    DEPTNO JOB       ENAME             SAL
---------- --------- ---------- ----------
        30 CLERK     JAMES             950

           SALESMAN  ALLEN            1600
                     TURNER           1500
                     WARD             1250
                     MARTIN           1250
********** *********            ----------
sum                                   6550

To compute the sum of salaries for departments 10 and 20 without printing the compute label:

SQL> COLUMN DUMMY NOPRINT
SQL> COMPUTE SUM OF SAL ON DUMMY
SQL> BREAK ON DUMMY SKIP 1
SQL> SELECT DEPTNO DUMMY, DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL
  2  FROM EMP
  3  WHERE DEPTNO <= 20
  4  ORDER BY DEPTNO;

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        10 KING             5000
        10 CLARK            2450
        10 MILLER           1300
                      ----------
                            8750

        20 JONES            2975
        20 FORD             3000
        20 SMITH             800
        20 SCOTT            3000
        20 ADAMS            1100
                      ----------
                           10875

To compute the salaries at the end of the report:

SQL> COLUMN DUMMY NOPRINT
SQL> COMPUTE SUM OF SAL ON DUMMY
SQL> BREAK ON DUMMY
SQL> SELECT NULL DUMMY, DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL
  2  FROM EMP
  3  WHERE DEPTNO <= 20
  4  ORDER BY DEPTNO;

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        10 KING             5000
        10 CLARK            2450
        10 MILLER           1300
        20 JONES            2975
        20 FORD             3000
        20 SMITH             800
        20 SCOTT            3000
        20 ADAMS            1100
                      ----------
                           19625

Note: The format of the column SAL controls the appearance of the sum of SAL, as well as the individual values of SAL. When you establish the format of a NUMBER column, you must allow for the size of sums you will include in your report.

Computing Summary Lines at the End of the Report

You can calculate and print summary lines based on all values in a column by using BREAK and COMPUTE in the following forms:

BREAK ON REPORT
COMPUTE function LABEL label_name OF column column column
... ON REPORT

Example 4-13 Computing and Printing a Grand Total

To calculate and print the grand total of salaries for all salesmen and change the compute label, first enter the following BREAK and COMPUTE commands:

SQL> BREAK ON REPORT
SQL> COMPUTE SUM LABEL TOTAL OF SAL ON REPORT

Next, enter and run a new query:

SQL> SELECT ENAME, SAL
  2  FROM EMP
  3 WHERE JOB = 'SALESMAN';

SQL*Plus displays the results:

ENAME           SAL
---------- --------
ALLEN          1600
WARD           1250
MARTIN         1250
TURNER         1500
********** --------
TOTAL          5600

To print a grand total (or grand average, grand maximum, and so on) in addition to subtotals (or sub-averages, and so on), include a break column and an ON REPORT clause in your BREAK command. Then, enter one COMPUTE command for the break column and another to compute ON REPORT:

BREAK ON break_column ON REPORT
COMPUTE function LABEL label_name OF column ON break_column
COMPUTE function LABEL label_name OF column ON REPORT

Computing Multiple Summary Values and Lines

You can compute and print the same type of summary value on different columns. To do so, enter a separate COMPUTE command for each column.

Example 4-14 Computing the Same Type of Summary Value on Different Columns

To print the total of salaries and commissions for all salesmen, first enter the following COMPUTE command:

SQL> COMPUTE SUM OF SAL COMM ON REPORT

You do not have to enter a BREAK command; the BREAK you entered in Example 4-13 is still in effect. Now, add COMM to the current query:

SQL> 1 SELECT ENAME, SAL, COMM

Finally, run the revised query to see the results:

SQL> /

ENAME           SAL       COMM
---------- -------- ----------
ALLEN          1600        300
WARD           1250        500
MARTIN         1250       1400
TURNER         1500          0
********** -------- ----------
sum            5600       2200

You can also print multiple summary lines on the same break column. To do so, include the function for each summary line in the COMPUTE command as follows:

COMPUTE function LABEL label_name function
  LABEL label_name function LABEL label_name ...
  OF column ON break_column

If you include multiple columns after OFF and before ON, COMPUTE calculates and prints values for each column you specify.

