Once you have selected your table or database, Table View will open and the Customise Table pane will be visible. This provides you with the essential tools for creating your table.

Customise table pane


If the Customise Table pane is not visible, open it by clicking on the Customise Table link under the Table View tab. This will give you access to all the data items and geographic areas available for the chosen database.

Customise table link


The Customise Table pane allows you to:
  • change to a different database
  • add data items or geographic areas to your table
  • change the geographic areas included in your table
  • remove data items or geographic areas from your table
  • display custom geography.

The Table View screen allows you to:
  • retrieve data
  • change the data to display in percentages
  • change the positions of the column and row headings
  • sort the data in the table by ascending or descending order
  • show and hide totals in the table
  • view or hide classification or geographic area codes in the table
  • save, download and export a table.

4.1 Change to a different database

You can change from one database to another within the same session of TableBuilder by using Change Database at the top of the Customise Table pane. You need to save your existing table before selecting a new database, otherwise any unsaved work will be lost.
  1. Click on Change Database Change database link.
  2. A list of available databases will appear (you may need to double-click on the Census folder on the first occasion).
    Change database options
  3. Click the radio button next to a database.
  4. Click OK. The new database will open.

4.2 Add data items or geographic areas to your table

To build your table, add each data item individually until all required classifications are in the table. You will also need to add a geographic area. The data items available to you depend on which database you have opened. If a data item or classification level is not in the database, you are unable to open or load this into your table.

For example, in the Counting Persons Place of Enumeration database, folders in the tree structure will look like this:
Folder structure in ‘Customise Table’ pane

To select data items to add to the table:
  1. Click the arrow Drop down arrow to expand the folders and locate the data items required. Data items added to the table will become bold.
  2. To select individual items, expand the list to the desired level and tick only the required items within the same classification or geographic level.

    Tick boxes to select classification
  3. To add the selected items to the table, click on Add to Row ‘Add to row’ button or Add to Column 'Add to Column' buttondepending on where you would like the item to appear in the table.

4.2.1 Using the 'Select all' arrow

  1. To select all the items in a category, click the arrow Picture showing a button with arrow pointing to the right. at the end of the data item. A drop down list will appear.
  2. Select the arrow at the end of ‘select all at level’.
  3. Select the data classification name. The Add to Row and Add to Column buttons will become active. Use these to add the item to your table.

Drop down to select classification and select ‘Add to Row’

For example - You have clicked on the arrow next to 'BPLP Country of Birth of Person'. This structure appears in a hierarchy. For items that appear in a hierarchy you need to choose the level you want to 'select all' from. In the diagram below, BPLP 2 digit level has been selected.

Drop down selection, 1 digit, 2 digit 4 digit level


Clicking on BPLP – 2 digit level, will automatically select all birthplace categories at the 2 digit level.
Expand selection choice for digit level options


If you use the 'Select all' arrow next to an item lower down in the hierarchy, only sub-categories from within that item will be chosen.

In the Country of Birth of Person hierarchy if you click on the ‘Select all’ arrow at the highest level (1 digit level) you will then be able to select either all regions, all groups within all regions (2 digit, e.g. Melanesia), or all individual countries within all groups within all regions (4 digit, e.g. Vanuatu). If you click on the 'Select all' arrow next to the region Oceania and Antarctica you can select either all groups (2 digits) or all individual countries (4 digits) within that region. When you use the 'Select all' arrow the folders will not automatically expand to show your selection. You will know it has worked as the number of selected items will be updated.

TIP: the Customise Table pane can be widened to view all text within the box.

4.2.2 Un-tick All

To deselect all items, click on the ‘Un-tick All’ link at the top of the Customise Table box.

Un-tick All’ link

4.2.3 Collapse All

Use the 'Collapse All' link to close the data items and geography tree structure.

‘Collapse All’ link

4.3 Change the geographic areas in your table

TableBuilder only allows you to include one geographic level in a table: however, you may include many areas from this level. For example, you can include a selection of suburbs or all states and territories in Australia. To change geographic levels you must remove all other geographic areas from your table.

