12. Report-Writer Statements : Column and Block Statements : .Width Statement--Set Output Width of a Column : Description
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The .width sets the default width, which is the total number of characters in a column when calculating positions in the .center and .right statements. Alternatively, you can specify the default width for a column as a parameter to the .position statement. If you specify variables for columnname and width, Report-Writer evaluates the variables during the loading of the report specification, before retrieving any report data.
Normally, you do not need the .width statement because Report-Writer determines default widths by analyzing the report formatting statements, as described in Automatic Determination of Default Settings.
If the determined default width for a column is not convenient, or you would like a different width associated with a columnname, you can override the default with the .width statement. Subsequently, you can use the .right or .center statements with a columnname to use this width, in conjunction with the default position for this column, in calculating the placement of text.
If no width is specified for a column, Report-Writer determines the default width by looking at the default format for the column.