Is there a really simple table-creation app, so I don't have to struggle with Word or Excel?

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
And I do mean really simple, e.g. I use MS Notepad for simple text documents. I don't have Microsoft Word or Excel. I am on Windows 10.
Mike
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
You're going to have to elaborate. In most cases a table refers to a database with rows and columns. A Microsoft word table is a very simple dumbed down version of this concept. There is no simpler version of a table than word. Excel doesn't really have a table but is similar.
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
Thank you, much appreciated.

I mean a digital version of what I do when I draw a table on A4 paper with a pencil and ruler. Once I've drawn it I can write data in it with a ballpen and can change the data using Tippex.

The advantages of an equivalent digital table are that
I would type the data in,
I would be able to change or delete the data without Tippex,
I would be able to print the table
I would be able to email the table to others
and I would be able to secure the table in a passworded strongbbox like Rohos Mini Portable.

Re Word and Excel, I have read that creating a table in Word is so irritating that many users prefer to create a "table" in Excel and then import it into Word if desired?

Reverting to your reply, to get Word or Excel, I would have to buy MS Office. But maybe I could use the Word or Excel equivalents in Apache Open Office or Libre Open Office? But they would be no simpler than MS Office, I guess.

MS WordPad is on my Windows PC but it does not make tables.

I still feel that there must be is a little "table maker" app somewhere, away from the big players.
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
Thanks - yes, I know, they are free whereas MS Office is not, but they are doubtless as big and complicated as MS Office.

There must be little table-maker-only apps, away from the big software writers. Please see my last reply above.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
There are no applications to simply create tables to my knowledge. Microsoft Word or a free alternative such as LibreOffice Writer are your best bets. The skill level required for Word and Writer are about the same in my opinion. Unless you're making complex tables they shouldn't be to much trouble creating at least from my experience with them.
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
I can see that if I really cannot find a small table-maker app, I could manage with LibreOffice Writer, being a free app.
Many thanks, much appreciated.
Mike
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
The app Tables Generator offers these tables (see attachment).

It's all Greek to me, which table type should I use for my primitive requirements as discussed above? If these are online, can I save them to my PC?

Tables generator.jpg
 

zirkoni

Extraordinary Member
You can seen the result of each option right there on the web page. There's even an example table button. To get it on your computer press the copy to clipboard button and you can paste the generated text in a text editor.

I guess Text table or Markdown table are the closest to what you want as they generate a plain text table. The other options generate code (such as HTML code for web pages or LaTeX code for typesetting system).
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
zirkoni - very helpful, thanks.

Re "you can paste the generated text in a text editor. " - text editor? I have Notepad and Wordpad, or I could get LibreOffice. Or is there a small simple one?

Once in a text editor, I guess that I could edit the text in the table, but not change the shape of the table at all?

I guess I could not save the table "as is", alone, direct from Tables Generator, to my PC?

Would my tables left in Tables Generator have any security?

Probably simpler just to make tables in Libre Office Writer?
 

zirkoni

Extraordinary Member
As I said, the Tables Generator webpage creates a plain text table (not really a table but a sequence of characters that looks like a table). So, any text editor (including Notepad and Wordpad) can handle them but editing the tables might be tedious (length of a value changes -> shape of the table changes -> you have to add/remove spaces to get equal length values).

You can also save the tables from Tables Generator to your PC and later load them back in the webpage. It seems to use some custom format (well, I'm not 100% sure, it might be Javascript code or something like that) so what happens when the webpage doesn't exist anymore? Your tables become useless, not recommended. Also, there's really no security. You don't know if the owner of the webpage saves and reads your data.

I don't really understand why you're so against using something like Excel or Libre Office Calc. They are quite simple to use, you don't have to touch any of the "complicated" features. If you don't want to install an office suite on your PC you can also use free online alternatives: Google Sheets or Microsoft's Excel Online
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
Thanks very much, yes, I have been playing with Tables Generator and it is not worth the bother. I want a FILE not a phantom.

I don't want "online", so I am definitely going to install LibreOffice. I am told that I can make simple text tables (no calculations, just text) in Writer or Calc, whichever you think is easier for a computer klutz like me?

I gather that I can run LibreOffice in .doc format, so that my son who has Word can use the files perfectly - is that the best way? Bearing in mind that I shall be doing mainly text tables?

Changing to .doc format does not change or spoil the LibreOffice interface, I guess?

Mike
 

zirkoni

Extraordinary Member
You could use Libre Office Calc and save the tables in csv-format (Comma Separated Values). That's enough for basic tables if you don't need to save, for example, the size of rows/columns, formatted text (bold, italics), etc. Those files are supported by both Libre Office and MS Office.

Libre Office can save in Microsoft's proprietary file formats as well (Calc/Excel => xlsx, Write/Word => docx) , but since the formats have been reverse engineered without support from Microsoft, the saved files might look a bit different on Libre Office than on MS Office.

I'm not sure if MS Office supports the Libre Office file formats. Since those are open source, I'd think MS has added them in their office suite. So, if you want to save any kind of formatting of your tables, then saving in Libre Office file format might be the best option.

But really you should just test it yourself and see what works best for you.
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
zirkoni - thanks, I appreciate your help. My son has MS Office so we can swap sample LibreOffice tables in LibreOffice and .docx/xlsx formats and see how they look.

It seems that in LibreOffice one can either
- work in native LO format and save in either LO or MS format
- or pre-set to work in MS format and save in MS format.
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
zirkoni - thanks, I appreciate your help. My son has MS Office so we can swap sample LibreOffice tables in LibreOffice and .docx/xlsx formats and see how they look.

It seems that in LibreOffice one can either
- work in native LO format and save in either LO or MS format
- or pre-set to work in MS format and save in MS format.
 

Mike Goodger

Senior Member
Many thanks for all the replies to my question. I am now very happy working in LibreOffice and I have started creating data tables in Writer and shall also look at Calc.
LibreOffice is a revelation, there is no feeling that one is working in free software.
 
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