Table Plugin

Gives extra control of table display:
  • Sorting
  • Setting visual table properties like border width, cell spacing and cell padding
  • Setting the background color and text color of header cells
  • Setting the background color and text color for data cells, for instance to get an alternating zebra pattern
  • Merging cells (row and col spans)

Table Attributes

Attributes are defined as a TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES preference, or on the line before the table using %TABLE{...}%:

Attributes for tables

Argument Comment Default value Example
tableborder Table border width (pixels). "1" tableborder="2"
tablebordercolor Table border color . Is only visible when cellspacing is larger than 1, or cellborder is 0, or tablerules is none, otherwise the cell borders overlap the table border. unspecified tablebordercolor="#333"
tableframe Table frame, set to "void" (no sides), "above" (the top side only), "below" (the bottom side only), "hsides" (the top and bottom sides only), "lhs" (the left-hand side only), "rhs" (the right-hand side only), "vsides" (the right and left sides only), "box" (all four sides), "border" (all four sides). unspecified tableframe="hsides"
tablerules Table rules, set to "none" (no rules), "groups" (rules will appear between row groups and column groups only), "rows" (rules will appear between rows only), "cols" (rules will appear between columns only), "all" (rules will appear between all rows and columns). See also: headerrules and datarules. unspecified tablerules="rows"
tablewidth Table width: percentage of window width, or absolute pixel value. unspecified tablewidth="100%"
headerrows Number of header rows to exclude from sort. (will be rendered in a HTML thead section) "1" headerrows="1"
footerrows Number of footer rows to exclude from sort. (will be rendered in a HTML tfoot section) "0" footerrows="1"
id Unique table identifier string, used for targeting a table with CSS. tableN (where N is the table order number on the page) id="userTable"
summary Table summary used by screen readers: A summary of what the table presents. It should provide an orientation for someone who listens to the table. unspecified summary="List of subscribed users"
caption Table caption: A title that will be displayed just above the table. unspecified caption="Users"
inlinemarkup Set to "on" to generate inline markup HTML (in addition to the CSS markup); useful if you need to copy the table, for instance to paste the table into an email). unspecified inlinemarkup="on"

Attributes for table sorting

Argument Comment Default value Example
sort Set the table sorting user interface (clickable column headers) "on" or "off". unspecified sort="on"
initsort Column to sort initially (use "1" for the first column). If specified, sorting is enabled; by setting sort="off" the sorting interface can be hidden. unspecified initsort="2"
initdirection Initial sorting direction for initsort, set to "up" (descending, or decreasing in value) or "down" (ascending, or increasing in value). down initdirection="up"
disableallsort Disable all sorting, both initsort and header sort. This is mainly used by plugins such as the EditTablePlugin to disable sorting in a table while editing the table. unspecified disableallsort="on"

Attributes for table cells

Argument Comment Default value Example
cellpadding Cell padding (pixels). unspecified cellpadding="0"
cellspacing Cell spacing (pixels). unspecified cellspacing="3"
cellborder Cell border width (pixels). unspecified cellborder="0"
valign Vertical alignment of cells and headers, set to "top", "middle", "bottom" or "baseline". unspecified valign="top"
columnwidths Column widths: Comma delimited list of column widths, percentage or absolute pixel value. unspecified columnwidths="80%,20%"

Attributes for data cells

Argument Comment Default value Example
datarules Set to "none" (no rules), "rows" (rules will appear between rows only), "cols" (rules will appear between columns only), "all" (rules will appear between all rows and columns). Overrides tablerules for data cells. unspecified datarules="none"
datavalign Vertical alignment of data cells; overrides valign. unspecified datavalign="top"
dataalign Data cell alignment, one value for all columns, or a comma separated list for different alignment of individual columns. Set to "left", "center", "right" or "justify". Overrides individual cell settings. unspecified dataalign="center"
databg Data cell background colour, a comma separated list. Specify "none" for no colour, that is to use the colour/background of the page the table is on. "#edf4f9,#fff" databg="#f2f2f2,#fff"
databgsorted Data cell background colour of a sorted column; see databg. the values of databg databgsorted="#d4e8e4, #e5f5ea"
datacolor Data cell text colour, a comma separated list. unspecified datacolor="#00c, #000"

