Quick Fixes For QlikView Apps

Over the years I have seen many QlikView apps, created by many different developers and analysts. Even now, I still come across apps where silly mistakes are made. Here is my list of things that really shouldn’t be happening in your apps – and how to fix them.

Objects Out Of Alignment

QlikView has a number of tools for aligning and distributing objects on the page. This means there really is no excuse for not having a tidy, uniform, app. To use these alignment tools multi select objects by dragging a box around them, shift clicking captions or use Ctrl+A to select all objects on a sheet.

The buttons are the ones that look like this on the toolbar:

QlikView Alignment Icons

If you don’t have these buttons then right click in space on the toolbar and select the Design menu.

QlikView Design  Menu Toggle

Note that you can also make the size of objects uniform by dragging and resizing when multiple objects are selected. By using alignment and resizing you can make it look like a lot more care has been taken on your app – people will then trust what it is telling them more.

Redundant And Confusing Minimise/Maximise Icons

The ability to Minimise and Maximise charts is something that I rarely use in QlikView, and personally I don’t feel it is a good idea to do so. The expand feature in Qlik Sense, works reasonably intuitively, but in my experience users get confused in QlikView when everything vanishes except for one massive chart. Unless these icons are an integral part of your user interface design (using auto minimise functionality, for example) just turn them off. The result otherwise is unnecessary clutter:

QlikView Caption Clutter

Do this on the Caption tab of Chart Properties.

QlikView Caption Options

This is one of the things I mention in my blog and video about cleaning charts, I won’t list all the other items from that blog post here (though they could pretty much all make the list).

Note that the Magnifying Glass icons on ListBoxes are also redundant, as searching can always be done by clicking on a list box Caption and starting to type (it always amazes me that people can use QlikView for some time and not know they can do this).

Messed Up Column Alignment

The default alignment settings for columns in QlikView are a stab at helping people get things right without knowing anything about their data. They are seldom what you would actually want though. When you have a list of ID’s, and the ones with alpha characters go to the left and the one that are just numbers go right – it just looks a mess. To my mind, also, the column label should be aligned with the data in the column beneath it.

The radio buttons where column alignment is set can be found on the Presentation tab.

QlikView Column Alignment

For the best look ensure that all three radio buttons are selected in a line. Also consider the correct alignment for the column, having dates to the right because they are a number does not make sense.

Another quick tip whilst we are on the Presentation tab, the Dropdown Select option is generally worth ticking – as it allows a quick search of a field and has very little downside.

No Defined Number Format

When there is no defined number format the result can also look messy. An obvious example is a varying number of decimal places in a column, but numbers with more than three digits without a separator are also hard to read.

QlikView Place And Format

Fix this on the Number tab of Chart and ListBox properties.

Set QlikView Number Format

The option is not available in TableBox properties, so you need to set it in Document Properties instead, or format numbers with the Num function in the load script (this second approach is best practice).

Another quick tip here; if you have numbers with many decimal places, and lots of distinct values, then using the Round function in the load script can save a lot of memory and improve performance.

Badly Named Fields And Unused Fields

An important part of building any BI app is to ensure that data in cleansed on the way into the app. This includes giving fields names that are meaningful to the user – which is hardly ever the case in underlying databases.

QlikView Bad Field Names

Carrying out this process also has the advantage that you can identify fields that can be discarded during the load. Renaming fields makes things much easier for future development, and removing them can yield major performance gains. Make this part of the initial design process, as it is often tricky to go back and fix these things once an app is live with many objects built on the data model.

The Wrong Chart Type For A Visualisation

There are a number ‘golden rules’ for data visualisation. If you are producing documents in QlikView or Qlik Sense you should be aware of these. Get a book like Stephen Few’s Information Dashboard Design. I could reference many different crimes against design here (chart junk, misuse of colour) but the one I want to pick out is the incorrect choice of chart.

For example, you should never have a line chart over a non-sequential dimension value.

Wrong Chart Type

Something that is very useful in QlikView, but can cause problems is the Fast Change option on the General tab of Properties. This allows you to toggle from one chart type to another (I often use it for switching to a table of data for a chart). However, if you are not careful you can allow users to toggle from a valid chart type to an incorrect one. Also, other mistakes can slip in – for example if you have a line chart that doesn’t start at zero (which is perfectly valid) a Fast Change to bar chart will cause you to have an incorrect visualisation.

An excellent resource for ensuring you pick the right chart type is this blog post by Patrik Lundblad.


These are just a few of the mistakes I see made time and time again in QlikView, none of which are difficult to fix. There are many more besides these. Many of the other issues I see have been covered elsewhere on this blog, such as over-complicating design or not putting in enough thought before kicking off a project.

