Difference between revisions of "Table"

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< [[Tables Overview]]
+
< [[Tables Overview]] | [[Tabulate]] | [[Tables]] >
  
This is ConTeXts oldest table module. It uses the same formatting as [[tabulate]]. (See [[Tables Overview]] for an overview.)
+
This is ConTeXts oldest table module. It uses the same formatting as [[Tabulate]] (see [[Tables Overview]]).
  
 +
This mode is based on Michael Wichura's TaBlE package for PlainTeX. The official manual for it is commercial (about 40 USD), see [http://www.pctex.com/books.html PCTeX] -- but note that the TaBlE manual only talks about the original syntax, which does not use {{cmd|NC}}, {{cmd|HL}} cum suis.
 +
 +
The only ConTeXt docs are in [[manual:ms-cb-en.pdf|ConTeXt - an excursion]]. There is also two introductory articles in tugboat [http://tug.org/TUGboat/Articles/tb28-3/tb90mahajan.pdf ConTeXt basics for users: Table macros] [http://www.tug.org/TUGboat/Articles/tb29-1/tb91mahajan.pdf Table macros II] by Aditya Mahajan (2007 and 2008).
 +
 +
== Basic Commands ==
 +
 +
<table cols="2"><tr valign="top"><td>
 
<texcode>
 
<texcode>
\placetable[here][tab:sample]{sample table}
 
 
\starttable[|l|l|]
 
\starttable[|l|l|]
 
\HL
 
\HL
\NC Command \NC Meaning \NC\SR
+
\NC Command \VL Meaning \SR % or \NC\AR
 
\HL
 
\HL
\NC \tex{NC} \NC next column \NC\FR
+
\NC \tex{NC} \VL next column \AR
\NC \tex{HL} \NC horizontal line \NC\MR
+
\NC \tex{HL} \VL horizontal line \AR
\NC \tex{VL} \NC vertical line \NC\MR
+
\NC \tex{VL} \VL vertical line \AR
\NC \tex{NR} \NC next row \NC\LR
+
\NC \tex{NR} \VL next row \LR
 
\HL
 
\HL
\NC \tex{SR} \NC single row \NC\FR
+
\NC \tex{SR} \VL single row \AR
\NC \tex{FR} \NC first row \NC\MR
+
\NC \tex{FR} \VL first row \AR
\NC \tex{MR} \NC middle row \NC\MR
+
\NC \tex{MR} \VL middle row \AR
\NC \tex{LR} \NC last row \NC\LR
+
\NC \tex{LR} \VL last row \LR % or \NC\AR
 
\HL
 
\HL
\NC \tex{AR} \NC automatic row \NC\SR
+
\NC \tex{AR} \VL automatic row \SR % or \NC\AR
 
\HL
 
\HL
 
\stoptable
 
\stoptable
 
</texcode>
 
</texcode>
 +
</td><td>
 +
<context>
 +
\switchtobodyfont[ss, 8pt]
 +
\starttable[|l|l|]
 +
\HL
 +
\NC Command \VL Meaning \SR % or \NC\AR
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \tex{NC} \VL next column \AR
 +
\NC \tex{HL} \VL horizontal line \AR
 +
\NC \tex{VL} \VL vertical line \AR
 +
\NC \tex{NR} \VL next row \LR
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \tex{SR} \VL single row \AR
 +
\NC \tex{FR} \VL first row \AR
 +
\NC \tex{MR} \VL middle row \AR
 +
\NC \tex{LR} \VL last row \LR % or \NC\AR
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \tex{AR} \VL automatic row \SR % or \NC\AR
 +
\HL
 +
\stoptable
 +
</context>
 +
</td></tr></table>
  
Better use <cmd>SR</cmd>, <cmd>FR</cmd>, <cmd>MR</cmd>, <cmd>LR</cmd> instead of <cmd>NR</cmd>. You can also use <cmd>AR</cmd> instead of <cmd>SR</cmd>, <cmd>FR</cmd>, <cmd>MR</cmd> and <cmd>LR</cmd> (AR for automatic row).
+
* You get vertical lines (rules), if you use {{cmd|VL}} instead of {{cmd|NC}}.
 +
* Better use {{cmd|SR}}, {{cmd|FR}}, {{cmd|MR}}, {{cmd|LR}} instead of {{cmd|NR}}.
 +
* You can also use {{cmd|AR}} instead of {{cmd|SR}}, {{cmd|FR}}, {{cmd|MR}} and {{cmd|LR}} (AR for automatic row).
 +
* You can leave out the {{cmd|NC}} before the "row" command, but not if you use {{cmd|AR}} in a last or single row (see example).
 +
* You can influence the table with {{cmd|setuptables}}.
  
