How to only Display Column when Downloading

Sometimes you may have a column that contains inline HTML. A simple example of this is if you have a column called color and you want to display the color in the report. Your query would look like this:

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SELECT '<span style="color:' || color || '">"' || color || '</span>' color
FROM my_colors

Note: That they’re ways to get around this simple example using Report Templates and Column Formatting. I’m just using it for demo purposes

If you were to download this report the “color” column would contain all the html (i.e. span tags etc). This may confuse users since they expected to see “red, green, blue, etc…” in their download file, but instead see the colors wrapped in a lot of html.

A workaround that I’ve used is to create 2 columns: color_html and color

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SELECT '<span style="color:' || color || '">"' || color || '</span>' color_html,
color color
FROM my_colors

And modify each report column’s attributes:

Standard Reports

Column Column Definition Value
color_html Include In Export No
color PL/SQL Function Body Returning a Boolean return apex_application.g_excel_format

Interactive Reports

Column Column Definition Value
color_html Conditional Display Request is NOT Contained within Expression 1: CSV,HTMLD
color Conditional Display Request is Contained within Expression 1: CSV,HTMLD

Now when a user downloads the report they’ll get the non-html version of the column. This solution works in APEX 4.0 and APEX 3.x