4.4 Remove data items and geographic areas from your table

4.4.1 Remove an entire classification

  1. Place your cursor on the classification heading you wish to remove. It will change colour and your cursor will turn into a moving 4-way arrow.
    Data item selected to remove from table
  2. To remove an entire data item (e.g. SEXP), drag the item to the rubbish bin above the table. The bin lid will open and you can drop the data item in.

    Data item being removed from the table

4.4.2 Remove single values

To remove single values (e.g. Male or Female) use the Remove from Table function on the Customise Table pane.
  1. Click the arrow button Expanding arrow and folder to expand the tree structure to the level required. The items available to remove will be in bold.
  2. Tick the boxes beside the items you wish to remove.
  3. Click on Remove from Table 'Remove from Table' button to remove the selected items from the table.

For example – A table has been created to include SEXP, Male and Female. To remove Female from the table, tick the box next to Female and click the Remove from Table button. Only Males will now be visible in the table.

Diagram 1
Table example, AGE10P by SEXP

Diagram 2
Tick box to select and ‘Remove from Table’ button

Diagram 3
Table example, AGE10P by SEXP with data item ‘female’ removed

4.5 Display custom geographic areas

If you have previously created custom geographic areas using My Custom Data, they will appear in a new folder called Custom Geography at the bottom of the list.

‘Customise Table’ view with ‘Custom Geography’ folder

To add custom geographic areas:
  1. Click the arrow button Expanding arrow to expand the folders and locate the geography required.
  2. To select individual items expand the list to the desired level and tick only the required items (e.g. a selection of ages) within the same classification or geographic level, or use the 'Select all' arrow.
  3. To add the selected items to the table, click the Add to Row 'Add to Row' button or Add to Column button'Add to Column' button depending on where you would like the item to appear in the table.

4.6 Retrieving data

Once you have completed your table design you need to retrieve the data.
  • Click the 'Retrieve Data' button 'Retrieve Data' button above the table to populate your table with data.
  • Alternatively, prior to clicking Add to Row or Add to Column you can tick the Automatically Retrieve Data box Tick box to 'Automatically Retrieve Data'. This will automatically populate your table after each change. This method is only recommended for small tables only.

When you click the Retrieve Data button, TableBuilder will process your table, including aggregating any custom areas or groups, and apply the confidentiality routine to the results. The larger the table the longer this process takes to complete. Therefore it is recommended that you press this button only when you are happy with the content and layout of your table.

Data retrieval can be done at any point during the creation and customisation process while you are working on a small table of less than 5,000 cells. For tables greater than this size, see Chapter 5 Large table preview mode.

4.7 Change data to display in percentages

Once your table has been populated with data, you may choose to view the data as percentages. Percentages displayed can be for a row, a column or a total.
  1. To add percentages, use the drop down list above the table to select an option:
    Drop down menu to display percentages
    The table will update with data as percentages.

    Percentage of a column - All data are shown as a percentage of the column total:

    Table with column percentage, data items expressed as a percentage of the column total

    Percentage of a row - All data are shown as a percentage of the row total:
    Table with row percentage, data items expressed as a percentage of the row total
    Percentage of a total - All data are shown as a percentage of the table total
    Table with total percentage, data items expressed as a percentage of the total table population
  2. To remove the percentages from the table select None.

4.8 Change the nesting of the column and row headings

This function uses the drag and drop method. You can move data from one axis to another or above or below other nested classifications by clicking and dragging the item to the new position or axis.
1. Place your cursor on the item you wish to move. It will change colour and your cursor will turn into a 4-way arrow.


2. Click and drag the heading to the position you would like to move it to. As you move it around the table the area underneath will change colour to show that the item can be placed. Drop the item in the position required by releasing the button on your mouse.

TIP: Items dropped above the grey line will appear in the column position. Items dropped below will appear in the row position.



4.9 Sort the data in the table

Click on the sort ascending (A-Z) Arrow pointing down , or descending (Z-A) Arrow pointing up arrow button in either the row or column heading.

After sorting, the red arrow indicates the option chosen. The Undo button Arrow pointing clockwise (reset order) will reset the data back to the original order.

