Now that you understand how to use the SharePoint Designer interface to insert a Data Form Web Part as a data view and a data form, I take you through some enhanced XSL formatting features that are available for Data Form Web Parts.
As mentioned earlier, the Data Form Web Part is made very powerful by the fact that it supports formatting via XSL transformations. Most of the filtering, sorting, grouping, formatting, etc., for the Data Form Web Part is implemented by using XSLT. However, you don't need to be an XSLT expert to work with the Data Form Web Part in SharePoint Designer because the functionality is exposed by using a simple user interface that writes XSL for you behind the scenes.
Bring up the Common Data View Tasks menu for a Data Form Web Part to see the options to enhance the Data Form Web Part functions. While I discuss filtering, sorting, and grouping, I want to quickly mention the following options for data view display and preview:
Edit Columns: Opens a dialog box that allows you to choose the columns that need to be displayed in the view. You can add, remove, and change the order of the columns to be displayed.
Data View Preview: You can use this menu option to specify how the preview of data view should appear in the Design view of SharePoint Designer. You can choose to hide all filters or limit the number of rows when showing the data view in the Design view.
Show with sample data: Provides a way to avoid performance ...