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Introduction

In West Wing Wiki you can create a table by using the HTML code. However, West Wing Wiki offers a simpler way to create a table. If you have a table in HTML that you want to convert to a wiki-table, please refer to the Wiki-Table generators.

Pipe syntax tutorial

The Wiki table using the | or pipe sign as a way to create a table. Below is an example and explanation of how to create a table.

  • The entire table is encased with curly brackets and a vertical bar character (a pipe). So use {| to begin a table, and |} to end it. Each one needs to be on its own line:
{|
  table code goes here
|}
  • An optional table caption is included with a line starting with a vertical bar and plus sign "|+" and the caption after it:
{|
|+ caption
  table code goes here
|}
  • To start a new table row, type a vertical bar and a dash on its own line: "|-". The codes for the cells in that row will start on the next line.
{|
|+ The table's caption
|-
  cell code goes here
|-
  cell code goes here
|}
  • Type the codes for each table cell in the next row, starting with a bar:
{|
|+ The table's caption
|-
| cell codes go here
|-
| cells in the next row go here
| more cells in the same row here
|}
  • Cells can be separated with either a new line and new bar, or by a double bar "||" on the same line. Both produce the same output:
{|
|+ The table's caption
|-
|Cell 1 || Cell 2 || Cell 3
|-
|Cell A 
|Cell B
|Cell C
|}
  • a row of column headings is identified by using "!" instead of "|", and using "!!" instead of "||". Header cells typically render differently than regular cells, depending on the browser. They are often rendered in a bold font and centered.
{|
|+ The table's caption
! Column heading 1 !! Column heading 2 !! Column heading 3
|-
|Cell 1 || Cell 2 || Cell 3
|-
|Cell A
|Cell B
|Cell C
|}
  • the first cell of a row is identified as row heading by starting the line with "!" instead of "|", and starting subsequent data cells on a new line.
{|
|+ The table's caption
! Column heading 1 !! Column heading 2 !! Column heading 3
|-
! Row heading 1 
| Cell 2 || Cell 3
|-
! Row heading A 
|Cell B
|Cell C
|}
  • Optional parameters can modify the behavior of cells, rows, or the entire table. For instance, a border could be added to the table:
{| border="1"
|+ The table's caption
! Column heading 1 !! Column heading 2 !! Column heading 3
|-
! Row heading 1
| Cell 2 || Cell 3
|-
! Row heading A
|Cell B ||Cell C
|}

The final table would display like this:

The table's caption
Column heading 1 Column heading 2 Column heading 3
Row heading 1 Cell 2 Cell 3
Row heading A Cell B Cell C

The table parameters and cell parameters are the same as in HTML, see [1] and HTML element#Tables.

A table can be useful even if none of the cells have content. For example, the background colors of cells can be changed with cell parameters, making the table into a diagram, like m:Template talk:Square 8x8 pentomino example. An "image" in the form of a table is much more convenient to edit than an uploaded image.

Each row must have the same number of cells as the other rows, so that the number of columns in the table remains consistent (unless there are cells which span several columns or rows, see colspan and rowspan in Mélange example below). For empty cells, use the non-breaking space &nbsp; as content to ensure that the cells are displayed. To show a visible pipe in a cell, use <nowiki>|</nowiki> or &#124;.

Examples

Simple example

Both of these generate the same output. Choose a style based on the amount of cells in each row and the total text inside each cell. Wiki markup

{| 
| Cell 1, row 1 
| Cell 2, row 1 
|- 
| Cell 1, row 2 
| Cell 2, row 2 
|}
{| 
| Cell 1, row 1 || Cell 2, row 1 
|- 
| Cell 1, row 2 || Cell 2, row 2 
|}

What it looks like in your browser

Cell 1, row 1 Cell 2, row 1
Cell 1, row 2 Cell 2, row 2

Multiplication table

Wiki markup

{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
|+Multiplication table
|-
! &times; !! 1 !! 2 !! 3
|-
! 1
| 1 || 2 || 3
|-
! 2
| 2 || 4 || 6
|-
! 3
| 3 || 6 || 9
|-
! 4
| 4 || 8 || 12
|-
! 5
| 5 || 10 || 15
|}

What it looks like in your browser

Multiplication table
× 1 2 3
1 1 2 3
2 2 4 6
3 3 6 9
4 4 8 12
5 5 10 15

Color; scope of parameters

Two ways of specifying color of text and background for a single cell are as follows. The first form is preferred: Wiki markup