Attributes for headers

Argument Comment Default value Example
headerrules Set to "none" (no rules), "rows" (rules will appear between rows only), "cols" (rules will appear between columns only), "all" (rules will appear between all rows and columns). Overrides tablerules for header cells. unspecified headerrules="none"
headerbg Header cell background colour. Specify "none" for no colour, that is to use the colour/background of the page the table is on. "#6b7f93" headerbg="#999"
headerbgsorted Header cell background colour of a sorted column. Specify "none" for no colour, that is to use the colour/background of the page the table is on. the value of headerbg headerbgsorted="#32596c"
headercolor Header cell text colour. "#fff" headercolor="#00c"
headervalign Vertical alignment of header cells; overrides valign. unspecified headervalign="top"
headeralign Header cell alignment, one value for all columns, or a comma separated list for different alignment of individual columns. Set to "left", "center", "right" or "justify". Overrides individual cell settings. unspecified headeralign="left,right"
headerrows See: Attributes for tables

Other attributes

Argument Comment Default value Example
include Other topic defining the TABLE parameters. The first %TABLE% in the topic is used. This is useful if you have many topics with the same table format and you want to update the format in one place. Use topic or web.topic notation. unspecified include="Main.WebHome"

Specifying and overriding attributes

Table attributes can be set in different ways. In top down order:
  1. As default preference in Configure.
  2. As preference in a topic: TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES: Set TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES = tableborder="0" cellpadding="1" ...
  3. As parameters to the TABLE macro: %TABLE{ tableborder="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="3" cellborder="0" }%

The preference TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES = ... competely overrides previous preferences (for example in Main.SitePreferences or Configure):
   * Set TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES = cellpadding="0" <<< this will remove previously set preferences and leave only 1 attribute
If you pass %TABLE{...}% parameters, you partially override previously set preferences:
   * %TABLE{datacolor="#f00"}% <<< this will only change the data color attribute

Reserved attributes

The setting disableallsort is normally not used as a TABLE or TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES setting. Plugins such as EditTablePlugin dynamically sets disableallsort to disable sorting while editing a table. For this to work it is important that EditTablePlugin runs before TablePlugin, which is the default. The setting sort can be overwritten by a URL parameter or hidden formfield of the same name. Plugins such as EditTablePlugin can use this to disable table header sorting while in edit mode.


Use of %TABLE{...}%

Line before table:
%TABLE{ sort="on" tableborder="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="3" cellborder="0" headerbg="#D5CCB1" headercolor="#666" databg="#FAF0D4, #F3DFA8" headerrows="2" footerrows="1" }%

Table with two Header Rows and Footer Row
Num Status Action Who WhenSorted ascending Progress
Num Status Action Who When Progress
5   Abc John    
3   Get feedback Anne 1-Feb-02  
2 X Release John 1-Apr-02  
1 C Chose new colours John 1-Dec-02  
12 C Spec error handling Jack 1-Dec-02  


Click on column heading text to sort by a column. Initial column will be sorted in descending order, click again to get ascending order. The type of data in the cell is determined automatically:

  • Date with supported date formats
    • Default Foswiki format
      • 31 Dec 2001 - 23:59
      • 31-Dec-2001 - 23:59
    • Foswiki format without time (defaults to 00:00)
      • 31 Dec 2001
      • 31-Dec-2001
    • Date separated by '/', '.' or '-', time with '.' or ':'
    • Date and time separated by ' ', '.' and/or '-'
      • 2001/12/31 23:59:59
      • 2001.
      • 2001/12/31 23:59
      • 2001.
      • 2001-12-31 23:59
      • 2001-12-31 - 23:59
      • 2009-1-12
      • 2009-1
      • 2009
    • ISO format
      • 2001-12-31T23:59:59
      • 2001-12-31T
    • ISO dates may have a timezone specifier, either Z or a signed difference in hh:mm format. For example:
      • 2001-12-31T23:59:59+01:00
      • 2001-12-31T23:59Z
  • Number is digits, with optional decimal point
  • Otherwise treated as text

If you specify headerrows, then the row with the sort links is the row closest to the data (the last row in the header). If you do not specify headerrows, the first row that has a heading in the first column is the sort row. To sort by the first footer row, set headerrows="0".

