Appearance Condition in the Visual Part Report
This article gives a full explanation of the Appearance Conditions needed for the Visual Part report
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written: 02/27/2008
last modified: 04/12/2024


This article discusses the Appearance Condition property in the report designer within QC-CALC 3.0. This article focuses on the Visual Part Report as an example, but it can be applied to any report since the concepts are general. To see the Appearance Condition, go to the Report Designer (Report > Design Template...) and choose a template to design (*.vpr if you are editing a Visual Part Report). In the designer, the Properties window is typically a panel in the lower-left corner of the screen. If it is not on the screen, choose the View > Windows > Property Window menu and Appearance Condition is a property in the Layout grouping.


Every object in a report has an appearance condition. In the case of the Visual Part Report, most of them are set to a variable called dim_used_nn where the nn refers to the dimension number (i.e. dim_used_11). Appearance condition is a true/false (whether or not to appear). You'll notice the Appearance Condition change if you click on the various objects in the report. Whatever you pass to this property must be evaluated as either True or False and tell the report whether or not to show that particular object. You can either set this directly or use a formula to calculate it. In the Visual Part Report, Prolink sends across the dim_used_nn variable with each dimension in the QCC file. A True/False identifies whether or not the particular dimension is used in the current QCC file.

The report can run up to 30 dimensions at one time. By default, this is 3 pages of 10 plots each. Due to how the reporting package was designed, the report requires that 30 dimensions are sent every time regardless of whether or not you have 30 dims in the QCC file (or 30 dims have been selected). If they aren't used, we send blanks with the dim_used_nn set to False for the ones that aren't used. This causes those plots and numbers not to appear for unused dimensions since the flags are evaluated as false in the dim_used_nn variables.

For instance, let's say you have a QCC file with 20 dimensions. When you run the report, dim_used_01, dim_used_02, ... dim_used_20 are all True, so the pictures appear for those 20 dimensions. Conversely, dim_used_21 to dim_used_30 are all False (since they don't exist in the QCC file), so those pictures/numbers/rectangles don't appear on the report. This way, you can select 5 dimensions in QC-CALC and then report on them without seeing the others.

If you look at the plots on the second page (2nd layer) and stretch the Appearance Condition, you'll notice that two variables determine whether or not to show the plots; "dim_used_nn and Page() = 2". This tells the report only to show the plot if the particular dimension is used AND it is printing page 2. This prevents the wrong plots from appearing on pages 1 or 3.


The report designer is fairly powerful but can be confusing if you aren't used to it. Hopefully, this helps clarify things a bit. Email us at if you can't get your report to work and we'll do our best to assist.

Applies To

QC-CALC Real-Time v.3.40


Reporting - QC-CALC 3.x
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