If you need information about <cmd>placetable</cmd> look after <cmd>placefloat</cmd> in the manual!
+
==Column Definition==
If you'd like to leave out the table's caption, you can't simply leave the braces empty but must write <tt>none</tt>!
 
  
This mode is based on Michael Wichura's TaBlE package for PlainTeX. The official manual for it is commercial (about 40 USD), see [http://www.pctex.com PCTeX] -- but note that the TaBlE manual only talks about the original syntax, which does not use <cmd>NC</cmd>, <cmd>HL</cmd> cum suis.
+
The table is defined by the template enclosed in square brackets after {{cmd|starttable}}. The template has the form
 +
<tt>|keys for the first column|keys for the second column|...|keys for the last column|</tt>. Please note that each column is surrounded by <tt>|</tt> signs. These are necessary. The formatting keys for each column can be a choice of
  
The table is defined by the template enclosed in square brackets after <cmd>starttable</cmd>. The template has the form
+
<context>
<tt>|keys for the first column|keys for the second column|...|keys for the last column|</tt>. Please note that the each column is surrounded by <tt>|</tt> signs. These are a necessary. The formatting keys for each column can be a choice of
+
\switchtobodyfont[ss, 8pt]
{|
+
\starttable[|l|lp(.5\textwidth)|]
! Key || Meaning
+
\HL
|-
+
\NC \bf Key \VL \bf Meaning \SR
! colspan="2" | Primitive keys
+
\HL
|-
+
\NC  \NC Primitive Keys \SR
|a{<i>tokens</i>} || Adds <i>tokens</i> '''after''' the column content
+
\HL
|-
+
\NC  \type{a{tokens}}\VL Adds \type{tokens} {\em after} the column content\AR
|b{<i>tokens</i>} || Adds <i>tokens</i> '''before''' the column content
+
\NC  \type{b{tokens}}\VL Adds \type{tokens} '''before''' the column content\AR
|-
+
\NC  {\tt \backslash\{ } \VL Enclose the column in braces (grouping)\AR
|\{ || Enclose the column in braces
+
\NC  \type{*{n}{keys}}\VL Equivalent to repeating the formatting keys \type{keys} \type{n} times\NC\LR
|-
+
\HL
|*{<i>n</i>}{<i>keys</i>} || Equivalent to repeating the formatting keys <i>keys</i> <i>n</i> times
+
\NC  \NC Positioning Keys\SR
|-
+
\HL
! colspan="2" | Positioning keys
+
\NC  \type{\LeftGlue} \VL Specifies the left glue to be used before the column\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{\RightGlue} \VL Specifies the right glue to be used after the column\AR
|\LeftGlue || Specifies the left glue to be used before the column
+
\NC  \type{l} \VL left-aligned column\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{c} \VL centered column\AR
|\RightGlue || Specifies the right glue to be used after the column
+
\NC  \type{r} \VL right-aligned column\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{p(width)} \VL Set each cell as a paragraph\AR
|l || Left-align the column
+
\NC  \type{s(width)} \VL Specify the inter-column width\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{w} \VL Set minimum column width\AR
|c || Center the column
+
\NC  \type{k} \VL Insert a kern both left and right of the column\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{i} \VL Add a kern to the left of the column\AR
|r || Right-align the column
+
\NC  \type{j} \VL Add a kern to the right of the column\LR
|-
+
\HL
|k || Insert a kern both left and right of the column
+
\NC \NC Numeric and Math Item Keys \SR
|-
+
\HL
|i || Add a kern to the left of the column
+
\NC  \type{n} \VL Numeric item not in math mode\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{N} \VL Numeric item in math mode\AR
|j || Add a kern to the right of the column
+
\NC  \type{m} \VL Each cell is in (inline) math mode. Equivalent to \type{b$ a$}\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{M} \VL Each cell is in display math mode. Equivalent to \type{\{b{$\displaystyle}a$}} \AR
! colspan="2" | Numeric item keys
+
\NC  \type{\m} \VL Equivalent to  \type{l b{{}}m}\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{\M} \VL Equivalent to  \type{l b{{}}M}\LR
|n || Numeric item not in math mode
+
\HL
|-
+
\NC \NC Style Keys \SR
|N || Numeric item in math mode
+
\HL
|-
+
\NC  \type{f\command} \VL Set font according to following \tex{command}\AR
! colspan="2" | Attribute keys
+
\NC  \type{B} \VL Bold. Equivalent to \type{f\bf}\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{I} \VL Italic. Equivalent to \type{f\it}\AR
|m || Each cell is in (inline) math mode. Equivalent to <tt>b$ a$</tt>
+
\NC  \type{S} \VL Slanted. Equivalent to \type{f\sl}\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{R} \VL Roman. Equivalent to \type{f\rm}\AR
|M || Each cell is in display math mode. Equivalent to <tt>\{b{$\displaystyle}a$</tt>
+
\NC  \type{T} \VL Teletype. Equivalent to \type{f\tt}\AR
|-
+
\NC  \type{C} \VL Color. Use it in combination with \backslash\{  (e.g. \backslash\{C\{red\} )\LR
|\m || Equivalent to  <tt>l b{{}}m</tt>
+
\HL
|-
+
\NC \NC Tabskip Keys \SR
|\M || Equivalent to  <tt>l b{{}}M</tt>
+
\HL
|-
+
\NC  \type{s} \VL Set the tabskip to the right of this column and of all following columns up to the next \type{s} or \type{o} key\AR
|f || Set font according to following <cmd>command</cmd>
+
\NC  \type{o} \VL Set the tabskip to the right of this column only\LR
|-
+
\HL
|B || Bold. Equivalent to <tt>f\bf</tt>
+
\stoptable
|-
+
</context>
|I || Italic. Equivalent to <tt>f\it</tt>
 