The rule of thumb is to consider everything carefully and take pride in the work you are producing. Remember these things and you will not go far wrong.

QlikView Quick Fixes

How To Fix QlikView Application Issues

  1. Use the tools to align objects
  2. Remove redundant object icons
  3. Use the correct column alignment
  4. Properly define all number formats
  5. Rename all fields to sensible names
  6. Ensure you pick the correct chart types
  7. Carefully consider all aspects of your application
  8. Test
By |2016-05-26T09:50:57+00:00May 26th, 2016|QlikView Tutorial|11 Comments

About the Author:

Steve is owner and principal consultant at Quick Intelligence. He is a Qlik Luminary, Qlik Community MVP and Technical Editor of a number of QlikView Books.


  1. thanstadormod HAnstad May 26, 2016 at 10:39 am - Reply

    When using existing datamodels as binary load i Qlik Sense.I would redo dm with better names so it’s make it easier for endusers to use theese data. what would you recomend as best practice to do i.e about bad filed names ?

    • Steve Dark May 26, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      I would always advise fixing field names as soon as possible, so in your case that would be going into the QlikView app you are doing a binary load from into QlikSense. If you are not able to go back and amend that, then Barry’s suggestion of using a MAPPING table with RENAME FIELDS is a good alternative. You can also use the RENAME FIELD statement, but that is tedious if you have many fields to do.

  2. Barry May 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Regarding renaming fields, I’d create a mapping table of from and to names and rename all of them at once using RENAME FIELDS USING [MapName];

    • Steve Dark May 26, 2016 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Barry,

      I know we have had this conversation previously, and I still say I prefer using the AS statement. My reasoning for this is simple, and that is that you can see a field in the front end and then do a search for it in the load script and find exactly where that field came in and what has happened to it during the load. This is also one of the reasons I do not like LOAD * (there are others also). The RENAME FIELDS use of a Mapping Table is something that people should be aware of though – as it can be a useful trick.

      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Chris May 27, 2016 at 6:58 am - Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Totally agree with you and thankfully I didn’t fall foul on any of them. My only bug bear is that having spent an age getting everything aligned and sized as I want them, when I view the finished article through access point then some of the objects are out of alignment, which can be frustrating. Any tips to solve this?

    • Steve Dark May 27, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

      Hi Chris,
      I presume that where you are seeing things out of alignment you are using the Full Browser (a.k.a. Ajax) client? If you use the IE client then things will display exactly as in the Desktop, and in some cases will be quicker. Personally I try to avoid IE, so therefore don’t use the plugin. Generally things work okay, but as you say there are a few places where it does not. If you know all your users have the same client you could un-align things in Desktop so it renders right in the browser (though this feels wrong).

      I have seen big problems when the font scaling is turned on in Windows 10 (and 8, I think). If this is causing issues, due to fonts scaling larger than images in the frame, you may want to encourage users to set their font scaling to 100% – this may not be desirable on a very high res machine though. This is one place where Sense has an edge – design that is responsive to resolution.

      The other major issue which I don’t think has been addressed yet (though I have not tried V12 server) is that if you have a Grid Style Multibox where the title should appear above the drop down it will always show to the right. The upshot of this is you can’t use that feature if any of your users use the Full Browser client.

      Thanks for your comment.

  4. Gysbert May 27, 2016 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    And on the topic of aligning objects… use a grid, folks.
    Barry created a cool workbook to generate a grid: http://www.qlikfix.com/2016/02/04/thejoyofqlikviewgridlayouts/

    • Steve Dark May 30, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Gysbert – thanks for sharing Barry’s link. Another good one of Barry’s to mention on this topic is his post on aligning code. Getting everything right includes the stuff that users can’t see as well as the stuff they can. http://www.qlikfix.com/2014/06/16/aliases-indent/

      • Barry June 3, 2016 at 12:42 am - Reply

        If you like that, you might also like our coding conventions: http://www.bitmetric.nl/bitmetric-qlikview-coding-conventions/

        The page’s in Dutch, but the document is in English. You need to leave a valid email address (it will be emailed to you), but don’t worry, I won’t spam you. Unless you’re in the Netherlands…. ;)

        • Steve Dark June 3, 2016 at 2:31 am - Reply

          Thanks Barry. It’s always good to have a written down set of coding conventions. We don’t force our own on clients, but we do recommend things. Will be looking with interest at your document!

          • Barry June 3, 2016 at 3:50 pm

            We don’t force them either, we’re not the script police ;) Often though, we’ll find that a client isn’t using any standards, so in that case we suggest ours as a starting point on which they can base their own conventions. Would be very interested to hear what you think of it, and of course any suggestions and improvements would be much appreciated.

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