Can’t See the Trees for the Forest


Yes, I know – the phrase is actually supposed to be the opposite, “Can’t See the Forest for the Trees.” One of the reasons English is such a hard second language to pick up apparently is all the idioms and non-literal phrases we use. So in case you’ve never heard this phrase before, it basically implies that you are missing the big picture point of a discussion because you are focusing on a very small piece of the puzzle.

When browsing table data, we are often looking for something that isn’t right. I’ve read that one thing the human mind excels at is pattern matching. Wouldn’t it be nice if Toad could step in and help? Instead of looking at all the data, maybe we could just focus on the data that isn’t repeated or equal across many rows? It turns out that you can with version 10.6 and higher!

A lot of this data is repeated, and can probably be ignored.

The Old Way – Show/Hide Columns

Toad has always allowed users to hide columns in a grid. You could be looking at this data and say, ‘Hey, it looks like everyone here has the same PROD_PACK_SIZE. No need to see or worry about that!’ You use Toad, a lot, so you know you can just click on that control to the upper-left-hand of each grid and de-select that column.

Hide the columns you don't want to see.

The New Way – Just Give Me One More Click!

The next time you find yourself in this scenario, and you’re trying to make sense of the petabytes of data staring you down – select the rows of interest, and give me one extra click. So you’re still going to do the first click on the ‘Show/Hide Columns’ control. Now, once the popup window appears, I want you to right-mouse-click on that popup.

Let the computer do the hard part for you!

Toad will auto-magically hide the columns that have the same data for the selected rows!

People sometimes joke and ask if Toad will ever implement a telepathic interface. We always joke back and say, “It’s already there!” Maybe sometimes it seems that way because Toad has SO many features that seem to be made ‘just for you.’ This is the beauty of having a decade+ long history of serving so many vocal users. If you really want to be a power Toad user, step up your game and find the ‘extra clicks.’

Think you’re ready? Can you pass this test?

Power User Toad Data Grid Tricks

  • Fix columns while scrolling left and right
  • Filter by current value
  • Group By Columns
  • Value Lookups for FKs
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