|-
 
|S || Slanted. Equivalent to <tt>f\sl</tt>
 
|-
 
|R || Roman. Equivalent to <tt>f\rm</tt>
 
|-
 
|T || Teletype. Equivalent to <tt>f\tt</tt>
 
|-
 
|p || Set each cell as a paragraph
 
|-
 
! colspan="2" | Minimum column width key
 
|-
 
|w || Set minimum column width
 
|-
 
! colspan="2" | Tabskip keys
 
|-
 
|s || Set the tabskip to the right of this column and of all following columns until the next <tt>s</tt> or <tt>o</tt> key
 
|-
 
|o || Set the tabskip to the right of this column only.
 
|}
 
  
 +
=== Column definition examples===
 +
; <code>|l|</code> : a left aligned column, as wide as necessary
 +
; <code>|lw(2cm)|</code> : a left aligned column of at least 2 cm width
 +
; <code>|p(2cm)|</code> : a centered(!) paragraph of 2 cm width
 +
; <code>|lp(.5\textwidth)|</code> : a left aligned paragraph of specified width
 +
; <code>|rp(.5\textwidth)|</code> : a right aligned paragraph of specified width
 +
; <code>|cp(.5\textwidth)|</code> : a center aligned paragraph of specified width
 +
; <code>|xp(.5\textwidth)|</code> : a justified paragraph of specified width
 +
; <code>...</code> : Please add more
 +
; <code>...</code> :
  
It's possible to create columnspans (i.e. cells that span more than one column) with the command <cmd>use[<i>N</i>]</cmd> where <i>N</i> is the number of columns spanned by the cell. It's often necessary to use <cmd>ReFormat[<i>new keys</i>]</cmd> to reformat this specific cell according to the <i>new keys</i>.
+
{{todo|add more examples of column definitions}}
  
The only ConTeXt docs about it are in [http://www.pragma-ade.com/general/manuals/ms-cb-en.pdf ms-cb-en.pdf].
+
==Column Spans==
  
The sample looks like this:
+
It's possible to create columnspans (i.e. cells that span more than one column) with the command {{cmd|use{<i>N</i>}}} where ''N'' is the number of columns spanned by the cell. It's often necessary to use {{cmd|ReFormat[<i>new keys</i>]{}}} to reformat this specific cell according to the ''new keys''.
  
