Tables are a problem, what is a good alternative?

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    There are lots of things that are well presented in a table format. WordPress doesn’t like tables. By working real hard you can cajole it into presenting tables but they generally are not pretty and it isn’t easy.

    The ‘best’ suggestion I have seen so far in the FAQs is that you capture the table as a jpg and post that. I presume that a pdf would work also. Both are unwieldy.

    So, can anyone suggest a text based format for presenting tabular data that wordpress would present neatly?




    A PDF will not work, as it is not displayed.

    Hand-coding a table is your best bet if that’s what you need. If you’re not thrilled at the possibility, you might try re-working your data so it can be presented as lists, and just using the list functions.


    If you search for “html table maker” (without the quotes) in a search engine, there are several online table makers that will produce the basic code for you. I’ve used this one and had good results.

    Here is a good site to learn more about html tables:



    Windows Live Writer makes tables with no effort. The code can be copied into the code tab here.



    easiest is to convert the table into an image then upload the image.



    whoops didn’t see that you read the faq about that. =P



    I never had any problem with tables on, I use a styled one for my themes reviews and it works properly. You only have to care about proper nesting of the html tags, so it is better to use an offline html code editor, and copy/paste the html using the plain code editor on the blog.



    I tried using Kompozer to create tables and pasted the code into the code editor. The results were, at best, unsatisfactory. Any parameter that was not explicitly set could be expected to fall apart, and if the table did not fall apart, the theme did. Spacing, cell size, padding, borders, fonts, … everything comes out different. And if you make the table too wide it either blows the right hand sidebar away, writes overtop it, or, if a left sidebar, extends off the right side of the screen with no scrollbar.

    isadora, perhaps you could explain to me the specifics of “I use a styled one”.

    raincoaster, lists would work … if columns worked. Only way I know to get independent columns is … tables. Probably a CSS way but I haven’t learned it and I get the impression that CSS support is limited in WP unless you pay the extra fee.

    Perhaps pure ignorance on my part, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :-)


    I’ve used and it works well for the basic table structure, but you will almost always have to edit it in code view or a code editor to get it just the way you want it. All the online table generators do is create the basic structure for you. If you need to merge cells and other “fancy” stuff than you will have to do it by hand.



    OK, I explain: I use fancy borders, background colors, cellspacing and padding an so on. But I build them by hand with a plain text editor (UltraEdit on Win, BBEdit on Mac), so that I have the full control on formatting. Copying and pasting from a wysiwyg tool is usually the most direct way to failure, also because most of those tools (including the expensive ones) create badly-formed code.

    If I can suggest something: start with a simple table with the number of rows and cells you need, then modify one item at a time, save and preview: this way you will very soon have a feeling for the code and the possibilities you have. CSS support works fine, if you know how to work with it, and the best way to learn is to try.

    Oh, I almost forgot: for lists you only have to use lists, you don’t need tables. The code for lists is:

    <li>My first list item</li>
    <li>My second list item</li>
    <li>and so on...</li>

    and if you want a numbered list just use ol instead of ul. Not that difficult, is it?



    I make tables in Google Docs these days, then paste the html into WordPress.



    The Google Docs recommendation was spot on! Thanks so much for the easy fix.



    Google docs worked for me too. I simply switched to code and pasted into code. Got color and borders for a 2 X 14 table.



    Google docs was a fantastic suggestion. Ideally, if anyone knows of a great simple but strong HTML editor, that would be a handy wordpress companion.


    Hey Sacredpath, thanks for that link! I’ve always made tables from scratch with basic HTML, but that generator makes things much easier. Doing it by code isn’t so bad, except when you’re trying to figure out the code for the color you want. So, thanks.


    You’re very welcome. It certainly quicker than coding it by hand and gives you a good starting place.

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