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While I get the concept that LaTeX is different from WYSIWYG editors, formatting tables seems to be a rather complex process in LaTeX (especially for a newbie).

I am thinking of the following basic capabilities which the user changes most often while building a table (feel free to add more capabilities):

  • Tweak overall width of table (with automatic word-wrap, if necessary); tweak column-width (with respect to total table width, rather than absolute size); same for rows.
  • Specify horizontal and vertical alignment and justification of text in a cell or multi-cell; Decimal point alignment;
  • Allow formatting of content in each cell
  • Allow spreadsheet kind of behaviour (i.e., use of formula) for some columns of the table

What are some good table templates or GUI's that help generate a table quickly and easily? Essentially, I am not talking about helping with the visual-style of the entire table (which would be a bonus), but rather with the easy customization of row/column sizes and cell content as per the users needs.

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    Welcome to TeX.SX! I think you need to be more specific about your needs. One reason this is not standard is that different applications call for different types of tables. – Andrew Swann May 8 '15 at 14:30
  • IMHO, tables are one of the hardest and most discouraging (for a novice) environments in LaTeX. – latex fan May 8 '15 at 14:43
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    @latexfan - Creating good-looking and meaningful tables is hard in any typesetting system, not just LaTeX. – Mico May 8 '15 at 14:53
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    For backward compatibility, any new way of doing tables will just be another package. There is also the inevitable tradeoff between ease of use and flexibility. "True believers in the one right way" are to be avoided! – John Kormylo May 8 '15 at 15:14
  • You are looking for two features which are in contradiction: the simple usage and the generality. The general environment for tables is \halign and related TeX primitives. You can do everything by this. The simple usage provides a macro package. It typically chooses only special features for the sake of simplicity. – wipet May 8 '15 at 16:12

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