 +
 +
<table cols="2"><tr valign="top"><td>
 +
<texcode>
 +
\starttable[s(0pt)|ls(10pt)|rs(0pt)|]
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \use{2}\ReFormat[cB]{Spanning head} \SR
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \Use{2}[cB]{Spanning head} \SR % slightly shorted
 +
\HL
 +
\NC left text \VL right column text        \NC \AR
 +
\NC new row    \VL new row                  \NC \AR
 +
\NC left text \VL \ReFormat[l]{reformatted} \NC \AR
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \use{2}Spanning entry \SR
 +
\HL
 +
\stoptable
 +
</texcode>
 +
</td><td>
 +
<context>
 +
\setuppapersize[A5]
 +
\starttable[s(0pt)|ls(10pt)|rs(0pt)|]
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \use{2}\ReFormat[cB]{Spanning head} \SR
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \Use{2}[cB]{Spanning head} \SR
 +
\HL
 +
\NC left text \VL right column text        \NC \AR
 +
\NC new row \VL new row                  \NC \AR
 +
\NC left text \VL \ReFormat[l]{reformatted} \NC \AR
 +
\HL
 +
\NC \use{2}Spanning entry \SR
 +
\HL
 +
\stoptable
 +
</context>
 +
</td></tr></table>
 +
 +
 +
({{cmd|ReFormat}} can be abbreviated {{cmd|REF}} for brevity.)
 +
== Row Spans==
 +
 +
It's also possible to create rowspans (i.e. cells that span more than one row) with the command {{cmd|Raise(<i>dimen</i>){<i>content</i>}}} or {{cmd|Lower(<i>dimen</i>){</i>content</i>}}} that raise or lower ''content'' by ''dimen''.
 +
 +
<table cols="2"><tr valign="top"><td>
 +
<texcode>
 +
\starttable[|c|c|]
 +
\HL
 +
\VL \Lower(.5\lineheight){a} \VL b \VL \AR
 +
\DC \DL[1] \DR
 +
\VL \VL c \VL \AR
 +
\HL
 +
\stoptable
 +
</texcode>
 +
</td><td>
 
<context>
 
<context>
\placetable[here][tab:sample]{sample table}
+
\starttable[|c|c|]
\starttable[|l|l|]
+
\HL
 +
\VL \Lower(.5\lineheight){a} \VL b \VL \AR
 +
\DC \DL[1] \DR
 +
\VL \VL c \VL \AR
 
\HL
 
\HL
\NC Command \NC Meaning \NC\SR
+
\stoptable
 +
</context>
 +
</td></tr></table>
 +
 
 +
({{cmd|Lower(.5\lineheight){a}}} can be abbreviated {{cmd|LOW{a}}} for brevity.)
 +
 +
An alternative means of spanning rows by a tall object makes use of a bit of TeX magic:
 +
{{cmd|smash{tall object}}}:
 +
 
 +
<table cols="2"><tr valign="top"><td>
 +
<texcode>
 +
\starttable[|M|c|]
 
\HL
 
\HL
\NC \tex{NC} \NC next column \NC\FR
+
\VL \VL a \VL \AR
\NC \tex{HL} \NC horizontal line \NC\MR
+
\DC \DL[1] \DR
\NC \tex{VL} \NC vertical line \NC\MR
+
\VL \smash{\sum_0^N} \VL b \VL \AR
\NC \tex{NR} \NC next row \NC\LR
+
\DC \DL[1] \DR
 +
\VL \VL c \VL \AR
 
