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I have a goal set for a web site the full metrics name becomes really long for widgets on my Dashboard, like "PDF download (Goal 4 Completions)"

Is there any way that I could strip of the last part?

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Yes, but its ugly since you waste a precious resource.

Create a calculated metric (in your view settings). As a formula use "PDF download (Goal 4 Completions)" with no other calculations. So the calculated metric reflects exactly the number of goal conversions, but you can give it a custom (and shorter) name. Now recreate your widget to use the calculated metric.

You have only 20 calculated metrics available, so using them as aliases is a bit of waste. But if you need them for nothing else then you might as well go with it.

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