How to indent

I’m sure that this little technique of mine is frowned upon by AppSheet. I don’t think it’s part of Google’s “material design” concept for apps. Still, I wanted to make a hierarchical outline like this:

In this case, I think the outline structure is easier to understand than a plain list.

So, how is it done? With spaces . . . I know, I know . . . not exactly rocket science. But, there is a trick to it just the same. Ordinarily, AppSheet would ignore spaces at the beginning of a line. So, I had to trick the platform into doing my bidding. Here’s how I did it:

  1. In the Google spreadsheet
    =concatenate(CHAR(HEX2DEC(“200B”))," ",L7)
    You can’t see it but there are lots and lots of spaces between the quotation marks.
    I’ve explained what this HEX2DEC character does here:
    How to make a mirrored histogram in AppSheet
    The “L7” cell has text that I use in other contexts. It may not be necessary here. Then again, it might be necessary to have something after all of the spaces. I can’t recall right now. (It’s been a long time since I first did this.)
  2. An “indent” virtual column
    The column in the step above this one is “Quotes” in my app. Here’s what I have in my “Indent” virtual column:
    The number controls how many spaces will be used in the indent. Season to taste.
  3. The target column
    I use something like “concatenate([indent],”• your archive")" to get what I want.

That’s it. By the way, with an outline like this, a show/hide toggle might come in handy:

It would also be nice if we could control the spacing between lines.


Thank you @Kirk_Masden for this tip. I like it.

Indent is possible also with “Dummy” Format Rules.
It does not matter what kind of icon you use, but the highlight color has to be transparent.



Thanks! That’s interesting. You method is easier than mine. But, perhaps it’s hard to control the size of the indent with your method. Is that right? Is there a way to control how far in you indent?

You see that [Phone] is more indent, because both dummy format rules apply. For [Customer] only one format rule applies. So that’s the only way how to control it: The number of dummy format rules.