Tables Overview

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Revision as of 09:34, 13 September 2017 by Hraban (talk | contribs) (rewording of table mode recommendations, add hint to framed tables)
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< Visuals | Structurals >

ConTeXt has a whole bunch of possibilities to typeset tables. Not each provides everything you may need.

  • Tabulate (tabulation, recommended for simple requirements)
  • TABLE (natural tables, HTML tables, recommended)
  • xtables (extreme tables – mostly compatible to natural tables, better for page breaking)
  • framed tables (for simple tables that span hundreds of pages)

Older ones:

  • Table (TaBlE, deprecated)
  • Tables (multipage TaBlE, deprecated)
  • Linetable ("new" multipage tables, experimental and probably obsolete)

Note that you can use natural and extreme tables with the old Table/Tabulate syntax. (To make this even more confusing...)

If you have simple tables with lots of contents, and you're tired of typing \bTR\bTDs or \NC\NRs, you can also have a look at


FeatureTabulateTable TablesTABLELinetablextables
horizonal lines \HL \HL \HL
unknown yes
vertical lines \VL \VL \VL
unknown yes
multipage yes no yes yes, with split=yes or split=repeat yes, even horizontally yes
repeated header
only one line

yes yes
repeated footer no no

no no yes
automatic fitting to given table width no \SetTableToWidth \SetTableToWidth
unknown default
problems very limited limited
  \VL SomeText
  \VL SomeText
  \VL \AR}
Problem: top margin on
first page is bigger.
there may be problems in width and height calculation and perhaps the multipage features experimental, nearly no documentation very verbose
documentation (except wiki) contextref.pdf, tabl-tbl.mkii, MAPS article ms-cb-en.pdf, tabl-tab.mkii tabl-tab.mkii enattab.pdf, NaturalTables.pdf, tabl-ntb.mkii / tabl-ntb.mkiv tabl-ltb.mkii / tabl-ltb.mkiv xtables-mkiv.pdf, tabl-xtb.lua