Create and export stylized crosstab tables

Updated at November 20th, 2023


Protobi has a chart type that lets you see your data as stylized tables that can take many crosstab banners. 

We call this chart type supertables, and they are similar to reports that you might generate from a traditional crosstab package.

In this video, we’ll show how to create and export these stylized crosstab tables. 

Create tabs for an online supertable

First we will create the supertable in the online view.

In your project, press the "+" sign to create a new top level tab. 

Enter a name for the new tab. You can give it any name. In this example, the tab is “supertable_online”. Press "ok".

The SuperTable is not yet a chart type that is available from the GUI, so we will set this chartType from the JSON dialog.

Go to the context menu of the element you just created and choose “Edit JSON”.

In the JSON editor add the chartType attribute (if it doesn’t already exist) and set it to "SuperTable".

After setting chartType, your new element should look like this.

Add stubs and banners to the supertable

The next step is to add data to show in the supertable by dragging elements over as stubs and banners.

Drag the questions or sections you want to include in the table onto the gray box labeled "Add stubs...".

I’m adding some key questions as stubs, but you can also drag + drop entire sections to the stubs.

Drag the banners you want to include to the blue header labeled "Add banners...".

I will include Wave, Specialty and Country as my banners. The result is a neatly stylized table.

Questions and values are on the left.

The crosstab banners show as columns to the right.

Press the red "x" on banners or stubs to remove them.

To reorder the stubs, drag + drop. 

Create the supertables export element

Next, we will create the export button that allows you to download the supertables into Excel.

Add another tab to the project. You can give it any key name that doesn’t already exist -- in this example, the tab is “supertable_export”.

Note that the element will not automatically export questions that you put into the online supertable.

To define which questions you want to export, you drag the questions into this element similar to how we added questions to the online supertables element.

Drag questions or sections into the new export tab. Select “mirror” when the move dialog appears.

This will add the question under Export, but also keep it in its original location.

Use Protobi's follow feature to set which questions export

Alternatively, you can use the follow feature to set the export button to always export the view from our online supertables.

Open the JSON dialog once again and add a new attribute “follow”.

Follow is an object where you can reference other chart keys with attributes for this element to follow.

In this case, if we always want to export the view that we set in the online supertables. We will want this export element to follow the “children” which represent the stubs and the “col”  which is the attribute that represents the banners of an element. 

While we’re in the JSON editor, we will also set this new element’s chartType to "SuperTables" plural.

This chart type is different that the online supertable, but also needs to be set in JSON since it’s not an option that is available in the chart type dialog yet. 

The result is an element with a  "Generate" export button. 

You can specify the file name for your export in the text box. Otherwise, the default is a template that include the project name and time stamp.

There's a bar that shows export progress. And the questions or sections included in the export are listed out underneath. For this element, you can add the crosstab banners on the header area like you would do for other charts.

Note that I set this element to follow the online supertable, so if I want to change the stubs or banners I will do so in the online supertable that this element is following.

But if you did not set follow, add your stubs within the export element directly.

You press the generate button when you want to download the export and, the progress bar underneath will alert you when the Excel downloads.

Export options

Before we generate the export, lets review and select some settings from chart options.

Open the “More chart options” dialog. You can go to the editor panel and find edit chartOptions.

The shortcut is to select the export element, then press SHIFT E + P on your keyboard.

To see pairwise stats markers in the export, select showSignficance. If you do not need to see statistical testing markers, you can deselect this option. 

If you don't want the first column of each banner to restart superscript letters at "a", select the continueSuperscripts option.

Select showKeys to show the question number for each table.

Select showTitles to show the title text for each table. 

If you want to show an N size row under every question even when its the same as overall, deselect the hidRedundantBasis option.

Keep this option selected if you want to hide the N size row at each question when it is identical to the overall N size of the export.

After you choose the settings that you want, you can press the generate export button.

The export will be a stylized Excel that looks similar to the look and feel of the online SuperTable.

The export reflects the [NA] state of the export element.

If the export element has showMissing set to "No" in edit properties, then missing values will be hidden and questions that were not asked to the full sample will show an adjusted base size. 

The exported data also reflects the filters that you are pressed into when you Generate the Excel.

If your project has a  “completes” global filter, and you toggle the filter on before you press Generate, then export will show completes only.

If you’re pressed into a particular value like “Wave 1” under your wave variable, then your export will reflect that filter as well. 

This concludes our video on creating and exporting stylized crosstab tables. Please visit for more video tutorials. 



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