1. Modeling
  2. Working with Data
  3. Hide and Show Selections
  4. Nested Axis Selections

Where lists are nested on rows or columns, you can quickly create a custom view of the data using functions such as Show and Hide; Hide or Show Every Occurrence; or Select Levels to Show.

You must plan the order in which these functions are applied to ensure that the view of the data is as you expect it to be and troubleshooting is simple.

No more than three lists can be nested on an axis. In a hierarchy where Dimension Three is a child of Dimension Two, which is a child of Dimension One, Dimension One is said to be the outermost dimension and Dimension Three, the innermost dimension.

If a list is synchronized on rows or columns, it can't be combined on the same axis as a list containing Hide or Show selections.

Independent selections

Where the same set of items is visible for all items in an outer list, the selection is said to be ‘independent’.

Where a list is added to an axis comprising two lists that contain independent selections, items will display for all combinations of those dimensions.

Ragged selections

Ragged selections are used to create a view of the data or to generate a chart. Use the cmd or ctrl key to make non-contiguous selections across nested dimensions in a grid.

Views created using ragged selections can be difficult to maintain because there is no indication on screen about where Hide or Show have been applied, or the order in which they were applied. It’s quicker to select Show All and start over, rather than try to unpick how the view was created.

After using Show or Hide always check across all rows and columns (especially any that are off-screen) that the view of the data is as you expect it to be.

Creating a view with ragged selections

It pays to give some thought to how you will use Hide and Show functionality across nested dimensions to create views. This is especially important where the data set is large and the view includes only a small set of that data. Your aim should be to ensure that the view:

  • is easy to create
  • is manageable
  • displays the data required

When creating a view:

When selecting non-contiguous items, the order in which you select them sets the display order.

These items were selected in the order shown:

The order in which the data was selected is respected.


These examples explain why you may sometimes see data you believed was hidden, and why a message is displayed when you try to apply a Hide or Show function.

Show Selected at an outer dimension overrides Hide Selected at an inner dimension

A Show applied to a dimension at a higher level in the hierarchy (an outer dimension) will override a Hide applied to a lower level of the hierarchy (inner dimension) meaning that items that were hidden are now displayed.

This situation can occur where Hide has been applied to items on the innermost dimension and then a Show has been later applied to an outer dimension. The data in the inner dimension will be displayed because the behavior of the Show on the outer dimension overrides the behavior of the Hide on the inner dimension.

Every Occurrence can't override Selected

Where a Hide Selected has been applied to an item at the innermost level and Show Every Occurrence is applied one level up in the hierarchy, a message is displayed explaining that the Show Every Occurrence can't be applied.

Where Hide or Show has been applied to Selected items, it's not possible to override by later applying Show Every Occurrence at a higher level in the hierarchy.

  1. Hide Selection > Selected is applied to item ‘3’ on an innermost dimension.

  2. Later, Show Selection > Every occurrence is applied on the next level up in the hierarchy.

  3. An error is displayed because the Show can't display the value hidden in step 1.

Mix Hide and Show at the same level

Mixing Hide and Show functions at the same level in a hierarchy can cause unexpected results, particularly if you’re not sure how they were originally applied.

  1. Hide Selected is applied to an item on the innermost dimension.

  2. Show Every Occurrence is then applied (with the aim of displaying item 2 only across all dimensions).

  3. An error is displayed. You may expect that because a single instance of item 2 had been hidden, the subsequent Show Every Occurrence would display it with all the other item 2s. This can't happen because Show Every Occurrence can't override Show Selected.