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Why am I getting an error about “secondary items on a report”?

Sometimes Openbox will give you a warning message of this form: “You cannot use an item on a report because it is on the secondary axis”. Why does this occur and what can you do about it?

This is a known limitation of Openbox that we are working to remove. It occurs when you have a model with two time lines. Openbox calls these “primary” and “secondary”, but you might think of them as “operations” and “construction”.

Normally when you put a line item on a report, Openbox automatically converts it to the right time step for the report (e.g. annual). But it cannot yet do this for items that are on a secondary (e.g. construction) timeline.

The workaround is to create a new item in your model that is on the primary timeline, and put that on the report instead. For example, suppose you have [Construction cost] on the secondary time line.

Add a new sheet to the model, called “Report items”. Add a new item to that called [Construction cost quarterly]. Make the formula [Construction cost]. Remove [Construction cost] from the report and add [Construction cost quarterly]. Then press F9 for the preview and the issue will be resolved.

The short video below shows how to do this


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