4.10 Show and hide totals in the table

The totals can be turned on or off for each classification using the Show/Hide Totals button Summation button in the classification heading in the table.

Location of summation button
  1. Click on the Show/Hide Totals button Summation button on the data item you would like to have a total. The total will be shown and the button will change to a lighter shade indicating the total is already in the table.
  2. When the Show/Hide Totals button is lighter in colour, click on it again to remove the total.

TIP: You can add as many totals as required.

4.11 Show or hide classification and geography codes in the table

When a classification or a geographic area is added to your table the default view is labels only. You can toggle between labels and variable codes using the Show Code button Picture of an icon with alphabet c in white colour on a solid blue circular background..

Picture showing a red arrow pointing at an icon with alphabet c in a solid blue circular background, right to the LANP Language Spoken at Home.


Add the codes
Click on the Show Code button on the classification you would like to display as codes. Each variable has its own Show Code button so you can display some variables as codes and some as labels, but you are unable to display both codes and labels at the same time.

Remove the codes
When the Show Code button is lighter in colour it indicates that the codes are already displayed in the table. Click on the button again to switch back to labels.

Diagram 1 - Example of codes used for Statistical Division

Picture showing a table with Statistical Division as row heading and Age 10 Year Age Groups as column heading. The code icon is being highlighted. Each Statistical Divsion is represented in a 3 digit number.


Diagram 2 - Example of labels used for Statistical Division

Picture showing a table with Statistical Division as row heading and Age 10 Year Age Groups as column heading. The code icon is not in use. Each Statistical Division is represented by division name.


4.12 Clear a table

To remove all the geographic areas and variables from your table in one action, click the Clear Table buttonPicture showing a document with a red cross on the top right corner. in the actions toolbar. A message will appear to remind you to save your table: click OK.

Picture showing a dialogue box stating "Please be informed that any previous unsaved table content will be lost, press OK to confirm" with a OK and a Cancel button.

Once the task is complete, there will be a statement to confirm the table is empty.

Picture showing a message "The table is empty"

The database will remain open and you will be able to create a new table.

4.13 Save, download and export a table

Saving a table in TableBuilder allows you to re-open it at a later time. TableBuilder also allows you to save your table in a Microsoft Excel (.xls), Comma Separated Value (CSV) or SDMX statistical data and metadata exchange (.sml) file format to do further analysis outside TableBuilder.

4.13.1 Save a table

  1. Click the Save buttonPicture showing a button with a floppy disk icon. A text box will appear.
  2. Type a name for your table in the text box.

    Picture showing a Save Table dialogue box, an edit box with lable "Please provide a name for the table", and with "Save Table" button and "Cancel" button beneath the edit box.
  3. Click the Save Table button Picture of a "Save Table" button. to save your table. Your saved table will appear in the My Tables view.

    Picture showing My Table link being highlighted, with a window listing a list of Saved Tables.

TIP: Users have limited storage space available for their saved tables. You will be notified via email when you are reaching your limit. You should delete unused tables so you have space to continue saving your customised tables.

4.13.2 Download or export your table

You can download your table as a Microsoft Excel (.xls), Comma Separated Value (CSV) or SDMX statistical data and metadata exchange (.xml) file.

Tip: Excel, CSV and SDMX tables cannot be reloaded back into TableBuilder.

To download a small table:
  1. Ensure that you have already retrieved the data in your table.
  2. Select the file type from the drop down list at the top right of the Table View screen.

    Picture showing a combo box of Download Table, with option "Excel 2007 (.xlsx) (max 16384 columns by 65000 rows and less than 100000 cells) selected.
  3. Click the Go buttonPicture of Go button.
  4. You will be asked if you wish to open the file or save it. If saving, select the location on your computer to save the file to and enter a file name.

Large Table Mode (greater than 5,000 data cells) uses a slightly different process. For further information, see Chapter 5.

Note: Some versions of Excel have limitations on the size of a table they can display. To prevent data in cells outside of the column and row limit being lost, the Excel options will be unavailable once you have reached the relevant limit. These files should be downloaded in a .csv format instead.