Example 4-15 Computing Multiple Summary Lines on the Same Break Column

To compute the average and sum of salaries for the sales department, first enter the following BREAK and COMPUTE commands:

SQL> BREAK ON DEPTNO
SQL> COMPUTE AVG SUM OF SAL ON DEPTNO

Now, enter and run the following query:

SQL> SELECT DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL
  2  FROM EMP
  3  WHERE DEPTNO = 30
  4  ORDER BY DEPTNO, SAL;

SQL*Plus displays the results:

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        30 JAMES             950
           WARD             1250
           MARTIN           1250
           TURNER           1500
           ALLEN            1600
           BLAKE            2850
**********            ----------
avg                   1566.66667
sum                         9400

Listing and Removing COMPUTE Definitions

You can list your current COMPUTE definitions by entering the COMPUTE command with no clauses:

COMPUTE

You can remove all the COMPUTE definitions by entering the CLEAR command with the COMPUTES clause.

Example 4-16 Removing COMPUTE Definitions

To remove all COMPUTE definitions and the accompanying BREAK definition, enter the following commands:

SQL> CLEAR BREAKS
breaks cleared
SQL> CLEAR COMPUTES
computes cleared

You may wish to place the commands CLEAR BREAKS and CLEAR COMPUTES at the beginning of every command file to ensure that previously entered BREAK and COMPUTE commands will not affect queries you run in a given file.


Defining Page and Report Titles and Dimensions

The word page refers to a screenful of information on your display or a page of a spooled (printed) report. You can place top and bottom titles on each page, set the number of lines per page, and determine the width of each line.

The word report refers to the complete results of a query. You can also place headers and footers on each report and format them in the same way as top and bottom titles on pages.

Setting the Top and Bottom Titles and Headers and Footers

As you have already seen, you can set a title to display at the top of each page of a report. You can also set a title to display at the bottom of each page. The TTITLE command defines the top title; the BTITLE command defines the bottom title.

You can also set a header and footer for each report. The REPHEADER command defines the report header; the REPFOOTER command defines the report footer.

A TTITLE, BTITLE, REPHEADER or REPFOOTER command consists of the command name followed by one or more clauses specifying a position or format and a CHAR value you wish to place in that position or give that format. You can include multiple sets of clauses and CHAR values:

TTITLE position_clause(s) char_value position_clause(s) char_value ...
BTITLE position_clause(s) char_value position_clause(s) char_value ...
REPHEADER position_clause(s) char_value position_clause(s) char_value ...
REPFOOTER position_clause(s) char_value position_clause(s) char_value ...

The most often used clauses of TTITLE, BTITLE, REPHEADER and REPFOOTER are summarized in the following table. For descriptions of all TTITLE, BTITLE, REPHEADER and REPFOOTER clauses, see the discussions of TTITLE and REPHEADER[*].

Clause Example Description
COL n COL 72 Makes the next CHAR value appear in the specified column of the line.
SKIP n SKIP 2 Skips to a new line n times. If n is greater than 1, n-1 blank lines appear before the next CHAR value.
LEFT LEFT Left-aligns the following CHAR value.
CENTER CENTER Centers the following CHAR value.
RIGHT RIGHT Right-aligns the following CHAR value.
Table 4 - 2. Often-Used Clauses of TTITLE, BTITLE, REPHEADER and REPFOOTER
Example 4-17 Placing a Top and Bottom Title on a Page

To put titles at the top and bottom of each page of a report, enter

SQL> TTITLE CENTER -
>    'ACME WIDGET SALES DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL REPORT'
SQL> BTITLE CENTER 'COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL'

Now run the current query:

SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

              ACME WIDGET SALES DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL REPORT
    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        30 JAMES             950
        30 WARD             1250
        30 MARTIN           1250
        30 TURNER           1500
        30 ALLEN            1600
        30 BLAKE            2850



                             COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL

Example 4-18 Placing a Header on a Report

To put a report header on a separate page, and to center it, enter

SQL> REPHEADER PAGE CENTER 'ACME WIDGET'

Now run the current query:

SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following output on page one

              ACME WIDGET SALES DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL REPORT
                               ACME WIDGET








                           COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL

and the following output on page two

              ACME WIDGET SALES DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL REPORT
    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        30 JAMES             950
        30 WARD             1250
        30 MARTIN           1250
        30 TURNER           1500
        30 ALLEN            1600
        30 BLAKE            2850



                             COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL

To suppress the report header without changing its definition, enter

SQL> REPHEADER OFF

Positioning Title Elements

The report in the preceding exercises might look more attractive if you give the company name more emphasis and place the type of report and the department name on either end of a separate line. It may also help to reduce the linesize and thus center the titles more closely around the data.