Sorting example

NumberSorted ascending Decimal Alpha Date
1 9.9 vwx 01 Jan 1990
2 9.91 stu 31 Dec 1999
3 9.09 pqr 15 Jan 2006

Row spans

Table cells with a single caret indicate follow-up rows of multi-row spans. For example,

| One One | One Two | One Three |
| ^ | Two Two | Two Three |
| Three One | ^ | Three Three |

Results in:
One One One Two One Three
Two Two Two Three
Three One Three Three

Note: Row spans do not work across the header and body boundaries of a table. So it you have a header row, the row cells beneath (in the body section) cannot be merged with the header row cells. Row spans within header cells are possible.

%TABLE{headerrows="2" sort="off"}%
| *One One* | *One Two* | *One Three* |
| ^ | *Two Two* | *Two Three* |
| Two One | Two Two | Two Three |
| Three One | ^ | Three Three |

Results in:
One One One Two One Three
Two Two Two Three
Two One Two Two Two Three
Three One Three Three

Col spans

Col spans can be achieved by writing table cell separators without contents or spacing:
| *Mammals* ||
| Monotremes | Echidna, Platypus |
| Marsupials | Kangaroo, Koala |
| Placentals ||
| Fish (to write) ||

Results in:
Monotremes Echidna, Platypus
Marsupials Kangaroo, Koala
Fish (to write)

TablePlugin Global Settings

You can override the default settings for the plugin by defining the following preferences.

Preference Meaning Default
TABLEPLUGIN_SORT Make all tables in a topic sortable. If this is set to all, all tables that have a header row (including those that do not have %TABLE before them) will be made sortable. If set to none, only tables with %TABLE will be sortable. Topic rendering is faster if this is set to none. all
TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES Default table attributes. These are first defined in Configure, and can be set on site level in Main.SitePreferences, on web level in WebPreferences or on topic level. tableborder="1" valign="top" headercolor="#000000" headerbg="#d6d3cf" headerbgsorted="#c4c1ba" databg="#ffffff,#edf4f9" databgsorted="#f1f7fc,#ddebf6" tablerules="rows" headerrules="cols"

TablePlugin and CSS

Information for programmers.

TablePlugin implements the following precedence:
  • the TABLEATTRIBUTE settings only write html styling, no CSS
  • the TABLEATTRIBUTE settings can be overridden by a skin's CSS
  • the TABLE tag attributes are converted to CSS styling, written in the head; these override any skin's CSS

CSS written by TablePlugin

.foswikiTable The table
.foswikiSortedCol A sorted column
.foswikiSortedAscendingCol Sorted column, ascending
.foswikiSortedDescendingCol Sorted column, descending
.tableSortIcon The sort icon holder (span)
.foswikiFirstCol The first column
.foswikiTableEven Even numbered rows
.foswikiTableOdd Odd numbered rows
.foswikiTableCol + column number Unique column identifier, for instance: foswikiTableCol0
.foswikiTableRow + type + row number Unique row identifier, for instance: foswikiTableRowdataBg0

Images used by TablePlugin

Sort icons in the header are read from DocumentGraphics.
Sort table ascending Sort ascending
Sort table descending Sort descending
Sort table Generic sort button if header label is a link, not a sort link

Plugin Installation Instructions

You do not need to install anything in the browser to use this extension. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the extension on the server.

Open configure, and open the "Extensions" section. Use "Find More Extensions" to get a list of available extensions. Select "Install".

If you have any problems, or if the extension isn't available in configure, then you can still install manually from the command-line. See for more help.

  • Test if the plugin is correctly installed:
    • Check above example if the table renders as expected
    • Try click on heading to sort. Other tables should also be sortable

