Help:Basic table markup

This help page describes basic wiki markup for tables. For a more extensive guide please see Help:Table.

Introduction[edit]

The markup for a basic table is the following. All this markup must start on a new line, except for !! and ||.

{|

Table start It is required: it opens a table

|+

Table caption Optional: it adds a caption.

|-

Table row It is optional on the first row, but otherwise required: it seperates rows.

!

Header cell Cells may start on new lines, each beginning with its own single mark. Cell contents may also be put on the next line beneath this.

!!

Header cells on the same line Cells may be added on same lines separated by double marks.

|

Data cell Cells may start on new lines, each beginning with its own single mark. Cell contents may also be put on the next line beneath this. It is also used to separate HTML attributes from cell contents (both data or header), or caption contents: see below.

||

Data cells on the same line Cells may be added on same lines separated by double marks.

|}

Table end It is required: it closes a table.

Example table[edit]

{| class="wikitable" |+ Caption: example table |- ! header1 ! header2 ! header3 |- | row1cell1 | row1cell2 | row1cell3 |- | row2cell1 | row2cell2 | row2cell3 |} 

This would produce:

Caption: example table
header1 header2 header3
row1cell1 row1cell2 row1cell3
row2cell1 row2cell2 row2cell3

{| opens a table, and |} closes it. class="wikitable" is used with a lot of tables on Wikipedia, and adds some standard formatting, and follows on the same line as {|.

|+ Caption: example table adds the caption "Caption: example table" to the top of the table. The caption is optional.

Columns headers are created by ! column name. Cells are created by | cell text. The divider between rows is |-. You can add an extra column by just sticking ! new column name at the end of the last column name. To fill the cells in that column, you need to add another cell to each row: fill it by typing | cell text. If you want to add an extra row, just add |- to the table, and fill it with however many cells are appropriate.

The important thing to note is that there must be an equal number of cells on each line (unless overridden by rowspan or colspan, see below).

Blank spaces at the beginning of a line are ignored. Thus |row1cell1 and | row1cell1 are identical. To add a pipe (|) character into cell contents, you need to use the <nowiki> markup.

Using double marks with tables[edit]

The above markup must start on a new line. This includes the cell markup (| and !). But the double cell markup (|| and !!) can optionally be used for adding consecutive cells to a single line.

For example, this would produce the same table as above:

{| class="wikitable" |+ Caption: example table |- ! header1 !! header2 !! header3 |- | row1cell1 || row1cell2 || row1cell3 |- | row2cell1 || row2cell2 || row2cell3 |} 

Columm and row header cells[edit]

Header cells may be column or row header cells. For example, the following table has both:

{| class="wikitable" |+ Caption: example table |- ! ! columnheader1 ! columnheader2 |- ! rowheader1 | row1cell1 | row1cell2 |- ! rowheader2 | row2cell1 | row2cell2 |} 

Which produces:

Caption: example table
columnheader1 columnheader2
rowheader1 row1cell1 row1cell2
rowheader2 row2cell1 row2cell2

HTML attributes[edit]

HTML attributes are often needed to be added to tables for various reasons. Attributes take the basic form:

attribute="value"

Multiple attributes can be applied by repeating this, like attribute1="value1" attribute2="value2"

Important points to realize:

  • All table markup, except table end (|}), optionally accepts one or more attributes on the same line.
  • Cell markup (|, ||, !, !!) and caption markup (|+) hold content. So separate any attributes from content with a single pipe (|), even when cell content is on a new line, which is permissible.
  • Table and row markup ({| and |-) do not directly hold content. Therefore, do not add a pipe (|) after any attributes.

Adding HTML attributes to cells and captions[edit]

This is how to cell contents, including header cell contents, and also captions.

Cells hold content, e.g. row1cell1. The markup for cells and captions are: |, ||, !, !! and |+. Attributes need to be kept separate from cell content or captions with a single pipe (|). Cell content or captions may follow on the same line, or on a following line.

So attributes can be inserted like this:

| attribute="value" | row1cell1 | attribute="value" | row1cell2 | attribute="value" | row1cell3 

Where attribute="value" indicates one or more attribute, for example style="color: red".

