W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 2008

Printing wide tables

From: Kristof Zelechovski <giecrilj@stegny.2a.pl>
Date: Mon, 03 Nov 2008 19:51:34 +0000
To: <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <783F952C23F44DFB9A1822FAE6CDA208@POCZTOWIEC>
It is impossible to print a table with many columns.

Setting table width to match page width makes the columns so narrow that
they cannot display any data.

Printing the table across multiple sheets as a poster makes it unreadable
because it is incoherent: the reader of the printed material cannot review
all row data on a single page while the page contains irrelevant data from
the neighboring rows.

The current workaround is to break the table into a list of forms but this
requires a structural transformation that cannot be achieved with CSS.
(Internet Explorer invented the DATASRC attribute for this effect).

My proposition to address this situation:

Allow the table model to wrap the line in the middle of the row, on cell
boundary.

To this end: 

Define a property TABLE, COL, TD { ROW-WRAP: AUTOMATIC|FORCE|INHIBIT },
default: INHIBIT.

If this property is set on the TABLE, the table renders off screen as
described.  

Afterwards, it gets reformatted by interleaving: 

For the table cells with ROW-WRAP: FORCE that do not span multiple rows, 

another row is inserted after the current row and the rest of the row
starting from that cell is moved to the next row.

Table cells with ROW-WRAP: AUTOMATIC are treated the same way if they do not
fit into the table WIDTH specified.

Of course, this will not make the table look beautiful or consistent, but it
is better than nothing.

What do you think?

Chris
Received on Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:41:58 GMT

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