Plugin Info

Copyright: Copyright (C) 2001-2008 TWiki:Main/JohnTalintyre, Peter Thoeny, and TWiki Contributors; © 2008-2012 Foswiki Contributors
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Version: 1.142
Release: 1.142
Change History:  
28 May 2013 1.142: Foswikitask:Item12480 - memory leak amasses css styles from all visited pages
28 Nov 2012 1.141: Foswikitask:Item12233 - Don't generate table sort links when rendering static html.
06 Apr 2012 1.140: Arthur Clemens: Foswikitask:Item11354 adds warning message when include parameter fails.
10 Jan 2012 1.139: Michael Daum: Foswikitask:Item11423 fixed disabling default table attributes when setting them to the empty string
12 Dec 2011 1.138: George Clark: Foswikitask:Item11350 TablePlugin issues a die if included table is not found.
05 Dec 2011 1.137: Paul Harvey: Foswikitask:Item11331: Further improvements for persistent perls.
24 Oct 2011 1.136: George Clark: Foswikitask:Item8647: TablePlugin generates empty tfoot, even when there are footer rows.
20 Sep 2011 1.135: George Clark: Foswikitask:Item10559: perl errors about non-numeric or uninitialized variables for the URL parameters. Foswikitask:item10971: reload settings in persistent perl environment.
27 Aug 2011 1.134: Arthur Clemens: Foswikitask:Item11083: table should sort if sort is off but initsort has a column number.
17 Jun 2011 1.133: Arthur Clemens: setting databg and headerbg to "none" now makes the cell transparent.
11 Apr 2011 1.132: Version released with Foswiki 1.1.3. Only a minor change related to how the plugin is being upgraded
09 Mar 2011 1.131: Arthur Clemens: fix sorting bug that was not properly fixed in 1.128.
08 Mar 2011 1.130: Michael Daum: Foswikitask:Item10456: fixed initialization in persistent perl environments.
05 Mar 2011 1.129: Arthur Clemens: Foswikitask:Item8302: init sorting is broken if no header row. Foswikitask:Item10016: No rowspan in header rows possible. Foswikitask:Item5864: documentation needs better coverage of spans from header row. Foswikitask:Item8991: header-only table violates XHTML DTD.
04 Mar 2011 1.128: Arthur Clemens: disable sorting if sort="off" is set in TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES.
16 Feb 2011 1.127: Michael Daum: Foswikitask:Item10357: only emit inline css when there's a foswikiTable on the current page
18 Aug 2010 1.126: Paul harvey: Foswikitask:Item9415: minor documentation changes
09 Aug 2010 1.125: Crawford Currie: Foswikitask:Item8303: fixed sorting with multiple headers
31 Jul 2010 1.124: Arthur Clemens: Added attribute inlinemarkup to optionally add HTML markup for better copy/pasting.
05 Apr 2010 1.123: New default colors.
13 Mar 2010 1.122: Arthur Clemens: Fixed sorting of columns with mixed data types: numbers, dates, strings, empty cells.
17 Sep 2009 1.121: Arthur Clemens: Improved documentation for date formats.
17 Sep 2009 1.120: Arthur Clemens: Added include parameter.
16 Sep 2009 1.110: Arthur Clemens: Added attributes headerrules and datarules. Fixed potential bug where Explorer won't render more than 20 table CSS tags. Fix sorting on IP addresses.
13 Sep 2009 1.100: Arthur Clemens: Removed HTML formatting in favor of a pure CSS rendering. Code refactoring and bug fixes:
• Fixed a bug that ignored cellspacing (Foswikitask:Item8270).
• Sorting is now possible with multiple header rows (Foswikitask:Item8122).
• Fixed sorting of dates prior to 1970.
21 Sep 2009 1.043: Kenneth Lavrsen: Added check for valid value for initsort. Ignore if it is not a number.
12 Sep 2009 1.042: Kenneth Lavrsen: Added a new API call initialiseWhenRender which plugins like CompareRevisionsAddOn can use to reset the table counters between two renderings of the same topic
03 Sep 2009 1.041: Kenneth Lavrsen: Fix for crash when cell contains the number 0. Allow sorting of negative numbers even when suffixed with unit. Treat whitespace as zero if pure numerical context.
02 Sep 2009 1.040: Kenneth Lavrsen: Fixed the fix of parsing date-time columns so that plain numbers are not interpreted as dates causing wrong sorting
03 Jun 2009 1.039: Michael Daum: fixed parsing date-time columns
19 Apr 2009 1.038: Removed support for settings in the plugin topic which is a bad idea anyway as they get overwritten at each Foswiki upgrade. Define the global settings in Main.SitePreferences instead.
Fixed an issue where TablePlugin produced invalid css if no 'px' or '%' is passed in a size parameter.
Small refactoring in style attribute handling.
16 Dec 2008 1.037: Foswiki version