\HL
 
\HL
\NC \tex{SR} \NC single row \NC\FR
+
\stoptable
\NC \tex{FR} \NC first row \NC\MR
+
</texcode>
\NC \tex{MR} \NC middle row \NC\MR
+
</td><td>
\NC \tex{LR} \NC last row \NC\LR
+
<context>
 +
\starttable[|M|c|]
 
\HL
 
\HL
\NC \tex{AR} \NC automatic row \NC\SR
+
\VL \VL a \VL \AR
 +
\DC \DL[1] \DR
 +
\VL \smash{\sum_0^N} \VL b \VL \AR
 +
\DC \DL[1] \DR
 +
\VL \VL c \VL \AR
 
\HL
 
\HL
 
\stoptable
 
\stoptable
 
</context>
 
</context>
 +
</td></tr></table>
 +
 +
==Table as Floating Object==
 +
 +
<texcode>
 +
\placetable[here][tab:sample]{sample table}{
 +
\starttable ...
 +
\stoptable
 +
}
 +
</texcode>
 +
 +
* See [[Floating Objects]] in general.
 +
* If you need information about {{cmd|placetable}} look after {{cmd|placefloat}} in the manual or texshow!
 +
* If you do not want a caption for your table, to get rid of it altogether you have to add "none" to settings and then leave the braces empty; if you only leave the braces empty, your table will still be numbered ("Table 1" etc.).
  
A very nice application in table are background colors for rows/cells (a feature that doesn't work in tabulate):
+
<texcode>
 +
\placetable[here,none][tab:sample]{}{
 +
\starttable ...
 +
\stoptable
 +
}
 +
</texcode>
 +
 
 +
==Background Colors==
 +
 
 +
Note: Adding color to tables using the `\CL` and `\BL` commands appears to be deprecated in MKIV; see: http://wiki.contextgarden.net/Tabulate
 +
 
 +
A very nice application in table are background colors for rows/cells (a feature that doesn't work in [[Tabulate]]):
 +
 
 +
<table cols="2"><tr valign="top"><td>
 
<texcode>
 
<texcode>
 
\setupcolors[state=start]
 
\setupcolors[state=start]
\placetable[here][tab:sample]{sample table}
 
 
\starttable[|l|l|]
 
\starttable[|l|l|]
 
\HL
 
\HL
\BL[2]\SR
+
\BL[1]\SR
 
\NC Command \NC Meaning \NC\SR
 
\NC Command \NC Meaning \NC\SR
 
\HL
 
\HL
 
\NC \tex{NC} \NC next column \NC\FR
 
\NC \tex{NC} \NC next column \NC\FR
\NC \tex{HL} \NC horizontal line \NC\MR
 
\NC \tex{VL} \NC vertical line \NC\MR
 
 
\NC \tex{NR} \NC next row \NC\LR
 
\NC \tex{NR} \NC next row \NC\LR
 
\HL
 
\HL
 
\CL[green]\SR
 
\CL[green]\SR
\NC \tex{AR} \NC automatic row \NC\SR
+
\NC \tex{AR} \NC automatic row\NC\SR
 
\HL
 
\HL
 
\stoptable
 
\stoptable
 
</texcode>
 
</texcode>
The commands work something like this:  first, you say what background colour you want for the next row
+
</td><td>
and then you typeset the row.  Observe: the line with the colour-command and the row it is supposed
 
to colour should end in the same command (i.e. both \SR, \LR, \FR, ...).  If they don't, the background
 
won't cover the whole cell.
 
 
 
* \BL makes a gray background: the optional argument tells BL how many cells it should color
 
* \CL makes a colored line
 
 
<context>
 
<context>
 
\setupcolors[state=start]
 
\setupcolors[state=start]
\placetable[here][tab:sample]{sample table}
 
 
\starttable[|l|l|]
 
\starttable[|l|l|]
 
\HL
 
\HL
Line 168: Line 280:
 
