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guideTables

The Table feature offers table creation and editing tools that help content authors bring tabular data into their documents.

# Demo

The ultimate table of coffee drinks:

Espresso Milk Water
Steamed Foam
Cappuccino yes yes yes no
Macchiato yes no yes no
Latte yes yes no no
Americano yes no no yes

# Installation

This feature is enabled by default in all builds. The installation instructions are for developers interested in building their own, custom rich text editor.

To add this feature to your editor, install the @ckeditor/ckeditor5-table package:

npm install --save @ckeditor/ckeditor5-table

Then add Table and TableToolbar plugins to your plugin list and configure the table toolbar:

import Table from '@ckeditor/ckeditor5-table/src/table';
import TableToolbar from '@ckeditor/ckeditor5-table/src/tabletoolbar';

ClassicEditor
    .create( document.querySelector( '#editor' ), {
        plugins: [ Table, TableToolbar, Bold, ... ],
        toolbar: [ 'insertTable', ... ],
        table: {
            contentToolbar: [ 'tableColumn', 'tableRow', 'mergeTableCells' ]
        }
    } )
    .then( ... )
    .catch( ... );

# Block vs inline content in table cells

The table feature allows creating block content (like paragraphs, lists, headings, etc.) in table cells. However, if a table cell contains just one paragraph and this paragraph has no special attributes (like text alignment), this cell content is considered “inline” and the paragraph is not rendered.

This means that a table cell can be in two states: with inline content or with block content. The reason for this differentiation is that most tables contain only inline content (e.g. in the demo above) and it is common for “data tables” to not contain any block content. In such scenario, printing out <p> elements would be semantically incorrect and also unnecessary. There are, however, scenarios where the user wants to create, for example, a list inside the table and then support for block content is necessary, too.

“Rendering” here means the view layer. In the model a cell is always filled with at least a <paragraph>. It is because of consistency, as since a cell always has some block content, the text is never directly inside <tableCell>. This also allows features like Enter support to work out of the box (since a <paragraph> exists in the model, it can be split despite the fact that it is not present in the view).

# Inline content

The following is the model representation of table cells with inline content only (a single <paragraph> inside):

<table>
    <tableRow>
        <tableCell>
            <paragraph>Foo</paragraph>
        </tableCell>
        <tableCell>
            <paragraph>Bar</paragraph>
        </tableCell>
    </tableRow>
</table>

The above model structure will be rendered to the data as:

<figure class="table">
    <table>
        <tbody>
            <tr>
                <td>Foo</td>
                <td>Bar</td>
            </tr>
        </tbody>
    </table>
</figure>

In the editing view (the editable container in which the user edits the content) additional <span> elements are created to compensate for the hidden <paragraph> elements:

<figure class="table">
    <table>
        <tbody>
            <tr>
                <td><span>Foo</span></td>
                <td><span>Bar</span></td>
            </tr>
        </tbody>
    </table>
</figure>

# Block content

If a table cell contains any other block content than a single <paragraph> with no attributes, these block elements will be rendered.

The following is a sample table with some block content (model representation):

<table>
    <tableRow>
        <tableCell>
            <paragraph>Foo</paragraph>
            <paragraph>Bar</paragraph>
        </tableCell>
        <tableCell>
            <heading1>Some title</heading1>
        </tableCell>
        <tableCell>
            <paragraph textAlign="right">Baz</paragraph>
        </tableCell>
    </tableRow>
</table>

The above model structure will be rendered to the data and to the editing view as:

<figure class="table">
    <table>
        <tbody>
            <tr>
                <td>
                    <p>Foo</p>
                    <p>Bar</p>
                </td>
                <td>
                    <h2>Some title</h2>
                </td>
                <td>
                    <p style="text-align: right;">Baz</p>
                </td>
            </tr>
        </tbody>
    </table>
</figure>

At the moment it is not possible to completely disallow block content in tables. See the discussion on GitHub about adding a configuration option that would enable that. 👍 if you need this feature.

# Common API

The Table plugin registers the following UI components:

  • The 'insertTable' dropdown.
  • The 'tableColumn' dropdown.
  • The 'tableRow' dropdown.
  • The 'mergeTableCells' dropdown.

And the following commands:

Command name Implemented by
'insertTable' InsertTableCommand
'insertTableColumnLeft' InsertColumnCommand
'insertTableColumnRight' InsertColumnCommand
'insertTableRowAbove' InsertRowCommand
'insertTableRowBelow' InsertRowCommand
'removeTableColumn' RemoveColumnCommand
'removeTableRow' RemoveRowCommand
'setTableColumnHeader' SetHeaderColumnCommand
'setTableRowHeader' SetHeaderRowCommand
'mergeTableCellRight' MergeCellCommand
'mergeTableCellLeft' MergeCellCommand
'mergeTableCellUp' MergeCellCommand
'mergeTableCellDown' MergeCellCommand
'splitTableCellVertically' SplitCellCommand
'splitTableCellHorizontally' SplitCellCommand

The TableToolbar plugin introduces two balloon toolbars for tables.

  • The content toolbar shows up when table cell is selected and is anchored to the table. It is possible to configure its content. Normally, it contains the table-related tools such as 'tableColumn', 'tableRow', and 'mergeTableCells' dropdowns.
  • The table toolbar shows up when the whole table is selected, for instance using the widget handler. It is possible to configure its content.

We recommend using the official CKEditor 5 inspector for development and debugging. It will give you tons of useful information about the state of the editor such as internal data structures, selection, commands, and many more.

# Contribute

The source code of the feature is available on GitHub in https://github.com/ckeditor/ckeditor5-table.