A reader wrote to me with some questions about moving tables, and I realized I hadn't done much about tables in this blog. It's high time, of course. Writer tables are a bit different than in MS Word, so it's definitely worth explaining those key differences.
Here's a basic table in Writer. Nothing surprising--you have a header row (optional) with different formatting (by default), and borders on every column and row (by default).
This is the first post, on creating them, moving them, changing width, etc. All the table blogs will be in the new Tables category.
Creating tables is pretty simple. Just choose Insert > Table, or Table > Insert > Table. When you get the following window, just mark your choices. Keep in mind that the number of rows includes the heading row (which you usually want, but not always).
Another approach is to click and hold down on the Table icon shown, in the toolbar at the top of your work area, and just select the layout you want.
Turn On Nonprinting Characters
It's much easier to tell what's going on in text documents, and in tables, if you have nonprinting characters showing. These are mainly the carriage returns, but also spaces (little dots) and tabs (arrows). Choose View > Nonprinting Characters and select it to put a checkmark by it.
The nonprinting characters will appear.
Make Sure You've Got the Table Toolbar
The Table toolbar has a host of goodies to use. Choose View > Toolbars > Table if you don't see it.
Drag it up to be with the rest of the toolbars and release, to dock it, so that it will stay around rather than appearing and disappearing as you click in and out of the table.
What If You Want a Space Above Your Table?
Here's something that happens a lot. You've inserted a table at the top of the document, but now you need text above the table.
All you have to do is click in the upper left corner and press Return.
If you just select a table and its content and press Delete, only the content is deleted. Now, if you just want to delete the content, that's great. But to delete the table, you need to do one of the following:
Select the blank line above the table, as well as the table, and press Delete.
Or select the table, right-click, choose Row > Delete or Column > Delete.
Or select the table, and click the Delete Row or Delete Column icon on the Table toolbar.
Adding Rows or Columns
You can add rows or columns with the icons on the toolbar. Click in the row or column next to where you want to add the row or column, and click the appropriate green icon.
You can also click in the lower right cell of a table and press Tab. You'll get a new row.
If you want to move a table, just cut and paste. Select the whole table, plus the blank line above it. Cut (Ctrl X), then go to where you want the table and paste (Ctrl V).
Changing Column Width Manually
You can drag the column widths to change them, or use the big properties window.
Here's how to drag:
Click in the column that you want to change. You'll see markers on the ruler for the columns.
Move your mouse over the column marker. You'll see the mouse pointer change as shown.
Click and hold down on the column marker and drag it right or left to change width.
Release and the column will have a new width.
To change the right and left margins of the tables, move your mouse over the part of the ruler where it changes from white to gray, and drag as you did to change the column width.
To do this in a window instead, select the table and choose Table > Table Properties. Click the Column tab and type the width values for each column. Click OK.
When this blog continues....more on things like borders and shading, autoformats, automatic column width adjustments, and much more!