\HL
 
\HL
 
\NC \tex{NC} \NC next column \NC\FR
 
\NC \tex{NC} \NC next column \NC\FR
\NC \tex{HL} \NC horizontal line \NC\MR
 
\NC \tex{VL} \NC vertical line \NC\MR
 
 
\NC \tex{NR} \NC next row \NC\LR
 
\NC \tex{NR} \NC next row \NC\LR
 
\HL
 
\HL
 
\CL[green]\SR
 
\CL[green]\SR
\NC \tex{AR} \NC automatic row \NC\SR
+
\NC \tex{AR} \NC automatic row\NC\SR
 
\HL
 
\HL
 
\stoptable
 
\stoptable
 
</context>
 
</context>
 +
</td>
 +
</tr></table>
 +
The commands work something like this:  first, you say what background colour you want for the next row
 +
and then you typeset the row.  Observe: the line with the colour-command and the row it is supposed
 +
to colour should end in the same command (i.e. both \SR, \LR, \FR, ...).  If they don't, the background
 +
won't cover the whole cell.
 +
 +
* {{cmd|BL}} makes a gray background: the optional argument tells BL how many cells it should color
 +
* {{cmd|CL}} makes a colored row
 +
 +
==Fit Table Width==
 +
 +
Hans posted a solution to the list for fitting a wide table (with paragraphs and vertical lines) to the page width. The key to his solution is the <code>.45\textwidth</code> settings when setting each cell as a paragraph.
 +
 +
<texcode>
 +
\SetTableToWidth{\textwidth}
 +
 +
\starttable[|p(.45\textwidth)|p(.45\textwidth)|]
 +
\HL
 +
\VL foo foo foo foo foo foo \VL bar bar bar bar bar bar \VL\AR
 +
\HL
 +
\stoptable
 +
</texcode>
 +
<!-- It makes no sense to typeset this here. -->
 +
 +
Since table module has been under [http://www.ntg.nl/pipermail/ntg-context/2010/055004.html reconstruction] this approach works only for MKII. In MKIV one can use
 +
 +
<texcode>
 +
\starttable[|l|l|][textwidth=max]
 +
\HL
 +
\VL foo foo foo foo foo foo \VL bar bar bar bar bar bar \VL\AR
 +
\HL
 +
\stoptable
 +
</texcode>
 +
 +
to change the width of the current table only.
 +
 +
<code>\setuptables[textwidth=...]</code> will affect the behavior of every table.
 +
 +
== Booktabs ==
 +
 +
Latex has an excellent package called booktabs for typesetting tables. The main features of that package is that you can have top, mid, and bottom rules of different thickness. It is possible to achieve similar effects using tables. For example, to match the default settings of booktabs (Well almost, this gives a top and bottom rules of 0.09em while booktabs sets it to 0.08em).
 +
 +
<table cols="2"><tr valign="top"><td>
 +
<texcode>
 +
\setuptables[rulethickness=0.03em]
 +
 +
\starttable[s0|l|i2l|i2r|]
 +
  \HL[3]
 +
  \NC \Use2[c]{Item}            \NC            \NC \AR
 +
  \DL[2]                        \DC                \DR
 +
  \NC Animal    \NC Description  \NC Price (\$) \NC \AR
 +
  \HL[2]
 +
  \NC Gnat      \NC per gram    \NC 13.65      \NC \AR
 +
  \NC          \NC each        \NC  0.01      \NC \AR
 +
  \NC Gnu      \NC stuffed      \NC 92.50      \NC \AR
 +
  \NC Emu      \NC stuffed      \NC 33.33      \NC \AR
 +
  \NC Armadillo \NC frozen      \NC  8.99      \NC \AR
 +
  \HL[3]
 +
\stoptable
 +
</texcode>
 +
</td><td>
 +
<context>
 +
\setuppapersize[A5]
 +
\setuptables[rulethickness=0.03em]
 +
 +
\starttable[s0|l|i2l|i2r|]
 +
  \HL[3]
 +
  \NC \Use2[c]{Item}            \NC            \NC \AR
 +
  \DL[2]                        \DC                \DR
 +
  \NC Animal    \NC Description  \NC Price (\$) \NC \AR
 +
  \HL[2]
 +
  \NC Gnat      \NC per gram    \NC 13.65      \NC \AR
 +
  \NC          \NC each        \NC  0.01      \NC \AR
 +
  \NC Gnu      \NC stuffed      \NC 92.50      \NC \AR
 +
  \NC Emu      \NC stuffed      \NC 33.33      \NC \AR
 +
  \NC Armadillo \NC frozen      \NC  8.99      \NC \AR
 +
  \HL[3]
 +
\stoptable
 +
</context>
 +
</td></tr></table>
 +
[[Category:Tables]]

Latest revision as of 13:24, 9 August 2020

< Tables Overview | Tabulate | Tables >

This is ConTeXts oldest table module. It uses the same formatting as Tabulate (see Tables Overview).

