W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2009

Re: Printing wide tables

From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 16:18:28 -0800
Message-ID: <496D2F54.8040707@inkedblade.net>
To: Kristof Zelechovski <giecrilj@stegny.2a.pl>
CC: www-style@w3.org

Kristof Zelechovski wrote:
> 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?

I think it's a very interesting idea. Not something we can do in the near
future, but I'll bookmark it for the future. If we introduce something
like "display: table-header-column" then you could actually get a pretty
coherent result this way by making any cells in the table-header-column
stay put and automatically rowspan to accommodate the wrapped rows.

Also, depending on the nature of the table data you might in some cases
want to wrap the whole table at once rather than wrapping each row
individually.

http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Tracker/issues/84

~fantasai
Received on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 00:19:10 GMT

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