Question: What do the terms "display variant" and "layout" mean?
Answer: Both the term "display variant" and the term "layout" refer to the same thing. Up to and including Release 4.6B, the term "display variants" is used. As of Release 4.6C, these are called "layouts".
 Question: For what are layouts used?
Answer: Using layouts, the list format can be adjusted more flexibly to customers' various requirements. You can omit columns that are not required from the display. You can change the column sequence. You can sort the data in different ways on the list. You can use filters to hide data that is not relevant for the display. You can create totals and subtotals.
 Question: How do you save layouts?
Answer: Layouts can be saved for specific users or for all users.
User-specific layouts are only visible to the users who have created them.
Layouts for all users can be selected by all users. These layouts always start with a forward slash in the name (for example, /Standard).
The layouts are report-dependent and you can only create, change or delete them within the display of the respective ALV list. User-specific layouts can only be changed or deleted by the user who created them.
Independent of these authorizations (see point 4), you can save a layout as presetting (default layout). This setting is set by the application and cannot be influenced.
 Question: Which authorizations or settings do you need to be able to save layouts?
Answer: To save layouts for all users, you need the authorization S_ALV_LAYO with activity 23 as of Release 4.6C. You can only go to the layout administration if you have this authorization.
You must maintain the authorization object S_ALV_LAYO using the user administration.
If you would like to use or save the Excel view in your layout, you also require the additional authorization S_BDS_DS with activity 01,02,03,06,30; CLASSNAME ALVLAYOUTTEMPLATES and CLASSTYPE OT.
Furthermore, there are applications that have their own authorization checks installed.
In some ALV lists, you can only save user-specific layouts. In these cases, the indicator "user-specific" is active , on a grey background and unable to be changed. This is related to the parameter I_SAVE. This controls which options you have to save the layout.
To be able to define default layouts, the parameter I_DEFAULT must have the value 'X'.
Notes 409190 and 601803 also provide further information on authorizations.
As of Release SAPKB70027, SAPKB70112, SAPKB70212, SAPKB71015, SAPKB71110, SAPKB72008, SAPKB73104, or after you implement Note 1667238, the authorization object S_ALV_LAYR is available in addition to the authorization object S_ALV_LAYO; you can use this object to regulate the saving process for ALV layouts (see Note 1667238 and the documentation for the authorization object).
 Question: Can you transport layouts?
Answer: You can transport layouts for all users using the layout administration. You create a Customizing request for this. You cannot transport user-specific layouts. However, you can import both from another client. You can also access this function using the layout administration.
 Question: What happens with special layouts for SAP reports during the upgrade of or when importing Support Packages?
Answer: Layouts created by the customer are retained and you can continue to use them.
 Question: How do you include additional fields in the layout?
Answer: The fields that can be included in the layout are defined using the field catalog. That is, the respective application transfers a list of fields to the ALV. You can select these fields within the column set and copy them to the display. If you also want to display additional fields, you must extend the field catalog. For this, you need to make a change within the application program.
A maximum of 90 columns can be displayed in ALV lists (see Note 409205). This restriction does not exist for ALV grids. However, if data is exported or printed from the ALV grid with more than 90 columns, the restriction of the list is taken into account.
 Question: How can you structure long lists more clearly?
Answer: It is easier to distinguish between the lines both in the display and in the print output if you give the lists a striped background. You can do this in the full screen and in the grid using "Change layout" -> tab title: Display -> With stripe pattern or by setting the parameter is_layout-Zebra when you call the grid. In the list, the pattern must be set by the application using the is_layout-Zebra parameter when you call the ALV. The pattern is copied during printing.