You can accomplish these changes by adding some clauses to the TTITLE command and by resetting the system variable LINESIZE, as the following example shows.

You can format report headers and footers in the same way as BTITLE and TTITLE using the REPHEADER and REPFOOTER commands.

Example 4-19 Positioning Title Elements

To redisplay the personnel report with a repositioned top title, enter the following commands:

SQL> TTITLE CENTER 'A C M E  W I D G E T' SKIP 1 -
>  CENTER ================ SKIP 1 LEFT 'PERSONNEL REPORT' -
>  RIGHT 'SALES DEPARTMENT' SKIP 2
SQL> SET LINESIZE 60
SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the results:

                 A C M E  W I D G E T
                 ====================
PERSONNEL REPORT                        SALES DEPARTMENT

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        30 JAMES             950
        30 WARD             1250
        30 MARTIN           1250
        30 TURNER           1500
        30 ALLEN            1600
        30 BLAKE            2850
                      COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL

The LEFT, RIGHT, and CENTER clauses place the following values at the beginning, end, and center of the line. The SKIP clause tells SQL*Plus to move down one or more lines.

Note that there is no longer any space between the last row of the results and the bottom title. The last line of the bottom title prints on the last line of the page. The amount of space between the last row of the report and the bottom title depends on the overall page size, the number of lines occupied by the top title, and the number of rows in a given page. In the above example, the top title occupies three more lines than the top title in the previous example. You will learn to set the number of lines per page later in this chapter.

To always print n blank lines before the bottom title, use the SKIP n clause at the beginning of the BTITLE command. For example, to skip one line before the bottom title in the example above, you could enter the following command:

BTITLE SKIP 1 CENTER 'COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL'

Indenting a Title Element

You can use the COL clause in TTITLE or BTITLE to indent the title element a specific number of spaces. For example, COL 1 places the following values in the first character position, and so is equivalent to LEFT, or an indent of zero. COL 15 places the title element in the 15th character position, indenting it 14 spaces.

Exercise 4-20 Indenting a Title Element

To print the company name left-aligned with the report name indented five spaces on the next line, enter

SQL> TTITLE LEFT 'ACME WIDGET' SKIP 1 -
>  COL 6 'SALES DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL REPORT' SKIP 2

Now rerun the current query to see the results:

SQL> /
ACME WIDGET
     SALES DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL REPORT

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        30 JAMES             950
        30 WARD             1250
        30 MARTIN           1250
        30 TURNER           1500
        30 ALLEN            1600
        30 BLAKE            2850

                       COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL

Entering Long Titles

If you need to enter a title greater than 500 characters in length, you can use the SQL*Plus command DEFINE to place the text of each line of the title in a separate user variable:

SQL> DEFINE LINE1 = 'This is the first line...'
SQL> DEFINE LINE2 = 'This is the second line...'
SQL> DEFINE LINE3 = 'This is the third line...'

Then, reference the variables in your TTITLE or BTITLE command as follows:

SQL> TTITLE CENTER LINE1 SKIP 1 CENTER LINE2 SKIP 1 -
>    CENTER LINE3

Displaying the Page Number and other System-Maintained Values in Titles

You can display the current page number and other system-maintained values in your title by entering a system value name as a title element, for example:

TTITLE LEFT system-maintained_value_name

There are five system-maintained values you can display in titles, the most commonly used of which is SQL.PNO (the current page number). Refer to the TTITLE command[*] for a list of system-maintained values you can display in titles.

Example 4-21 Displaying the Current Page Number in a Title

To display the current page number at the top of each page, along with the company name, enter the following command:

SQL> TTITLE LEFT 'ACME WIDGET' RIGHT 'PAGE:' SQL.PNO SKIP 2

Now rerun the current query:

SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following results:

ACME WIDGET                               PAGE:         1

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        30 JAMES             950
        30 WARD             1250
        30 MARTIN           1250
        30 TURNER           1500
        30 ALLEN            1600
        30 BLAKE            2850


                      COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL

Note that SQL.PNO has a format ten spaces wide. You can change this format with the FORMAT clause of TTITLE (or BTITLE).

