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 4 Posts

Kirsten joined Rocket Software in 2016 as the technical writer for D3. She holds a master’s degree in Technical Communications and is currently an Information Developer for Rocket MultiValue products.


  • 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

  • Alberto Reply

    November 8, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Hy it`s possible to continue this series about d3 gems ?

  • Kathy Larson Reply

    November 9, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for your interest Alberto!
    What areas of D3 would you like to see covered? We encourage anyone with a suggestion (or their own D3 hidden gem) to post it here. As we collect your ideas, similar blogs will be written.

    • Alberto Souza Leal Reply

      November 10, 2018 at 3:56 am

      Olá Kathy obrigado por entrar em contato, então tudo sobre o D3 seria legal, pois aqui no Brasil nao temos centros de treinamento igual aos EUA. mas poderia comecar com os input conversion e output conversion

  • Kathy Larson Reply

    November 14, 2018 at 7:52 am

    (translated) Hello Kathy, thanks for getting in touch, so everything about the D3 would be cool, because here in Brazil we do not have training centers like the USA. but could start with the input conversion and output conversion.


    November 23, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Dear kathy / kirsten
    hi my name is noel and I write from caracas venezuela, I am analists and systems programmer
    I currently work with D3 version 7.2 , FlashCONNNECT 3.0 and the mvdesigner application developer version 4.3.1
    my question is to see if you can help me or suggest, of these versions that you name del D3, FlashCONNNECT and mvdesigner
    Have new more updated versions come out? I ask you why the versions I have are to work on windows 2003 server, and I want to be able to take and work with these applications in a more updated windows for example server 2012 or higher.
    thanks in advance the help you can or suggestion that you can give me about it, to improve and advance to the current in today’s world I leave my regards, happy day

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