This mode is based on Michael Wichura's TaBlE package for PlainTeX. The official manual for it is commercial (about 40 USD), see PCTeX -- but note that the TaBlE manual only talks about the original syntax, which does not use \NC, \HL cum suis.

The only ConTeXt docs are in ConTeXt - an excursion. There is also two introductory articles in tugboat ConTeXt basics for users: Table macros Table macros II by Aditya Mahajan (2007 and 2008).

Basic Commands

\starttable[|l|l|]
\HL
\NC Command	\VL Meaning	\SR % or \NC\AR
\HL
\NC \tex{NC}	\VL next column	\AR
\NC \tex{HL}	\VL horizontal line	\AR
\NC \tex{VL}	\VL vertical line	\AR
\NC \tex{NR}	\VL next row	\LR
\HL
\NC \tex{SR}	\VL single row	\AR
\NC \tex{FR}	\VL first row	\AR
\NC \tex{MR}	\VL middle row	\AR
\NC \tex{LR}	\VL last row \LR % or \NC\AR
\HL
\NC \tex{AR}	\VL automatic row	\SR % or \NC\AR
\HL
\stoptable

  • You get vertical lines (rules), if you use \VL instead of \NC.
  • Better use \SR, \FR, \MR, \LR instead of \NR.
  • You can also use \AR instead of \SR, \FR, \MR and \LR (AR for automatic row).
  • You can leave out the \NC before the "row" command, but not if you use \AR in a last or single row (see example).
  • You can influence the table with \setuptables.

Column Definition

The table is defined by the template enclosed in square brackets after \starttable. The template has the form |keys for the first column|keys for the second column|...|keys for the last column|. Please note that each column is surrounded by | signs. These are necessary. The formatting keys for each column can be a choice of

Column definition examples

|l| 
a left aligned column, as wide as necessary
|lw(2cm)| 
a left aligned column of at least 2 cm width
|p(2cm)| 
a centered(!) paragraph of 2 cm width
|lp(.5\textwidth)| 
a left aligned paragraph of specified width
|rp(.5\textwidth)| 
a right aligned paragraph of specified width
|cp(.5\textwidth)| 
a center aligned paragraph of specified width
|xp(.5\textwidth)| 
a justified paragraph of specified width
... 
Please add more
... 

TODO: add more examples of column definitions (See: To-Do List)


Column Spans

It's possible to create columnspans (i.e. cells that span more than one column) with the command [[Command/use{N|\use{N]]} where N is the number of columns spanned by the cell. It's often necessary to use [[Command/ReFormat[new keys]{|\ReFormat[new keys]{]]} to reformat this specific cell according to the new keys.


\starttable[s(0pt)|ls(10pt)|rs(0pt)|]
\HL
\NC \use{2}\ReFormat[cB]{Spanning head} \SR
\HL
\NC \Use{2}[cB]{Spanning head} \SR % slightly shorted
\HL
\NC left text	\VL right column text         \NC \AR
\NC new row     \VL new row                   \NC \AR
\NC left text	\VL \ReFormat[l]{reformatted} \NC \AR
\HL
\NC \use{2}Spanning entry \SR 
\HL
\stoptable


(\ReFormat can be abbreviated \REF for brevity.)

Row Spans

It's also possible to create rowspans (i.e. cells that span more than one row) with the command [[Command/Raise(dimen){content|\Raise(dimen){content]]} or [[Command/Lower(dimen){content|\Lower(dimen){content]]} that raise or lower content by dimen.