Example 4-22 Formatting a System-Maintained Value in a Title

To close up the space between the word PAGE: and the page number, re-enter the TTITLE command as shown:

SQL> TTITLE LEFT 'ACME WIDGET' RIGHT 'PAGE:' FORMAT 999 -
> SQL.PNO SKIP 2

Now rerun the query:

SQL> /

SQL*Plus displays the following results:

ACME WIDGET                                        PAGE:  1

    DEPTNO ENAME             SAL
---------- ---------- ----------
        30 JAMES             950
        30 WARD             1250
        30 MARTIN           1250
        30 TURNER           1500
        30 ALLEN            1600
        30 BLAKE            2850


                      COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL

Listing, Suppressing, and Restoring Page Title Definitions

To list a page title definition, enter the appropriate title command with no clauses:

TTITLE
BTITLE

To suppress a title definition, enter:

TTITLE OFF
BTITLE OFF

These commands cause SQL*Plus to cease displaying titles on reports, but do not clear the current definitions of the titles. You may restore the current definitions by entering

TTITLE ON
BTITLE ON

Displaying Column Values in Titles

You may wish to create a master/detail report that displays a changing master column value at the top of each page with the detail query results for that value below. You can reference a column value in a top title by storing the desired value in a variable and referencing the variable in a TTITLE command. Use the following form of the COLUMN command to define the variable:

COLUMN column_name NEW_VALUE variable_name

You must include the master column in an ORDER BY clause and in a BREAK command using the SKIP PAGE clause.

Example 4-23 Creating a Master/Detail Report

Suppose you want to create a report that displays two different managers' employee numbers, each at the top of a separate page, and the people reporting to the manager on the same page as the manager's employee number. First create a variable, MGRVAR, to hold the value of the current manager's employee number:

SQL> COLUMN MGR NEW_VALUE MGRVAR NOPRINT

Because you will display the managers' employee numbers in the title, you do not want them to print as part of the detail. The NOPRINT clause you entered above tells SQL*Plus not to print the column MGR.

Next, include a label and the value in your page title, enter the proper BREAK command, and suppress the bottom title from the last example:

SQL> TTITLE LEFT 'Manager: ' MGRVAR SKIP 2
SQL> BREAK ON MGR SKIP PAGE
SQL> BTITLE OFF

Finally, enter and run the following query:

SQL> SELECT MGR, ENAME, SAL, DEPTNO
  2  FROM EMP
  3  WHERE MGR IN (7698, 7839)
  3  ORDER BY MGR;

SQL*Plus displays the following output:

Manager:      7698

ENAME           SAL     DEPTNO
---------- -------- ----------
ALLEN          1600         30
WARD           1250         30
TURNER         1500         30
MARTIN         1250         30
JAMES           950         30

Manager:      7839

ENAME           SAL     DEPTNO
---------- -------- ----------
JONES          2975         20
BLAKE          2850         30
CLARK          2450         10

If you want to print the value of a column at the bottom of the page, you can use the COLUMN command in the following form:

COLUMN column_name OLD_VALUE variable_name

SQL*Plus prints the bottom title as part of the process of breaking to a new page--after finding the new value for the master column. Therefore, if you simply referenced the NEW_VALUE of the master column, you would get the value for the next set of detail. OLD_VALUE remembers the value of the master column that was in effect before the page break began.

Displaying the Current Date in Titles

You can, of course, date your reports by simply typing a value in the title. This is satisfactory for ad hoc reports, but if you want to run the same report repeatedly, you would probably prefer to have the date automatically appear when the report is run. You can do this by creating a variable to hold the current date.

To create the variable (in this example named _DATE), you can add the following commands to your SQL*Plus LOGIN file:

SET TERMOUT OFF
BREAK ON TODAY
COLUMN TODAY NEW_VALUE _DATE
SELECT TO_CHAR(SYSDATE, 'fmMonth DD, YYYY') TODAY
FROM DUAL;
CLEAR BREAKS
SET TERMOUT ON

When you start SQL*Plus, these commands place the value of SYSDATE (the current date) into a variable named _DATE. To display the current date, you can reference _DATE in a title as you would any other variable.

