D3 Hidden Gems: 5 Tips That Can Make Using D3 Easier

This blog was inspired by your comments and suggestions. It highlights D3 features that might not have caught your attention when they were released.

Looking for a way to easily scroll through an AQL report? How about a more flexible way to display summary text?

We’ll show you how to accomplish these tasks, plus a few more. Enjoy!

D3 Hidden Gem #1: Scrolling
Challenge: How do I scroll through a report with several columns without using my browser back button or converting my report into another format, such as PDF or Excel?

Solution: The (w- command provides access to a scrolling menu. From this menu, you can scroll left and right, or up and down, through AQL reports. The following options are available from the scrolling menu, eliminating the need to convert your report to a PDF or an Excel document:

  • F)ile: Exit the file.
  • S)earch: Access a specific line.
  • M)ove: Progress through the file either by line or by page. You can move up or down, and right or left.
  • W)indow: Re-define the view.
  • H)elp: Review available commands.
  • Q)uit: Exit the file and return to the prompt.

Of the several options available, the following demonstration focuses on scrolling column data. It shows how to access the scrolling menu, move right and left through a report with several columns, and move to the end of the table. Follow the visual cues and check it out!

D3 Hidden Gem #2: Unwrapping Text
Challenge: How do I get my summary text to print outside the column width and extend across the page?

Solution: Specify the ROLL-ON clause immediately after an ADI that takes no space on the output. Typically, the ROLL-ON clause limits you to the width of the column that it is associated with in the listing. This results in truncated data in the display. To keep this from happening, create the dictionary with the null column width and use the ROLL-ON clause connective. These settings force the use of the entire width of the screen. Check it out!

Important: Data that is currently in other columns in the BREAK-ON line that you select to extend beyond the column width might be overwritten.

D3 Hidden Gems #3 and #4: Zooming

Challenge: How do I access detailed file information?

Solution: Zooming (or “drilling down”) is a term associated with the update processor. If you are using the update processor and want to see detailed information about a specific file, you can set up zooming two different ways. Both methods provide the means to access additional file data.

  • Set up a remote index

To set up a remote index to zoom, use an i command statement at the input-conversion line.
For example: ifilename;a1

Check it out! In the demonstration, filename = products.

  • Translate to the products file
    If you use a translate to enable zooming, you must use a zero in the command statement if you do not want to change the data in the file.

To set up a translate to the products file to zoom, use a t  command statement at the input-conversion line. For example: tfilename;x;;0

Check it out! In the demonstration, filename = products.

 D3 Hidden Gem #5: Unassigning a Variable
Challenge: How do I unassign a variable to clear memory so that the memory can be used for something else?

Solution: Clearing memory is easy using the clearselect command. For example:


a = 5
print a
clearselect a
print a

Output after compiling:

[B10] in program “p21”, Line 4:
Variable has not been assigned a value; zero used.

The variable is now available for you to use.


These tips can help you use D3 more efficiently and make your job easier.

Was this post helpful? Do you have your own D3 hidden gem that you want to share?
Tell us about it! We want to know which D3 features you find most helpful.

Kirsten Petersen

Kirsten Petersen 1 Posts

I hold a master’s degree in Technical Communications and am an Information Developer for Rocket D3 products. Before joining Rocket in 2016, I wrote technical documentation for medical devices, software, and hardware. Outside of work, I love taking hikes with my dogs (Rogan and Tilde) in the mountains and traveling to interesting places.


  • ZhiyangYu Reply

    August 15, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing the useful knowledge points.
    Look forward to reading more articles about D3 database written by you.

  • Yunxia Yu Reply

    August 15, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    These tips are awesome!

  • Yunxia Reply

    August 15, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    These tips are awesome and very helpful for us to use D3 efficiently. Thank you. Looking forward to more sharing.

  • Victor Machado Reply

    September 15, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you very much for the information, it has been very useful for me

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