Tables can help to organize otherwise messy content coverage. There are several types of tables and variables to consider when crafting a new table. Generally, the choice becomes obvious after the mess is reigned in by creating a Basic Table to start with. The amount of wiki-markup and planning for some of the more complex tables may seem daunting, but a simple copy/paste from these examples and changing the variables for a new table eases the task. Experiment in the Sandbox if necessary; and never hesitate to ask for help. If all else fails, simply resort to requesting a table in the talk page of an article.
Table construction terms and variables
Tables are defined as grids containing sorted information. When creating a new table, the editor must define the number of columns and rows the table will contain. Columns are defined first at the beginning of the table, separated into lines. From there, each row is added individually by the editor until the table is complete.
To begin a basic table, start with the following code:
More parameters can be added here, but they are optional.
From there, define the columns with the following code:
|- !(column 1 name) !(column 2 name) !(column 3 name)
Naturally, tables can have more or less columns than this, but a table with less than two columns is hardly useful, and a table with dozens of columns will stretch readability.
From there, start adding rows, like so:
|- |(column 1 content) |(column 2 content) |(column 3 content)
Repeat this block as many times as necessary to create rows. The number of lines per row should match the number of columns. The editor is at liberty to add as many additional rows as desired, but the goal should as mentioned before be to make a readable table. If tables become excessively large and are not the entire point of the page, the editor should consider splitting them up or collapsing them (more on that in the Advanced tables help page).
Finally, complete the table with this piece of code:
This is an example of a basic table. These are excellent starting points to learn how to create tables- or even as a start to clean up a page before creating a more complex table.
|Types of Tables||Description||Uses|
|Regular||A normal table like this one||Sums up information in a simple format|
|Collapsed||A table that is initially collapsed, but opens up into a regular-type table.||Useful for tables that are very large, or for pages with lots of tables in them.|
|Sortable||A table that can be resorted accordingly||Best on large tables, but useful on small ones as well|
|Irregular Cells||Allows Columns and Rows to span further||Tiers overlapping information|
|Column Formatted Lists||Place long lists into a table format||Reduces senseless page drop-downs|
There are many more details regarding tables than even listed here. For information on that, check the Advanced tables page.