Table editing mode

Dmitry Shachnev edited this page Feb 11, 2017 · 3 revisions

The idea of table editing mode is that even though you may generate nice output in lots of different formats, it is still useful to have nice-looking input as well. This not only helps during editing, but also when you are forced to look at the input text, for instance when you are merging two versions of the input file in your version control system.

So instead of writing a table like this:

| Item | Value |
| -------- | -----:|
| Computer | $1600 |
| Phone | $12 |
| Pipe | $1 |

It would be preferable to make it look like this:

| Item     | Value |
| -------- | -----:|
| Computer | $1600 |
| Phone    | $12   |
| Pipe     | $1    |

Unfortunately there's a cost to keeping tables nicely formatted like this. For instance if you were to replace the word "Computer" with "Personal computer" later, then the table would no longer be nicely formatted and you would have to make the cells on all other lines wider to fix it.

| Item     | Value |
| -------- | -----:|
| Personal computer | $1600 |
| Phone    | $12   |
| Pipe     | $1    |

Table mode does this for you. If you turn it on and a cell is made wider because you type in more text, all other rows are adapted to match. Similarly cells are made smaller when deleting text, but no smaller than the text in the other rows allows.

| Item              | Value |
| ----------------- | -----:|
| Personal computer | $1600 |
| Phone             | $12   |
| Pipe              | $1    |

Of course this feature will only help you if you are using a monospaced font in the editor. The editor font can be changed from the Edit menu.

Pressing Enter in the table editing mode will create a new row, and pressing Shift+Enter will in addition insert a separator line (useful in reStructuredText and for separating the headers from the body in Markdown).

You can enable the Table editing mode from the Edit menu.

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