Inserting and Working with Tables

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Use the optional layout table

WARNING: In the pending WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines, the use of tables for layout is deprecated. This means that pages that use layout tables now deemed accessible may later be deemed inaccessible. It is suggested that you avoid using tables for layout whenever possible.

At the bottom of the personal and teachpage templates is an optional, two-column layout table to which you can Add Rows and Columns, and the properties of which (padding, spacing, border width) you can change by accessing Table Properties.

Paragraphs used in a layout table should be styled "textintables" to avoid over-indentation. See Styling Text for instructions.

TIP: If you have already deleted the optional table, you can copy and paste another one by creating a new draft template page.

Insert a data table:

A data table is used to present tabular data (called a data table), and page layout. A data table has header rows and/or columns. Below is an example of a data table:

 

Suggested Readings on Chaucer's Writings
Title/Author Call number Location
The age of Chaucer / Valerie Allen. PR291 .A55 2004 Floor3
Old and Middle English literature / edited by Jeffrey Helterman and Jerome Mitchell. PR166 .O43 1994 Reference Room
Manuscripts and texts : editorial problems in later Middle English literature : essays from the 1985 conference at the University of York / edited by Derek Pearsall. PR275.T45 M37 1987 ASRS
The loyal conspiracy: the Lords Appellant under Richard II. / Anthony Goodman DA235 .G66 1971b ASRS

To insert a data table:
Insert table dialog

  1. Click the Table button in the Objects toolbar . The "Insert Table" dialog will appear.
  2. Type in the number of rows and columns you initially think you'll (you can add more later).
  3. Table width:
    • "Default width" will create a table that will expand to accommodate its contents.
    • "Specific width": in order to avoid accessibility problems, set the box on the far right to "percent." The percentage number will create a constrained, dynamic width table that will expand and contract with the size of the browser window. (e.g. a table set at "75 percent" occupies 75% of the horizontal space made available for content by the Template).
    • NOTE: After inserting the table, do not change column width with your mouse. Change width in Column Properties instead.
  4. Set a border thickness of 1 or more (visible borders make data tables easier to read).
  5. Cell padding: this determines the margins between the borders and contents within the boxes of the table (table cells).
  6. Cell spacing: any number higher than 0 will make the borders appear thicker.
  7. Header: selecting Left, Top or Both will designate the first column, first row, or first row and first column as headers. Cells in headers (as in the example above) contain metadata about the information in the row or column they "head."
  8. Click OK to insert the table.
  9. When you type your information into the table, make sure that the terms in the headers appropriately reference the contents of the rows or columns they head.

Apply Layout Styles to the Table

You can position the table horizontally on the page by applying the centered, indent1 - indent5 and other styles. First select the whole table (in the top toolbar, Table > Select Table) and then select the desired style from the style-preview menu.

Adding and Deleting Rows and Columns

Merging and Splitting Cells

To achieve different layout effects, you may wish to merge or split cells. Do not merge or split cells in a data table, as this confuses the header structure.

Changing Table Properties

You can access the Table Properties dialog by placing your cursor anywhere in the table, right-clicking, and selecting Table Properties. This will allow you to

Change Cell Properties

If you click the Cell tab of the Table Properties dialog, you can set the horizontal and vertical alignment of the contents of whatever cell your cursor is currently in, and set a background color.

Changing Row Properties

  1. Drag your mouse across all the cells in a row to select the row. (This may not work perfectly if you've previously merged or split cells.)
  2. Right click and select Table Cell Properties. The Row tab of the Table Cell Properties dialog will allow you to:
    • Set horizontal and vertical alignment of the content of just the cells in that row
    • Designate a different row as the header row (don't designate more than one row as a header).

Changing Column Properties

  1. Drag your mouse down all the cells in a column to select the column. (This may not work perfectly if you've previously merged or split cells.)
  2. Right click and select Table Cell Properties. The Column tab of the Table Cell Properties dialog will allow you to:
    • Set horizontal and vertical alignment of the content of just the cells in that column
    • Set the width of the column. Use percent rather than pixels to set the width of the column to a percentage of the width of the table.
    • Designate a different column as the header row (don't designate more than one column as a header)
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Last Updated: 04-Jun-2010