Tables Overview

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Many possibilities for tables typesetting

ConTeXt has a whole bunch of possibilities to typeset tables. Not each provides everything Features you may need.

Floating objects enable to place and number tables, like graphics.

  • Recommended

    • Tabulate (tabulation, recommended for simple requirements)
    • TABLE (natural tables, HTML tables, recommended)
    • xtables (extreme tables – mostly compatible to natural tables, better for page breaking)
    • framed tables (for simple tables that span hundreds of pages)
  • Deprecated

    • Table (TaBlE, deprecated)
    • Tables (multipage TaBlE, deprecated)

    Experimental

    • Linetable ("new" multipage tables, experimental and probably obsolete)


Note that you can use natural and extreme tables with the old Table/Tabulate syntax. (To make this even more confusing...)

If you have simple tables with lots of contents, and you're tired of typing \bTR\bTDs or \NC\NRs, you can also have a look at:

Features

Feature TabulateTable/Tables TABLExtablesLinetableframedtable
horizonal lines \HL \HL
\setupTABLE
[topframe=on]
or
\setupTABLE
[bottomframe=on]
\setupxtable[...]
unknown yes
vertical lines \VL \VL
\setupTABLE
[leftframe=on]
or
\setupTABLE
[rightframe=on]
\setupxtable[...]
unknown yes
multipage yes no / yes (tables) yes, with split=yes or split=repeat vertically yes, horizontally not but planned yes, even horizontally yes
repeated header
\setuptabulate
[header=repeat]
\starttabulatehead
...
\stoptabulatehead
only one line
tables only:
\setuptables
  [split=repeat]

\starttablehead
...
\stoptablehead
\bTABLE
[split=repeat]
\bTABLEhead
...
\eTABLEhead
yes yes yes
repeated footer no tables only:
\setuptables
  [split=repeat]

\starttabletail
...
\stoptabletail
no? yes no unknown
automatic fitting to given table width no \SetTableToWidth
\setupTABLE
[option=stretch,
 textwidth=10cm]
yes default unknown
problems very limited some limitations, problems with spacing
\starttext
\starttablehead
  \HL
\stoptablehead
\starttables[|l|l|]
\dorecurse{50}{%
  \VL SomeText
  \VL SomeText
  \VL \AR}
\stoptables
Problem: top margin on
first page is bigger.
\stoptext
there may be problems in width and height calculation and perhaps the multipage features very verbose lack of documentation, just experimental limitations, lack of documentation
documentation (except wiki) contextref.pdf, tabl-tbl.mkii, MAPS article ms-cb-en.pdf, tabl-tab.mkii enattab.pdf, NaturalTables.pdf, tabl-ntb.mkii / tabl-ntb.mkiv xtables-mkiv.pdf, tabl-xtb.lua tabl-ltb.mkii / tabl-ltb.mkiv ?