Working with Tables

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This is Chapter 9 of the 3 Writer Guide, produced by the OOoAuthors group. A PDF of this chapter is available from this wiki page. The PDFs are up to date for the second edition of the book, and the wiki pages for this chapter have been updated.


Tables are a useful way to organize and present large amounts of information, for example:

  • Technical, financial, or statistical reports
  • Product catalogs showing descriptions, prices, characteristics, and photographs of products
  • Bills or invoices
  • Lists of names with address, age, profession, and other information

Tables can often be used as an alternative to spreadsheets to organize materials. A well-designed table can help readers understand better what you are saying. While you would normally use tables for text or numbers, you could put other objects, such as pictures, in cells.

Tables can also be used as a page-layout tool to position text in areas of a document instead of using several Tab characters. For example, the descriptions under the Table Toolbar(in the PDF version of this chapter) were created in a table with invisible borders. Another, perhaps better example would be in headers and footers to support independent positioning of different elements, such as page number, document title etc. This use of tables is described in Chapter 4 (Formatting Pages).

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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