30 Sep 2008 1.035: Fix sorting of attachment date column.
03 Aug 2008 1.034: TWiki 4.2.1 release version
20 Mar 2008 1.033: TWikibug:Item5387: allow rowspanned columns to contain HTML tags; otherwise it is impossible to add an invisible anchor to a rowspanned cell
16 Dec 2007 1.030: Kenneth Lavrsen: Fixed the problem of tables being sorted by by TablePlugin while the table is being edited by plugins such as EditTablePlugin. This required adding a new attribute disableallsort so plugins such as EditTablePlugin can temporarily disable all sorting for a table. Additionally the CGI variable (URL parameter or hidden formfield) sort can be set to "off" which disables all header sorting in the topic. This is used by plugins such as EditTablePlugin to disable the sorting by clicking header fields during editing of tables. Ref: TWikibug:Item5135 and TWikibug:Item2690.
03 Dec 2007 Arthur Clemens: Fixed rendering and order of html elements thead, tfoot and tbody; corrected id parameter.
24 Nov 2007 Arthur Clemens: Fixed sorting of columns with only icons; also removed TWiki formatting before sorting.
06 Oct 2007 15180: PTh: Added VarTABLE to have it listed in System.Macros
27 Jun 2007 1.024 - 1.027: Various small bug fixes.
24 Jun 2007 1.023: Arthur Clemens: Inline styles are now written to the head; updated default sort icons (from DocumentGraphics).
23 Jun 2007 1.022: Arthur Clemens: Fixed styling of param tablerules on Internet Explorer.
23 May 2007 1.021: Michael Daum: Fixed css attribute priority to cooperate nicely with skin themes.
27 Dec 2006 1.020: Kenneth Lavrsen: Fixed initsort so all tables can be initsorted and not only the first. When you sort a table by clicking on the header of a column the table gets sorted accordingly. When you click the header of another table the previously sorted table goes back being sorted as specified by initsort.
13 Dec 2006 1.019: Arthur Clemens: Prevent sorting of columns that do no exist.
02 Dec 2006 1.018: Arthur Clemens: Data rows now start with first datacolor and databgcolor.
26 Nov 2006 1.017: Arthur Clemens: Better support for tablerules.
24 Nov 2006 1.016: Arthur Clemens: Added new attribute cellborder.
25 Oct 2006 1.015: Arthur Clemens: Added support for background colors of sorted column. Columns can be unsorted - sorting order is now: sort ascending, sort descending, unsort. Added attributes headervalign and datavalign.
16 Aug 2006 Michael Daum: Added CSS support for even/odd table rows
13 Dec 2005 Arthur Clemens: Added support for id, summary and caption
05 Mar 2005 1.014: Crawford Currie eliminated deprecated handlers for Dakar
01 Aug 2004 Arthur Clemens: Added CSS support for first column and ascending/descending table headers
21 Mar 2004 PTh: Internal change: Fixed reference to unofficial variable
01 Jan 2004 PTh: Alternating data row colors restart again after each header row
01 Dec 2003 PTh: Fixed error when footerrows was specified on an empty table, contributed by TWiki:Main/PaulineCheung
24 May 2003 PTh: New |^| rule for multi row span (TWiki:Main/WalterMundt); added tableframe and tablerules (TWiki:Main/JohannesMartin); ignore columnwidths for multi column span; validate headerrows and footerrows (TWiki:Main/DarrylGreen); fixed link color problem and up/down icon color problem for dark header background
17 Dec 2002 PTh: Removed individual table Plugin settings; added TABLEATTRIBUTES Plugins setting and TABLEATTRIBUTES preferences setting
15 Dec 2002 PTh: Added headerrows and footerrows params (TWiki:Main/DarrylGreen, TWiki:Main/WoutMertens); added tablewidth and columnwidths params (TWiki:Main/ThorstenSommermann)
09 Dec 2002 PTh: Added headercolor and datacolor parameters
05 Jun 2002 PTh: Added "none" value to databg parameter (suggested by TWiki:Main/TaitCyrus); fixed sorting by stripping HTML tags, removing links and making sort ignore case (suggested by TWiki:Main/ShawnBradford)
13 Mar 2002 PTh: Added TWiki:Main/ShawnBradford 's initsort and initdirection
12 Mar 2002 PTh: Added valign, headeralign and dataalign; fixed bug of swapped cellpadding/cellspacing; fixed warning of uninitialized value
05 Jan 2002 PTh: Fixed sorting bug of cells with leading white space
06 Dec 2001 PTh: Fixed date sorting bug
03 Dec 2001 PTh: Fixed sort="off" bug and more
29 Nov 2001 PTh: Fixed Perl warnings
16 Nov 2001 PTh: Added table border, cell spacing, cell padding, gif files
07 Oct 2001 JT: Initial version
Plugin Home:
Topic revision: r1 - 21 Sep 2011, ProjectContributor

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