\starttable[|c|c|]
\HL
\VL \Lower(.5\lineheight){a} \VL b \VL \AR
\DC \DL[1] \DR
\VL \VL c \VL \AR
\HL
\stoptable

([[Command/Lower(.5\lineheight){a|\Lower(.5\lineheight){a]]} can be abbreviated [[Command/LOW{a|\LOW{a]]} for brevity.)

An alternative means of spanning rows by a tall object makes use of a bit of TeX magic: [[Command/smash{tall object|\smash{tall object]]}:

\starttable[|M|c|]
\HL
\VL \VL a \VL \AR
\DC \DL[1] \DR
\VL \smash{\sum_0^N} \VL b \VL \AR
\DC \DL[1] \DR
\VL \VL c \VL \AR
\HL
\stoptable

Table as Floating Object

\placetable[here][tab:sample]{sample table}{
\starttable ...
\stoptable
}
  • See Floating Objects in general.
  • If you need information about \placetable look after \placefloat in the manual or texshow!
  • If you do not want a caption for your table, to get rid of it altogether you have to add "none" to settings and then leave the braces empty; if you only leave the braces empty, your table will still be numbered ("Table 1" etc.).
\placetable[here,none][tab:sample]{}{
\starttable ...
\stoptable
}

Background Colors

Note: Adding color to tables using the \CL and \BL commands appears to be deprecated in MKIV; see: http://wiki.contextgarden.net/Tabulate

A very nice application in table are background colors for rows/cells (a feature that doesn't work in Tabulate):

\setupcolors[state=start]
\starttable[|l|l|]
\HL
\BL[1]\SR
\NC Command	\NC Meaning	\NC\SR
\HL
\NC \tex{NC}	\NC next column	\NC\FR
\NC \tex{NR}	\NC next row	\NC\LR
\HL
\CL[green]\SR
\NC \tex{AR}	\NC automatic row\NC\SR
\HL
\stoptable

The commands work something like this: first, you say what background colour you want for the next row and then you typeset the row. Observe: the line with the colour-command and the row it is supposed to colour should end in the same command (i.e. both \SR, \LR, \FR, ...). If they don't, the background won't cover the whole cell.

  • \BL makes a gray background: the optional argument tells BL how many cells it should color
  • \CL makes a colored row

Fit Table Width

Hans posted a solution to the list for fitting a wide table (with paragraphs and vertical lines) to the page width. The key to his solution is the .45\textwidth settings when setting each cell as a paragraph.

\SetTableToWidth{\textwidth}

\starttable[|p(.45\textwidth)|p(.45\textwidth)|]
\HL
\VL foo foo foo foo foo foo \VL bar bar bar bar bar bar \VL\AR
\HL
\stoptable

Since table module has been under reconstruction this approach works only for MKII. In MKIV one can use

\starttable[|l|l|][textwidth=max]
\HL
\VL foo foo foo foo foo foo \VL bar bar bar bar bar bar \VL\AR
\HL
\stoptable

to change the width of the current table only.

\setuptables[textwidth=...] will affect the behavior of every table.

Booktabs

Latex has an excellent package called booktabs for typesetting tables. The main features of that package is that you can have top, mid, and bottom rules of different thickness. It is possible to achieve similar effects using tables. For example, to match the default settings of booktabs (Well almost, this gives a top and bottom rules of 0.09em while booktabs sets it to 0.08em).

\setuptables[rulethickness=0.03em]

\starttable[s0|l|i2l|i2r|]
  \HL[3]
  \NC \Use2[c]{Item}             \NC            \NC \AR
  \DL[2]                         \DC                \DR
  \NC Animal    \NC Description  \NC Price (\$) \NC \AR
  \HL[2]
  \NC Gnat      \NC per gram     \NC 13.65      \NC \AR
  \NC           \NC each         \NC  0.01      \NC \AR
  \NC Gnu       \NC stuffed      \NC 92.50      \NC \AR
  \NC Emu       \NC stuffed      \NC 33.33      \NC \AR
  \NC Armadillo \NC frozen       \NC  8.99      \NC \AR
  \HL[3]
\stoptable