The date format model you include in the SELECT command in your LOGIN file determines the format in which SQL*Plus displays the date. See your Oracle7 Server SQL Language Reference Manual for more information on date format models. For more information about the LOGIN file, see "Modifying Your LOGIN File"[*].

You can also enter these commands interactively at the command prompt; see COLUMN[*] for an example.

Setting Page Dimensions

Typically, a page of a report contains the number of blank line(s) set in the NEWPAGE variable of the SET command, a top title, column headings, your query results, and a bottom title. SQL*Plus displays a report that is too long to fit on one page on several consecutive pages, each with its own titles and column headings. The amount of data SQL*Plus displays on each page depends on the current page dimensions.

The default page dimensions used by SQL*Plus are shown below:

You can change these settings to match the size of your computer screen or, for printing, the size of a sheet of paper.

You can change the page length with the system variable PAGESIZE. For example, you may wish to do so when you print a report, since printed pages are customarily 66 lines long.

To set the number of lines between the beginning of each page and the top title, use the NEWPAGE variable of the SET command:

SET NEWPAGE number_of_lines

If you set NEWPAGE to zero, SQL*Plus skips zero lines and displays and prints a formfeed character to begin a new page. On most types of computer screens, the formfeed character clears the screen and moves the cursor to the beginning of the first line. When you print a report, the formfeed character makes the printer move to the top of a new sheet of paper, even if the overall page length is less than that of the paper.

To set the number of lines on a page, use the PAGESIZE variable of the SET command:

SET PAGESIZE number_of_lines

You may wish to reduce the linesize to center a title properly over your output, or you may want to increase linesize for printing on wide paper. You can change the line width using the LINESIZE variable of the SET command:

SET LINESIZE number_of_characters

Example 4-24 Setting Page Dimensions

To set the page size to 66 lines, clear the screen (or advance the printer to a new sheet of paper) at the start of each page, and set the linesize to 32, enter the following commands:

SQL> SET PAGESIZE 66
SQL> SET NEWPAGE 0
SQL> SET LINESIZE 32

Now enter and run the following commands to see the results:

SQL> TTITLE CENTER 'ACME WIDGET PERSONNEL REPORT' SKIP 1 -
> CENTER '10-JAN-89' SKIP 2
SQL> COLUMN DEPTNO HEADING DEPARTMENT
SQL> COLUMN ENAME HEADING EMPLOYEE
SQL> COLUMN SAL FORMAT $99,999 HEADING SALARY
SQL> SELECT DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL
  2  FROM EMP
  3  ORDER BY DEPTNO;

SQL*Plus displays a formfeed followed by the query results:

  ACME WIDGET PERSONNEL REPORT
              10-JAN-89

DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE       SALARY
---------- ---------- ----------
        10 CLARK          $2,450
        10 KING           $5,000
        10 MILLER         $1,300
        20 SMITH            $800
        20 ADAMS          $1,100
        20 FORD           $3,000
        20 SCOTT          $3,000
        20 JONES          $2,975
        30 ALLEN          $1,600
        30 BLAKE          $2,850
        30 MARTIN         $1,250
        30 JAMES            $950
        30 TURNER         $1,500
        30 WARD           $1,250

Now reset PAGESIZE, NEWPAGE, and LINESIZE to their default values:

SQL> SET PAGESIZE 24
SQL> SET NEWPAGE 1
SQL> SET LINESIZE 80

To list the current values of these variables, use the SHOW command:

SQL> SHOW PAGESIZE
pagesize 24
SQL> SHOW NEWPAGE
newpage 1
SQL> SHOW LINESIZE
linesize 80

Through the SQL*Plus command SPOOL, you can store you query results in a file or print them on your computer's default printer.

Sending Results to a File

To store the results of a query in a file--and still display them on the screen--enter the SPOOL command in the following form:

SPOOL file_name

SQL*Plus stores all information displayed on the screen after you enter the SPOOL command in the file you specify.


Storing and Printing Query Results

Send your query results to a file when you want to edit them with a word processor before printing or include them in a letter, memo, or other document.