If the cells are on the same line, attributes can be added like this: | attribute="value" | row1cell1 || attribute="value" | row1cell2 || attribute="value" | row1cell3

Adding to the header can be done like this:

! attribute="value" | header1 ! attribute="value" | header2 ! attribute="value" | header3 

Or like this: ! attribute="value" | header1 !! attribute="value" | header2 !! attribute="value" | header3

Adding to the caption is done like this: |+ attribute="value" | Caption Title

For example, lets say we wanted to make some cells' text red colored. The attribute to do so is style="color: red". It could be added to some cells in a table like this:

{| class="wikitable" |+ Caption: some cells red text. |- ! header1 ! header2 ! header3 |- | style="color: red" | row1cell1 | row1cell2 | style="color: red" | row1cell3 |- | row2cell1 | style="color: red" | row2cell2 | row2cell3 |} 

Then it would produce this:

Caption: some cells red text.
header1 header2 header3
row1cell1 row1cell2 row1cell3
row2cell1 row2cell2 row2cell3

As you can see, a red color has been added to some of the cells' text. Note that, optionally, cell contents could be added to new lines if desired.

Adding HTML attributes to whole tables and rows[edit]

Tables and rows use the following markup: {|, |- and |}. Attributes can be added to {| and |-. They do not directly hold content. Because of this, they should not have an added pipe (|) after any attributes.

Attributes can be added to the table markup like this: {| attribute="value", where attribute="value" indicates one or more attributes.

Attributes can be added to the row markup like this: |- attribute="value".

An example is the

{| class="wikitable"

used before, that applies a class to an entire table. Likewise you could add a second attribute: for example,

{| class="wikitable" style="color:red"

would apply two attributes, class and style. That style attribute would give text a red color.

An example of an attribute applied to a table row:

|- style="height: 100px"

would apply a style attribute, in this case to make the height of a table row 100px.

Commonly included[edit]

Commonly included attributes in tables:

  • class attribute, for example class="wikitable". The class attribute is normally applied to a complete table.
  • style attribute, for example style="color:red". It is used for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) styling, and can be applied to whole tables, table captions, table rows and individual cells.
  • rowspan attribute, for example rowspan="2". Used for formatting cells so they extend beyond their normal extent of one row.
  • colspan attribute, for example colspan="2". Used for formatting cells so they extend beyond their normal extent of one column.
  • border attributes, for example border="1". Used for applying a borders to whole tables, but not needed if using class="wikitable".
  • scope attribute, for example scope="col". Not essential, but can be used to specify whether a header cell is a row or column header.

Other attributes are used with tables, but many are unsupported by HTML5. See table at w3schools.com and td at w3schools.com for some examples.

Cell contents on new lines[edit]

Cell content may follow on the same line after its cell markup (which may include attributes); or on lines below the cell markup. Cell content that uses its own markup may need to start on a new line; this can happen with things like lists, headings, or nested tables.

For example, take the following table, a single row without a caption:

{| class="wikitable" | style="color:blue" | cell1 | cell2 | style="color:blue" | cell3 |} 

Its output is:

cell1 cell2 cell3

Cell contents can be added to new lines if so desired:

{| class="wikitable" | style="color:blue" | cell1 | cell2 | style="color:blue" | cell3 |} 

Its output is similar, but its vertical length is slightly increased:

cell1

cell2

cell3

How tables are formed[edit]

If you use the following wiki markup for a table:

{| class="wikitable" |+ Caption: example table |- ! header1 ! header2 ! header3 |- | row1cell1 | row1cell2 | row1cell3 |- | row2cell1 | row2cell2 | row2cell3 |} 

The MediaWiki software translates it into the following HTML:

<table class="wikitable"> <caption>Caption: example table</caption> <tr> <th>header1</th> <th>header2</th> <th>header3</th> </tr> <tr> <td>row1cell1</td> <td>row1cell2</td> <td>row1cell3</td> </tr> <tr> <td>row2cell1</td> <td>row2cell2</td> <td>row2cell3</td> </tr> </table> 

The <table>...</table> tag opens and closes the table. The <caption>...</caption> tag adds a caption. The <tr>...</tr> tag opens and closes table rows. The <th>...</th> tag adds a header cell. The <td>...</td> tag adds a data cell.

HTML attributes can be added by insertion within the opening tag. For example <table> can have an attribute added like this: <table attribute="value">, or <table attribute1="value1" attribute2="value2"> for two attributes. All other tags follow the same rule.

You can add a table using HTML coding rather than wiki markup, as described at HTML element#Tables. However it is discouraged due to readability reasons; see the manual of style on tables. Also, note that the <thead>...</thead>, <tbody>...</tbody>, <tfoot>...</tfoot>, <colgroup>...</colgroup>, and <col>...</col> tags are not supported.

See also[edit]

For further help with tables, see: