1

I have lots of data, with small records and a relatively small amount of fields; for the sake of this example imagine that I have a database of x-thousand people were I just save relatively short amount of information regarding properties that all of them have: name, age, short bio of 3-4 rows of text, etc etc .

I think that to browse this on paper the optimal layout is something like

enter image description here

where each rectangle is a table with all the info

enter image description here

Now the hard part: I have absolutely no idea how to implement this and in a reasonable way; moreover the amount of text involved is small but given this layout the alignments and the proportions of everything are even more important, for example all the tables in the same row should have the limits of the cells aligned to the maximum height occupied by the given field ( as illustrated in the image ) .

Do you have a package or a solution for this ? I usually use LatexLive as a LaTeX implementation .

6
  • What have you tried so far? If it is a tabular environment, all the cells in the same row always have the same height. Beyond that, you just need to set the widths of the columns e.g. *{5}{p{.185\textwidth}} or whatever. If you want them to break over pages, just use longtable. What exactly are you having trouble with? And what is LaTeXLive?
    – cfr
    Jan 12, 2015 at 2:26
  • @cfr I haven't tried anything in practice because I can't locate anything useful, I don't want to make a layout with tables, what I want is more like a series of small tables aligned so I can write each table as a single entity. TeXLive is from tug.org/texlive/acquire.html . Thinking in terms of small tables it could also help in "reflowing" and adapting the layout based on the usual properties of the document ( paper size, font size, etc etc ) . Jan 12, 2015 at 2:30
  • Oh, well you said you wanted tables. So I thought you wanted tables.
    – cfr
    Jan 12, 2015 at 2:42
  • @cfr the table is the rectangle that is vertically oriented in my layout, I would like to get a table for that, the real problem is the layout and how to create this . Jan 12, 2015 at 2:44
  • Since you don't show what is in the rectangle, it is impossible to say how to set out a tabular layout for it. It does not seem to have multiple columns, for example, so I don't know why you would want it to be a tabular. You can put a tabular into the minipage in my answer, though, with whatever layout you prefer. I think it will be a bit odd since the columns would then be really, really narrow. But if you are using symbols or plain numbers, it might make sense.
    – cfr
    Jan 12, 2015 at 2:51

3 Answers 3

4

Probably not what you want but it would help to have some code.

\documentclass[a4paper,landscape]{article}
\usepackage{geometry,array,longtable,booktabs}
\newcommand\person[1]{%
  \begin{minipage}[t]{.185\textwidth}
    \raggedright
    #1
  \end{minipage}}

\begin{document}
  \setlength{\extrarowheight}{5pt}
  \begin{longtable}{*{5}{p{.185\textwidth}}}
    \toprule\endhead\bottomrule\endfoot
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
    \person{Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.}
    & \person{Jo\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.}
    & \person{Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.}
    & \person{Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.}
    & \person{Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.}
    \\
  \end{longtable}
\end{document}

persons

3
  • this is a good start but the problems that I see from my point are: what if I want to mark the name in the 2nd row and 2nd col ? Meaning what if I want to mark 1 or more fields ? If I have pages of this, this is not expected to scale well and reflow because it's just a table 5x5 and if one cell is empty it stays empty on that page and it doesn't "fill" the spot by reflowing the content. That's why I really think that my layout can't be based on tables. Jan 12, 2015 at 2:56
  • Do you want to be able to mark it under that description? It is really unclear to me what you want to do. I suggest that you work on clarifying your question. This is the second solution I've produced (I didn't post the first one because of what you said in comments on the question). Right now, it is just a guessing game. How do you want to mark it? How do you expect it to work? Obviously, you can just change the format for that cell e.g. add \textbf{Jo} in the appropriate spot. So it is really not clear what you want to do.
    – cfr
    Jan 12, 2015 at 3:02
  • @user2485710 If you want stuff to reflow, what I would do is stick the data in another file and then merge it in using a suitable tool. I usually use textmerg but others like datatool etc. (Probably more powerful - textmerg has been around for a while.) But then you just feed it into the template. Have a look at mirrors.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/textmerg/textmerg.pdf and mirrors.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/datatool/…. If one of them looks useful, put together a test file of data and then just make a template and feed it in.
    – cfr
    Jan 12, 2015 at 3:06
4

As the OP asks for a regular grid-like layout with "reflowing" properties, I suggest to use the raster library of the tcolorbox package.

It provides an environment tcbitemize which is applid like itemize. Every item (\tcbitem) is formatted by a tcolorbox and everything is arranged in a grid-like layout. If one \tcbitem is added or removed, everything flows to its appropriate place.

The text content of a \tcbitem is arbitrary. One could use a table for every item. Since there is no MWE of the OP containing data, I make up something mixed of normal text content and some tabularx tables. The output is bottom aligned as request. I added some border lines and colors to separate the items visually.

enter image description here

\documentclass[a4paper,landscape]{article}
\usepackage[hmargin=2cm,top=1cm,bottom=2cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{colortbl,tabularx}
\usepackage[skins,raster]{tcolorbox}

\begin{document}

\begin{tcbitemize}[raster columns=5,raster valign=bottom,
  enhanced,size=fbox,sharp corners,boxrule=0pt,middle=0pt,
  frame hidden,colback=yellow!10,colframe=yellow!50!black,
  borderline horizontal={1pt}{0pt}{yellow!50!black},
  segmentation style={solid},
  flushleft upper,
  ]
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\end{tcbitemize}

\end{document}

Here is a variant of the first solution. It resizes all items to the same height and aligns the content on the top:

enter image description here

\documentclass[a4paper,landscape]{article}
\usepackage[hmargin=2cm,top=1cm,bottom=2cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{colortbl,tabularx}
\usepackage[skins,raster]{tcolorbox}

\begin{document}

\begin{tcbitemize}[raster columns=5,raster equal height=rows,
  enhanced,size=fbox,sharp corners,boxrule=0pt,middle=0pt,
  frame hidden,colback=yellow!10,colframe=yellow!50!black,
  borderline horizontal={1pt}{0pt}{yellow!50!black},
  segmentation style={solid},
  flushleft upper,
  ]
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Big Town\\ Engineer\\ Has had a great life, considering.
\tcbitem
  Joe\\ Small Town\\ Astrophysicist\\ Fantastic career following crummy childhood.
\tcbitem
  Pat\\ Hamlet\\ Cleaner\\ Bit if a nutter, really. Talks to dead people.
\tcbitem
  This is a short note about a person named Jim.
\tcbitem
  Alex\\ Homeless\\ President of Company\\ One of the dead people Pat talks to.
\tcbitem
  Charles Smith (10)
  \tcbline
  Denis Doe (12)
\tcbitem
  Chris\\ Tent City\\ Accountant\\ Dangerous work. Requires specialist safety gear.
\tcbitem
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{XX}
  Name & Smith\\\hline
  First Name & Charles\\\hline
  Age & 12
  \end{tabularx}
\end{tcbitemize}

\end{document}
2
0

As mentioned in the comments above, you've given a very sketchy picture of what you want.

Here's an alternative approach. I'm not sure what you meant by marking things; so, I guessed.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xcolor}
\usepackage{etoolbox}
\usepackage{pgfkeys}
\makeatletter

\newbool{mark by name}
\newbool{mark by job}

\def\ae@table@mark@item{}
\def\ae@table@mark@empty{}
\def\ae@table@mark@color{blue}

\pgfkeys{/ae/table/cell/.cd,
  person/.code=\ae@capture@person{#1},
  mark by/.is choice,
  mark by/name/.code={\booltrue{mark by name}},
  mark by/job/.code={\booltrue{mark by job}},
  mark if/.store in=\ae@table@mark@item,
  mark using/.store in=\ae@table@mark@color
  }

%% the user interface
%% all other aspects of the interface are through the use of keys.
\newcommand\populatetable[1]{%%
  \boolfalse{mark by name}%%
  \boolfalse{mark by job}%%
  \noindent
  \pgfkeys{/ae/table/cell/.cd,#1}}

%% macros to store information on individuals
\def\ae@person@attribute@name{}
\def\ae@person@attribute@address{}
\def\ae@person@attribute@job{}

%% I use ".store in" instead of ".initial" because
%% I find it easier to test using `\ifx` against an expandable macro
\pgfkeys{/ae/person/attributes/.cd,
  name/.store in=\ae@person@attribute@name,
  address/.store in=\ae@person@attribute@address,
  job/.store in=\ae@person@attribute@job,
  comments/.initial=,
  }

%% get the attribute you desire
%% -- only capable of retrieving "comments"
\def\ae@get#1{\pgfkeys{/ae/person/attributes/#1}}

%% create the person
\def\ae@capture@person#1{%%
  \bgroup
    \pgfkeys{/ae/person/attributes/.cd,#1}%%
    \ae@present@person
  \egroup
}

%% macro to present the information about an individual
\def\ae@present@person{%%
  \fbox{\begin{minipage}[t]{1in}
    \vspace{0pt}%% to avoid funkiness caused by \color
    \ae@test@mark{name}%%
      \ae@open@mark Name: \ae@person@attribute@name \ae@close@mark \\
    \ae@test@mark{job}%%
      \ae@open@mark Job:  \ae@person@attribute@job  \ae@close@mark\\
    Comments: \ae@get{comments}
  \end{minipage}}\penalty100\relax}

%% test for what is to be marked and set up parameters to carry this out.
%% --- this could be done much better, but for now this will suffice.
\def\ae@test@mark#1{%%
  \def\ae@open@mark{}%%
  \def\ae@close@mark{}%%
  \ifbool{mark by #1}
    {%%
      \expandafter\ifx\csname ae@person@attribute@#1\endcsname\ae@table@mark@item
        \def\ae@open@mark{\bgroup\color{\ae@table@mark@color}}%%
        \def\ae@close@mark{\egroup}%%
      \else
      \fi
   }{}}


\makeatother

\begin{document}

\populatetable{%%
  mark by=name,
  mark if=John,
  mark using=red,
  person={name=John,
          job=baker,
          address=downtown},
  person={name=Emily,
          job=dentist,
          address=1030 Appleton Grove},
  person={name=Mandy,
          job=teacher,
          address=2439 Silly Name Road},
  person={name=John,
          job=baker,
          address=downtown},
  person={name=Emily,
          job=dentist,
          address=1030 Appleton Grove},
  person={name=Mandy,
          job=teacher,
          address=2439 Silly Name Road},
  person={name=John,
          job=baker,
          address=downtown},
  person={name=Emily,
          job=dentist,
          address=1030 Appleton Grove},
  person={name=Mandy,
          job=teacher,
          address=2439 Silly Name Road},
  }

\end{document}

With the following result:

enter image description here

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