TablePress is a free plugin that can help you insert tables into your WordPress posts and pages. WordPress WYSIWYG editor is by far the best available in the CMS world. However, it still lacks the ability to add simple tables out of the box. I have recently written an article on the best social sharing plugins for WordPress. While drafting the article, I thought it would be nice if I can show a comparison of the features of different plugins in one table. That is when I found out that I can not do it using WordPress alone. I did a little research and landed to TablesPress plugin which is by far the best free plugin available.
The easiest part of getting the benefit of any plugin is the installation part of it. You can follow the steps on installing plugins at this article. It is as easy as A B C.
Creating your first table in WordPress
The plugin allows you to create tables using different methods. First you can easily create your table using the built-in editor. The second option is to upload a file from your computer. It supports various types of files such as CSV, JSON, HTML and Excel sheet files. However, Excel sheets are still under experiment.
Inserting a table using TablePress editor
So let us start by adding a table the old fashion way. You can do so by navigating to TablePress >> Add New Table.
You will be redirected to the page you will use to name your table, write a brief description, and select the number of rows and columns to be created.
Once you have clicked on “Add table” your table will be created, and you will be redirected to the page where all the fun stuff is. The first part of the page is the information you have already entered on the previous page plus the shortcode for the table. The second part is where you will enter all the data into the table itself.
The third part is similar to your toolbar in Microsoft Excel. There are few options you can use to hide, show, duplicate, insert and delete different rows and columns. You can also add links and images or use a full WYGIWYS editor.
You can also make the first or last row to be the header and footer for the table. By doing so, TablePress will change the color of that row and give you a bit more options depending on the rest of the selections. You can also make the rows alternate in colors and highlight when hovered. Loading custom CSS can also be implemented using these options.
Once you are done with all the editing, you can click on save. The table should be saved in your database by now, and you can easily use the shortcode to add it to your article. When you create a new post, you should see a new icon on your WYGIWYS editor. By clicking on this icon, you can just select the table you want to enter in your post.
The below table is the final version of the above selections we have used and is how the table will show in your posts or pages. You can play around with those options to change the look or the available options to your readers.
|First Name||Last Name||Gender||Age||Country|
Here is a quick demo while I was playing with the different options available.
Inserting a table using a CSV file
An alternative way to the above method of adding tables is by importing a CSV file from your computer. TablePress makes it very easy to import your data by using a CSV file. All you need to do is prepare your CSV file and import it. The below demo will help guide you through the process.
Cons of TablePress
I can’t really think of any con as I just used it once for one article. However, I have noticed one issue that is problematic. The plugin is not responsive, which means that the tables you create will not be user-friendly on mobile if they were large in the number of columns.
Overall, the plugin is the best I could find in WordPress repository. After using it, I can say that it does what it was built for very well, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to use tables in their posts.