{| 
| style="background:red; color:white" | abc
| def
| bgcolor="red" | <font color="white"> ghi </font>
| jkl
|}

What it looks like in your browser

abc def ghi jkl

Like other parameters, colors can also be specified for a whole row or the whole table; parameters for a row override the value for the table, and those for a cell override those for a row: Wiki markup

{| style="background:yellow; color:green"
|- 
| abc
| def
| ghi
|- style="background:red; color:white"
| jkl
| mno
| pqr
|-
| stu
| style="background:silver" | vwx
| yz
|}

What it looks like in your browser

abc def ghi
jkl mno pqr
stu vwx yz

To make the table blend in with the background, use style="background:none". (Warning: style="background:inherit", does not work with some browsers, including IE6!)

Width, height

The width and height of the whole table can be specified, as well as the height of a row. To specify the width of a column one can specify the width of an arbitrary cell in it. If the width is not specified for all columns, and/or the height is not specified for all rows, then there is some ambiguity, and the result depends on the browser. Wiki markup

{| style="width:75%; height:200px" border="1"
|- 
| abc
| def
| ghi
|- style="height:100px" 
| jkl
| style="width:200px" |mno
| pqr
|-
| stu
| vwx
| yz
|}

What it looks like in your browser

abc def ghi
jkl mno pqr
stu vwx yz

Note that style="inline CSS" has no effect with some browsers. If it's important equivalent older constructs like width="75%" should work on more browsers.

Setting your column widths

If you wish to force column widths to your own requirements, rather than accepting the width of the widest text element in a column's cells, then follow this example. Note that wrap-around of text is forced.

{| border="1" cellpadding="2"
!width="50"|Name
!width="225"|Effect
!width="225"|Games Found In
|-
|Pokeball
|Regular Pokeball
|All Versions
|-
|Great Ball
|Better than a Pokeball
|All Versions
|}

Name Effect Games Found In
Pokeball Regular Pokeball All Versions
Great Ball Better than a Pokeball All Versions

Positioning

One can position the table itself, and all contents in a row, and contents in a cell, but not with a single parameter all contents in the table, see m:Template talk:Table demo. Do not, under any circumstances, use "float" to position a table. It will break page rendering at large font sizes.

Mélange

Here's a more advanced example, showing some more options available for making up tables. You can play with these settings in your own table to see what effect they have. Not all of these techniques may be appropriate in all cases; just because you can add colored backgrounds, for example, doesn't mean it's always a good idea. Try to keep the markup in your tables relatively simple -- remember, other people are going to be editing the article too! This example should give you an idea of what is possible, though. Wiki markup

{| border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0" align="center"
|+'''An example table'''
|-
! style="background:#efefef;" | First header
! colspan="2" style="background:#ffdead;" | Second header
|-
| upper left
|  
| rowspan=2 style="border-bottom:3px solid grey;" valign="top" |
right side
|-
| style="border-bottom:3px solid grey;" | lower left
| style="border-bottom:3px solid grey;" | lower middle
|-
| colspan="3" align="center" |
{| border="0"
|+''A table in a table''
|-
| align="center" width="150px" | [[Image:wiki.png]]
| align="center" width="150px" | [[Image:wiki.png]]
|-
| align="center" colspan="2" style="border-top:1px solid red; border-right:1px
          solid red; border-bottom:2px solid red; border-left:1px solid red;" |
Two Wikipedia logos
|}
|}

What it looks like in your browser

An example table
First header Second header
upper left  

right side

lower left lower middle
A table in a table
Wiki Wiki

Two Wikipedia logos

Floating table

Wiki markup

This paragraph is before the table.  Lorem ipsum ...
{| align="right" border="1"
| Col 1, row 1 
|rowspan="2"| Col 2, row 1 (and 2) 
| Col 3, row 1 
|- 
| Col 1, row 2 
| Col 3, row 2 
|}
Note the floating table to the right.   This paragraph is after the table.  Lorem ipsum ...

What it looks like in your browser

This paragraph is before the table. Lorem ipsum ...

Col 1, row 1 Col 2, row 1 (and 2) Col 3, row 1
Col 1, row 2 Col 3, row 2

Note the floating table to the right. This paragraph is after the table. Lorem ipsum ...

Nested tables

This shows one table (in blue) nested inside another table's cell2. Nested tables have to start on a new line. Wiki markup

{| border="1"
| &alpha;
| align="center" | cell2
{| border="2" style="background-color:#ABCDEF;"
| NESTED
|-
| TABLE
|}
| valign="top" | the original table again
|}

What it looks like in your browser

α cell2
NESTED
TABLE
the original table again

Combined use of COLSPAN and ROWSPAN

Wiki markup

{| border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"
|-
! Column 1 || Column 2 || Column 3
|-
| rowspan="2"| A
| colspan="2" align="center"| B
|-
| C
| D
|-
| E
| colspan="2" align="center"| F
|- 
| rowspan="3"| G
| H
| I
|- 
| J
| K
|-
| colspan="2" align="center"| L
|}

What it looks like in your browser

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
A B
C D
E F
G H I
J K
L

Centering tables

Centered tables can be achieved, but they will not "float"; that is to say, no text will appear to either side. The trick is {| style="margin: 1em auto 1em auto"

Wiki markup

{| class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto 1em auto"
|+ '''Cells left-aligned, table centered'''
! Duis || aute || irure
|-
| dolor  || in reprehenderit || in voluptate velit
|-
| esse cillum dolore || eu fugiat nulla || pariatur.
|}

What it looks like in your browser

Cells left-aligned, table centered
Duis aute irure
dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit
esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Setting parameters

At the start of a cell, add your parameter followed by a single pipe. For example width=300px| will set that cell to a width of 300 pixels. To set more than one parameter, leave a space between each one.

Wiki markup

{| style="color:white"
|-
| bgcolor="red"|cell1 || width="300" bgcolor="blue"|cell2 || bgcolor="green"|cell3
|}

What it looks like in your browser

cell1 cell2 cell3

Decimal point alignment

A method to get columns of numbers aligned at the decimal point is as follows: Wiki markup

{| cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"
|align="right"| 432 || .1
|-
|align="right"| 43 || .21
|-
|align="right"| 4 || .321
|}

What it looks like in your browser

432 .1
43 .21
4 .321

If the column of numbers appears in a table with cell padding or cell spacing, one can still align the decimal points without an unsightly gap in the middle. Embed a table in each number's cell and specify its column widths. Make the embedded tables' column widths the same for each cell in the column. (If decimal points are still misaligned using this method, the main table's column may be too narrow. Add a parameter to increase the column's width.) Wiki markup

{|border="1" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="2" width="72"
|
{|cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"
|align="right" width="50%"| 432 ||width="50%"| .1
|}
|-
|
{|cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"
|align="right" width="50%"| 43 ||width="50%"| .21
|}
|-
|
{|cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"
|align="right" width="50%"| 4 ||width="50%"| .321
|}
|}

What it looks like in your browser

432 .1
43 .21
4 .321

In simple cases one can dispense with the table feature and simply start the lines with a space, and put spaces to position the numbers:

432.1
 43.21
  4.321

Style classes

Some users have created CSS classes and templates to make table styles easier. Instead of remembering table parameters, you just include an appropriate style class after the {|. This helps keep table formatting consistent, and can allow a single change to the class to fix a problem or enhance the look of all the tables that are using it at once. For instance, this:

{| border="1" cellpadding="2"
|+Multiplication table
|-
! &times; !! 1 !! 2 !! 3
|-
! 1
| 1 || 2 || 3
|-
! 2
| 2 || 4 || 6
|-
! 3
| 3 || 6 || 9
|-
! 4
| 4 || 8 || 12
|-
! 5
| 5 || 10 || 15
|}
 

Multiplication table
× 1 2 3
1 1 2 3
2 2 4 6
3 3 6 9
4 4 8 12
5 5 10 15
becomes this:
{| class="wikitable"
|+Multiplication table
|-
! &times; !! 1 !! 2 !! 3
|-
! 1
| 1 || 2 || 3
|-
! 2
| 2 || 4 || 6
|-
! 3
| 3 || 6 || 9
|-
! 4
| 4 || 8 || 12
|-
! 5
| 5 || 10 || 15
|}
 

Multiplication table
× 1 2 3
1 1 2 3
2 2 4 6
3 3 6 9
4 4 8 12
5 5 10 15

simply by replacing the parameters of the table (border="1" cellpadding="2" or the like) with class="wikitable" This is because the wikitable class in MediaWiki:Common.css contains a number of table.wikitable CSS style rules. These are all applied at once when you mark a table with the class. You can then add additional style rules if desired. These override the class's rules, allowing you to use the class style as a base and build up on it: Wiki markup

{| class="wikitable" style="font-style:italic; font-size:120%; border:3px dashed red;"
|+Multiplication table
|-
! &times; !! 1 !! 2 !! 3
|-
! 1
| 1 || 2 || 3
|-
! 2
| 2 || 4 || 6
|-
! 3
| 3 || 6 || 9
|-
! 4
| 4 || 8 || 12
|-
! 5
| 5 || 10 || 15
|}

What it looks like in your browser

Multiplication table
× 1 2 3
1 1 2 3
2 2 4 6
3 3 6 9
4 4 8 12
5 5 10 15

Notice that the table retains the gray background of the wikitable class, and the headers are still bold and centered. But now the text formatting has been overridden by the local style statement; all of the text in the table has been made italic and 120% normal size, and the wikitable border has been replaced by the red dashed border.

Tables are a great way to organize and display data. They can be created in the VisualEditor, by using wikitext, and in the classic editor's visual mode.

It is important to carefully consider what tables are truly meant to do and use them primarily for displaying data.

In the VisualEditor

The VisualEditor offers a simple experience of creating a table.

  1. Open a page in the VisualEditor.
  2. Under the insert dropdown, choose table.
    Adding table in VisualEditor

    4x4 appears after inserting table

  3. A 4 X 4 grid will appear. Click on a cell and enter either your label or your data.
  4. If you want to expand or contract the grid, click on arrows surrounding the table and you'll get a dropdown that will offer you the chance alter the structure of your table.
    VE-TableControls

    Hit the arrows to make a change

  5. Hit Save page when ready to publish.

In source mode

For advanced editors, editing tables in source mode can allow greater manipulation of table content. Wikitext is, in many ways, just shortcut for HTML. If you're familiar with HTML, you probably already know how to build a wikitext table. Here's a chart that will help you understand the connection between wikitext and HTML:

Description You type
Begin table
(equivalent to <table>)
{|
Begin table row
(equivalent to <tr>)
|-
Table header (part of a row; equivalent to <th>) ! or !!
Table cell (part of a row; equivalent to <td>) | or ||
End table
(equivalent to </table>)
|}

More advanced wikitext is described in the Help:Tables/Wikitext page.

In the classic editor's visual mode

To create a table using the classic editor's visual mode, click on the table button on the right rail. Table button

Edit toolbar table highlighted

Click the table button

  1. In edit mode, click on the table button under the Insert section of the editing toolbar.
  2. A pop-up box will appear, allowing you to choose the parameters you want for your table.
    Table properties

    Create your table

  3. Once you click OK, a table will appear in your text. You can now input content.
  4. Should you need to change the table parameters, simply right click, and make the needed changes.
    Table editor

    Right click to edit

Best practices with tables

Although tables can be used for design, they shouldn't be. The results on mobile devices are awkward because tables aren't very responsive. That is, on different sized displays, tables look different—and often are ugly. Throw pictures into tables and the results can easily become unreadable on a phone. And if you're making whole pages or sections of articles out of tables, it'd probably be good to rethink that strategy.

Instead, as has been argued since at least 2004, tables should be about data only.

Here are some specific things to consider when using tables:

  • As you increase the number of columns, you increase the chances that your table isn't going to display correctly on a mobile device. Think carefully about whether you need all those columns.
  • Some games use icons liberally, meaning there's a case to be made that icons are necessary and often helpful. If you run a wiki like this, make sure all the images you use in your tables are cut to the same size, and make that size no larger than you need them to be. Anything much above 25px widths could bring problems. Additionally, make sure to use text adjacent to the icons, so those unfamiliar with what the icons mean will understand.
  • It's very common for wikis to make notices on the top of pages—things like {{delete}}—using table markup. These are typically problematic on phones, and most readers on mobile devices don't care about them. You can skirt the issue by making sure they have a template type of Notice.
  • Similar to the above, it is very common for wikis to make navigation boxes (Navboxes) that provide links to related articles at the end of articles using table markup. Ensure that these have the template type Navbox.
  • Always check what your table looks like on a phone.

Further help and feedback

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