To store the results of a query in a file--and still display them on the screen--enter the SPOOL command in the following form:

SPOOL file_name

If you do not follow the filename with a period and an extension, SPOOL adds a default file extension to the filename to identify it as an output file. The default varies with the host operating system; on most hosts it is LST or LIS. See the Oracle installation and user's manual(s) provided for your operating system for more information.

SQL*Plus continues to spool information to the file until you turn spooling off, using the following form of SPOOL:

SPOOL OFF

Creating a Flat File

When moving data between different software products, it is sometimes necessary to use a "flat" file (an operating system file with no escape characters, headings, or extra characters embedded). For example, if you do not have SQL*Net, you need to create a flat file for use with SQL*Loader when moving data from Oracle Version 6 to Oracle7.

To create a flat file with SQL*Plus, you first must enter the following SET commands:

SET NEWPAGE 0
SET SPACE 0
SET LINESIZE 80
SET PAGESIZE 0
SET ECHO OFF
SET FEEDBACK OFF
SET HEADING OFF

After entering these commands, you use the SPOOL command as shown in the previous section to create the flat file.

The SET COLSEP command may be useful to delineate the columns. For more information, see the SET command[*].

Sending Results to a Printer

To print query results, spool them to a file as described in the previous section. Then, instead of using SPOOL OFF, enter the command in the following form:

SPOOL OUT

SQL*Plus stops spooling and copies the contents of the spooled file to your host computer's standard (default) printer. SPOOL OUT does not delete the spool file after printing.

Example 4-25 Sending Query Results to a Printer

To generate a final report and spool and print the results, create a command filenamed EMPRPT containing the following commands.

First, use EDIT to create the command file with your host operating system text editor. (Do not use INPUT and SAVE, or SQL*Plus will add a slash to the end of the file and will run the command file twice--once as a result of the semicolon and once due to the slash.)

SQL> EDIT EMPRPT

Next, enter the following commands into the file, using your text editor:

SPOOL TEMP
CLEAR COLUMNS
CLEAR BREAKS
CLEAR COMPUTES

COLUMN DEPTNO HEADING DEPARTMENT
COLUMN ENAME HEADING EMPLOYEE
COLUMN SAL HEADING SALARY FORMAT $99,999

BREAK ON DEPTNO SKIP 1 ON REPORT
COMPUTE SUM OF SAL ON DEPTNO
COMPUTE SUM OF SAL ON REPORT

SET PAGESIZE 21
SET NEWPAGE 0
SET LINESIZE 30

TTITLE CENTER 'A C M E  W I D G E T' SKIP 2 -
LEFT 'EMPLOYEE REPORT' RIGHT 'PAGE:' -
FORMAT 999 SQL.PNO SKIP 2

BTITLE CENTER 'COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL'

SELECT DEPTNO, ENAME, SAL
FROM EMP
ORDER BY DEPTNO;

SPOOL OUT

If you do not want to see the output on your screen, you can also add SET TERMOUT OFF to the beginning of the file and SET TERMOUT ON to the end of the file. Save the file (you automatically return to SQL*Plus). Now, run the command file EMPRPT:

SQL> @EMPRPT

SQL*Plus displays the output on your screen (unless you set TERMOUT to OFF), spools it to the file TEMP, and sends the contents of TEMP to your default printer:

         A C M E  W I D G E T

EMPLOYEE REPORT      PAGE:   1

DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE     SALARY
---------- ---------- --------
        10 CLARK        $2,450
           KING         $5,000
           MILLER       $1,300
**********            --------
sum                     $8,750

        20 SMITH          $800
           ADAMS        $1,100
           FORD         $3,000
           SCOTT        $3,000
           JONES        $2,975

**********            --------
sum                    $10,875

         COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL


         A C M E  W I D G E T

EMPLOYEE REPORT      PAGE:   2

DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE     SALARY
---------- ---------- --------
        30 ALLEN        $1,600
           BLAKE        $2,850
           MARTIN       $1,250
           JAMES          $900
           TURNER       $1,500
           WARD         $1,250
**********            --------
sum                     $9,400
**********            --------
sum                    $29,025


         COMPANY CONFIDENTIAL




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